Controversial U.K. TV/radio presenter Jonathan Ross made a triumphant return to television on Friday (Jan. 23).

The return of his BBC1 "Friday Night with Jonathan Ross" chatshow pulled in an average of 4.7 million viewers, according to unofficial overnight figures. The previous run of the show, which ended in October, had averaged 3.7 million viewers.

The show was pulled from the airwaves in October when Ross was suspended from the BBC for his part in a series of lewd prank calls to actor Andrew Sachs during comedian Russell Brand's show on national A/C network BBC Radio 2. The show prompted over 40,000 complaints and considerable tabloid press outrage. Brand and Radio 2 controller Lesley Douglas both subsequently left the BBC.

Ross played it safe on his TV return, apologizing again for the Sachs incident, and making only occasional passing references to his suspension. Hollywood star Tom Cruise, comedian Lee Evans and actor Stephen Fry made up the line-up of guests, with Scottish alt-rockers Franz Ferdinand the first musical performers of the series.

The combined power of his TV and radio shows saw Ross ranked at No. 10 in Billboard's "Maximum Exposure" list of the most effective U.K. platforms for promoting music.

Ross' return to the Radio 2 airwaves the following day (Jan. 24) proved more controversial, with tabloid newspapers including the News of the World seizing upon comments made about an elderly woman. The BBC is currently playing down the incident.