Jonathan Ross proved there’s no such thing as bad publicity when 5.1 million viewers watched the first Friday Night With Jonathan Ross after his suspension.

According to the BBC’s early audience figures, the audience peaked at 5.1 million, compared to the last show’s 3.7 million viewers before his suspension after the phone prank scandal in October.

Ross resumed his chat show with the introduction: “So, where were we?” Then he interviewed comic Lee Evans, TV presenter Stephen Fry and Tom Cruise in a clearly toned-down show.

On his Radio 2 show on Saturday he said: “It was nice to be able to go out at the beginning and say sorry to people because I said sorry beforehand, but that message didn’t seem to have got out there.

“I got the feeling the newspapers hadn’t actually heard it, even though some of them printed it, so it was nice to go out there and get the chance to get that off my chest.”

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