GRAHAM Norton is set to step into Jonathan Ross’s soon-to-be vacated Friday night BBC1 slot.
The Cork comedian emerged as an early front-runner in January but the BBC says he is “likely” to take his chat show to Fridays.
Norton has already been confirmed as the replacement for Ross’s Radio 2 show later this year.
Ross bows out from BBC1 tonight and his final show for Radio 2 will be broadcast tomorrow after he decided to quit the corporation at the end of his current contract.
Norton is expected to move to a late-night Friday role in October, with comedy show Would I Lie To You plugging the gap from next week. Programmes such as stand-up show Live At The Apollo are also expected to be scheduled until Norton’s series moves.
A BBC spokeswoman said of the Norton move: “In all likelihood, when his show returns later in the year it will play in the Friday night slot.”
Ross recorded his last chat show on Wednesday night before hosting a similar format on ITV1 following a year’s break.
Ross said he was “grateful, lucky and honoured” to have worked at the BBC.
“It’s been a remarkable period of my TV career,” he said.
But according to reports Ross took every chance to mention his new chat show with ITV during filming his last show.
He then supposedly went on to thrash the set near the end of recording, to the astonishment of the audience.
His final guests included David Beckham — whom Ross claimed he had tried to get on his show for over nine years — and Hollywood star Mickey Rourke.
Ross had a spectacular fall from grace over the “Sachsgate” affair in which he left lewd messages — along with Russell Brand — on the answer-phone 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.
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