British public broadcaster the BBC has confirmed that its disgraced TV/radio presenter Jonathan Ross is to return to his weekly Saturday morning BBC Radio 2 show on Jan. 24.
No date has yet been set for the return of his tastemaking TV chatshow, “Friday Night with Jonathan Ross.”
Ross, the broadcaster’s highest paid star, was suspended for three months for his role in “utterly unacceptable” comments made during a prank phone call on Oct. 18 (Billboard.biz Oct. 31, 2008).
The call, made during comedian Russell Brand’s Radio 2 show, was to veteran U.K. actor Andrew Sachs, famous for his role as Manuel in the 1970s hit TV comedy series “Fawlty Towers”.
The scandal led to resignations by Brand and Radio 2 controller Lesley Douglas and a public apology. “Friday Night with Jonathan Ross,” famed for its celebrity guests and live music, and his Radio 2 program were pulled off air for three months.
However, Ross remains one of the country’s most popular entertainment personalities, while his two shows led to him being ranked No. 10 in Billboard’s 2008 “Maximum Exposure: U.K.” survey.
Additionally, he and Brand have been nominated for this year’s prestigious British Comedy Awards, which will be broadcast live on the ITV1 commercial network on Dec. 6.