U.K. TV and radio host Jonathan Ross has announced he is quitting the BBC after 13 years.

His BBC One TV show "Friday Night With Jonathan Ross" was named the No. 5 most important U.K. platform for music in Billboard's Maximum Exposure issue (Billboard, Sept. 26, 2009). Top music guests regularly appear on the chat show - Jay-Z, Eminem, U2 and Robbie Williams were guests and performed in 2009 - which used to run for 40 weeks each year and averaged 3.7 million viewers per show.

Ross also hosts a show on AC network BBC Radio 2, the most popular station in the U.K. according to research body RAJAR.

He insisted that money was not an issue and that negotiations on a new contract never got started.

Ross returned to the publicly funded BBC in January 2009 after he was suspended in 2008 for three months after making lewd remarks on a BBC Radio 2 show presented by comedian Russell Brand. But he has become a target for criticism in sections of the media, especially because of his reported £18 million ($28.7 million) three-year pay deal. BBC presenters who have renewed contracts recently have taken pay cuts because of the impact of the recession on the commercial TV industry in the U.K.

Ross said in a statement that he had decided not to renegotiate his contract when it ends in July.

"Although I have had a wonderful time working for the BBC, and am very proud of the shows I have made while there, over the last two weeks I have decided not to re-negotiate when my current contract comes to an end," he said. "While there I have worked with some of the nicest and most talented people in the industry and had the opportunity to interview some of the biggest stars in the world, and am grateful to the BBC for such a marvelous experience."

He added: "I would like to make it perfectly clear that no negotiations ever took place and that my decision is not financially motivated.

"I signed my current contract with the BBC having turned down more lucrative offers from other channels because it was where I wanted to be and - as I have said before - would happily have stayed there for any fee they cared to offer, but there were other considerations.

"I love making my Friday night talk show, my Saturday morning radio show and the Film Programme, and will miss them all. I look forward to continuing work on these shows until the summer, and I will continue hosting the Bafta Film Awards, Comic Relief and other BBC specials. Working at the BBC has been a tremendous privilege, and I would like to thank everyone who has watched and listened so loyally over the last 13 years."

Ross began his career at Channel 4 in the U.K.