"I do apologise for any hurt or distress it's caused," confessed Rossy during the programme. He went on to joke, when star guest Tom Cruise complained of being too busy: "You should try getting banned"
Photo: © Rex
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Jonathan also came in for some light-hearted ribbing from actor Stephen Fry, who told him: "I'm happy to help you get off the naughty step"
Photo: © Rex

Jonathan apologises as Tom joins him for comeback show

23 JANUARY 2009
He was as witty as ever, but there was also a heartfelt apology among Jonathan Ross' cheeky jokes as he returned to his Friday night chat show after a three-month ban. The TV presenter - who originally indicated no apology for his part in the Andrew Sachs incident would be forthcoming on the programme – said he was sorry for "any hurt or distress" caused.

"Being on the BBC and being allowed this level of freedom to communicate openly with people is a great privilege and something I've always enjoyed," said Jonathan. "In future I intend to be more aware of the responsibility that comes with such a gift."

The 47-year-old received a rousing reception from the studio audience as he stepped onto the set with his opening gambit: "So where were we…?". And he didn't pass up the chance to make jokes at his own expense, responding to Tom Cruise's comment that he was too busy by quipping: "You should try getting banned."

Many commentators are already hailing his return to Friday Night With Jonathan Ross, which airs on BBC1 at 10.35pm, as a success. "He was a bit nervous, but that probably helped him," says a BBC insider. "He said he was sorry, then stormed the show."

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