It has been reported that Graham Norton is to leave the BBC later this year to return to former broadcasting home, Channel Four. The entertainment front man commentated for the British public at the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest, replacing veteran Terry Wogan. He also hosted the selection show, Your country needs you in January.
Graham Norton is set to quit the BBC to return to Channel Four later this year. His lucrative contract ends and he is set to reject a new deal to take over the Paul O'Grady talk show at his former stomping ground. Should he remain at the BBC, he is set to move his talk show from BBC2 to BBC1.
Norton is said to be unhappy at the BBC after his latest Saturday Night show Totally Saturday flopped and was later pulled by the BBC. He also hosts the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical reality shows that select lead artists for his stage shows, but with the Lord, who wrote this year's British Eurovision Song Contest entry, now in a battle to end his BBC contract and take the show to rival channel, ITV, Norton could be set to lose another of his headline shows.
Graham Stuart, managing director and co-founder of Norton’s independent production company, So Television, told Broadcast magazine “None of this rings true. I understand that everybody wants Graham but as far as So is concerned, we have worked long and hard to get where we are, which is beginning a new chat show on BBC1. That is our plan.”
The BBC are widely reported to be concerned that they do not have enough shows for Norton, who is one of their highest paid presenters. If Norton signs an exclusivity deal with another broadcaster, he would no longer be available to commentate on the Eurovision Song Contest, a role which he was widely praised for. It would leave the BBC searching for a third commentator in three years.