Ross leaves Beeb with 'fond memories and gratitude'

Jonathan Ross bowed out from his long-running BBC Radio 2 show today declaring he would be leaving with “nothing but fond memories and gratitude”.

Jonathan Ross bowed out from his long-running BBC Radio 2 show today declaring he would be leaving with “nothing but fond memories and gratitude”.

The broadcaster and his sparring partner Andy Davies were joined by X-Factor twins John and Edward Grimes, better known as “Jedward”, comedian Alan Carr and singer Tom Jones, for the final slot.

Ross opened the three-hour pre-recorded show with the Sex Pistols song 'Pretty Vacant'.

Discussing his 11 years hosting the show, he said: “It has been a tremendous experience for us – obviously I like to think that the place has always been a little livelier while we are around...

“There were certain periods when it was a little too lively, but it’s been a great experience and a learning experience bizarrely for people of our age and a privilege really to be here and to have this interaction with the audience and to meet so many great people, we should really say thank you for all the guests we have had on.”

Referring to his radio guests over the years, Ross revealed: “About 90% were great. Only a handful were terrifically disappointing."

He said there had been only a few shows he had been “ashamed of”, adding: “The vast majority are shows I am proud of and I think we achieved something quite special and different and I will look back on this with pride as much as anything.”

Recalling the list of musicians who appeared on the show, he continued: “We really have been spoiled – and we’ve worked with some great people here at the BBC – and the BBC have supported us and shown us a great degree of leeway and I leave with nothing but fond memories and gratitude.”

Ross also paid tribute to the show’s crew and his rapport with Davies, which he likened to Ronnie Barker and Richard Beckinsale sharing a cell in the ‘70s comedy Porridge.

He signed off by thanking listeners, saying “you do feel a real bond” and “that will always be a treasured memory”.

'Drive-In Saturday' by David Bowie was played as the final tune.

Ross also brought the curtain down on his television chat show last night after a 10-year run.

The final pre-recorded show of 'Friday Night With Jonathan Ross' featured guests including footballer David Beckham, Hollywood actors Mickey Rourke and Jackie Chan, plus a performance by Roxy Music.

Last week it was announced 49-year-old Ross had signed a deal to present a new peak-time chat show for ITV1 following a one-year break.

The star had a spectacular fall from grace over the “Sachsgate” affair in which he and Russell Brand left lewd messages on the answerphone of veteran actor Andrew Sachs. He was suspended for three months over the incident.

Earlier this year Ross announced he would not be renewing his contract with the BBC.

Graham Norton is set to step into Ross’s vacated Friday night BBC1 chat show slot in October and has already been confirmed as the replacement for his Radio 2 show.

Ross is due to host the British Comedy Awards later this year, which will be broadcast by Channel 4.

The new ITV series will be a co-production between ITV Studios and Hotsauce TV, the company set up by Ross which made his BBC1 show.

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