In a statement, he said: "Although I have had a wonderful time working for the BBC and am very proud of the show I’ve made while there, over the last two weeks I’ve decided not to renegotiate when my current contract comes to an end. I would like to make it perfectly clear that no negotiations ever took place and that my decision is not financially motivated."
This comes in the wake of huge controversy over his salary, a reported £18m over three years, and the Sachsgate scandal in which he and former BBC presenter Russell Brand were censured for lewd telephone calls to the actor Andrew Sachs.
Perhaps a hint of what was to come, on his Twitter page, he tweeted: "Good morning. My day is turning out to be far more interesting then I had anticipated!"
Jonathan began his media career as a researcher on the Channel 4 chat show Loose Talk. Various other documentaries and shows followed before he began working on Soul Train. While working on the show he met researcher Alan Marke and the pair came up with the idea of The Last Resort and their own production company.
He made his television presenting debut on that show in January 1987. The Last Resort broke the mould of the traditional TV chat show in this country; as a result, Channel 4 commissioned a total of four series.
Jonathan’s radio career began in 1987 when he filled in for Janice Long on BBC Radio 1 for two weeks. In 1998 he teamed up with Chris Evans to host a flagship show for the new-look Virgin Radio before leaving around a year later to present his own programme every Saturday morning on BBC Radio 2.
But it’s his prolific television career that truly marks him out. As a presenter has CV includes: The Incredibly Strange Film Show; One Hour With Jonathan Ross; For One Week Only; Tonight With Jonathan Ross; Saturday Zoo; Gag Tag (with Frank Skinner); Mondo Rosso; The Late Jonathan Ross; In Search Of…; They Think It’s All Over; The Big Big Talent Show; It’s Only TV… But I Like It and presenting both the British Comedy Awards and the Baftas.
Jonathan Ross has won numerous awards for his work – including Baftas and Royal Television Society awards – but the Sachsgate scandal severely dented his image. He was suspended by the BBC for three months and returned to work in January 2009. However, things were never quite the same. Speculation now mounts as to where he’ll go next.
How do you feel about Jonathan Ross’ decision to quit the BBC? Are you sad to see him go? Have your say here (but keep it clean – no swearing).
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