Following the recent controversy on BBC Radio 2, Jonathan Ross was suspended along with the Radio 2 host Russell Brand. Russell Brand has since quit his Radio 2 show and the BBC Radio 2 controller Lesley Douglas has resigned. It has now been confirmed that Jonathan Ross will be suspended for three months (12 weeks) without pay.
BBC News says “it is believed the suspension of pay will cost the entertainer more than £1 million”. BBC director general Mark Thompson describes Jonathan Ross’s suspension as “an exceptional step” and the content on Russell Brand’s Radio 2 show a “very serious breach of editorial standards”. Mr Thompson also says this is a “final warning” for Jonathan Ross.
It has also now been confirmed that Film 2008 With Jonathan Ross has been taken off the air, and – presumably – any programme featuring Jonathan. The suspension will mean Friday Night With Jonathan Ross won’t return to BBC1 until mid-January 2009 or the beginning of February 2009. It’s not known what will replace Friday Night With Jonathan Ross in the meantime but tonight’s show has been replaced by the film Speed. The BBC could get in guest hosts for the programme, but – in my opinion – this is unlikely.