Jonathan Ross' BBC departure due to 'Sachsgate'?

Friday January 8, 2010

He shocked viewers with news that he is leaving the BBC on Thursday, and speculation is mounting about whether British funnyman Jonathan Ross walked out of his own accord or not.

Many believe the presenter's sudden departure is linked to the controversy he and Russell Brand caused 15 months ago.

After announcing his news yesterday, Jonathan - pictured handing out cups of tea to members of the press outside his snowy home - confirmed the decision to leave "was not financially motivated".

"I would happily have stayed there for any fee they cared to offer," he said among reports that he offered to take a 50 per cent pay cut.

"There were other considerations," he continued.

"The Sachsgate thing just brought it all into focus and made him a stick to beat the BBC with," a source tells the Sun.

"The feeling from the senior people at the BBC was that having Jonathan on board meant we were always going to get flak."

Jonathan, who has been with the BBC for 13 years, will take his final bow when his contract ends in July.

Photo: ę Rex

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