The BBC has admitted that it axed the Graham Norton show Totally Saturday because it “wasn’t good enough”, according to The Sun.

The paper reported earlier in the week that the corporation was pulling the plug on the programme – which launched on June 6 – after viewing figures dropped to just 2.5m, less than the number who tuned in to a repeat of Animals Do The Funniest Things on ITV1.

BBC1 boss Jay Hunt is said to have admitted that the show – which sees Norton ‘borrowing’ items from audience members and putting them on centre stage, as well as playing pranks on unsuspecting members of the public – was not up to scratch.

“Totally Saturday was not as good as it should be,” Hunt said. “But the feedback from viewers on Graham has been consistently strong.

“It hasn’t worked in terms of huge volume audiences, but it has delivered a different sort of audience to BBC1,” she added. “It was a risk worth taking – even if it didn’t quite come off.”

The show has come in for criticism from many of the BBC’s own stars including Radio 1 DJ Chris Moyles and chat show host Jonathan Ross.

The final edition will be screened on Saturday July 18.