Graham Norton‘s chat show is to move to BBC1 as part of plans to raise the entertainer’s profile as a face of the BBC.
But the channel’s controller insisted that the move was not a threat to Jonathan Ross, whose chat show is also on BBC1.
Jay Hunt confirmed that The Graham Norton Show will move in the autumn from BBC2 to a 10.35pm weekday slot on BBC1.
Jay described Graham as a ‘unique talent’ and said the changes would give him the chance to be the ‘zany person’ people saw him as on Channel 4.
But she added that the decision did not mean that Graham would have a mandate to be rude and vulgar.
The move means that Graham will now have four major projects on BBC1.
As well as his chat show, currently on BBC2, he also fronts family show, Totally Saturday, which launches this weekend.
In May, Graham replaced Terry Wogan as host of Eurovision and later this year it’s believed he will present another talent show with Andrew Lloyd Webber.
Commenting on the Andrew Sachs scandal, Jay said it had been Jonathan’s decision to write his apology on the first episode of Friday Night With Jonathan Ross following his suspension over the lewd calls.
She said: “Jonathan wrote that. I did not ask him to write that.”
Jay said that since the scandal: “I haven’t had any problems with him on my watch. I think he’s done some fantastic interviews.”