Ross' salary slashed

Ross' salary slashed

Jonathan Ross has accepted a £3m (€3.37m) pay cut.

The presenter – who has a Friday night show on BBC One and a Saturday morning show on BBC Radio 2 - has agreed to halve his annual salary and will also have his contract shortened from three years to two.

A source said: "Jonathan is happy to stay at the BBC and is fully aware he needs to take a pay cut. He has offered to take a 50% pay drop and will be committed to his TV and radio shows."

The BBC has come under intense pressure to cut the salaries of its biggest stars in recent months, which has led to the 49-year-old presenter not being offered a renewal on his present three-year £18m (€20m) deal, which runs out in July 2010.

The star’s annual salary could even end up being even less, as BBC Director General Mark Thompson has yet to sign the deal.

It has been alleged that Thompson wants to push Ross to a 60% cut or replace him with comedian Graham Norton, 46, on his Friday night show.

Ross – who has been rivals with the camp comic for years – recently slammed Norton's 'Totally Saturday' family programme, branding it "not good enough".

He was reportedly furious with BBC executives for giving Norton a show competing with his own 'Friday Night with Jonathan Ross'.

It is not yet clear whether Ross - who also recently hosted ITV's 'British Comedy Awards' – will be exclusively working for the corporation.

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