Jonathan Ross is to return as host of the British Comedy Awards, after pulling out last year following the Sachsgate row.

The TV presenter was replaced by Angus Deayton last year, and ITV have now officially confirmed reports that Wossy is making a comeback.

He said: “I’m delighted, it’s the most prestigious awards show in the world – Obama may have a Nobel Prize, but he’s not even in the running for Best Entertainment Personality, it’s that prestigious.”

Last month, The Sun quoted an insider saying the show “wasn’t the same” without Jonathan, who has been the regular host.

A storm was caused last year after he and Russell Brand made lewd prank calls to Fawlty Towers actor Andrew Sachs, for Russell’s BBC radio show.

ITV’s director of entertainment and comedy Elaine Bedell said of Jonathan’s return: “I’m very glad Jonathan is back at the helm.”

The awards ceremony is celebrating its 20th year and will be broadcast on ITV1 and ITV2 in December.

Earlier this month, the watchdog Ofcom imposed fines totalling £80,000 over a scandal that led to Ant and Dec being wrongly given a prize at the British Comedy Awards.

The regulator imposed the penalty on Channel TV – which was supposed to ensure the programme met broadcasting rules when it aired on ITV1 – for what it called “extremely serious” breaches.

The incidents which led to the fines included Ant and Dec being given the People’s Choice Award in 2005, despite being beaten in the voting by Catherine Tate.

Ofcom said the duo may have been chosen simply to ensure Robbie Williams would agree to appear on the show.