Jonathan Ross defends his BBC salary

Jonathan Ross has defended the salary he received while at the BBC.

In an interview with Richard Bacon on 5 Live the chat-show host defended the amount he was paid by the corporation stating it was less than his market value and he was offered more to move elsewhere. Ross’ pay during his last few years at the BBC came under repeated criticism from sections of the media especially following his role in the ‘Sachs-gate’.

“Sure I was paid a lot of money, but I’m not in a regular job. I’m in show business and I was at the top of my game.” – Jonathan Ross speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live

Ross quit the BBC in July 2010 following the ‘Sachs-gate’ incident which saw an outcry in parts of the media after he and Russell Brand left lewd messages on the answering machine of the actor Andrew Sachs. Thousands of people complained about the incident after reading about it in newspapers. Ross has admitted the incident and the increased scrutiny over his salary contributed to his departure.

“When the money became such a big story in the papers, I didn’t enjoy the scrutiny,. I didn’t think it was fair because I turned down a much bigger offer to go outside than stay at the BBC. So I felt odd I was painted as this greedy guy when in actual fact, I turned down millions to stay there.” – Jonathan Ross speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live

After leaving the BBC Jonathan Ross signed a new deal with ITV to launch a new chat-show on the broadcaster. The Jonathan Ross Show launches this Saturday on ITV1 and the media will pay close attention to its ratings to see how it performs.