Graham Norton has revealed he will be heading to Virgin Radio – days after announcing he was quitting BBC Radio 2.
The broadcaster, who earns about £725,000 from the BBC for his Radio 2 show and some TV work, is following in the footsteps of ex-Radio 2 DJ Chris Evans.
He will host a weekend show on Virgin Radio next year.
Norton is thought to have made his decision after appearing on Evans’ Breakfast Show in recent weeks.
Norton said: “I am excited and a little surprised to be joining Virgin Radio UK in 2021.
“I was very content where I was but the opportunity to host shows across the weekend seemed too good to miss out on.
“Plus the energy and enthusiasm at Virgin Radio are infectious and I can’t wait to get started!”
He quipped: “Did I mention the studios are very close to my house?”
The chat show host will present his last Saturday programme on Radio 2 on December 19, 10 years after his first Saturday morning show for the station.
In 2018, then Radio 2 Breakfast Show DJ Evans shocked fans by announcing a return to Virgin Radio to host a rival breakfast show, almost 20 years after he left the station.
Evans was the second-highest earner at the BBC at the time, according to its annual figures, earning up to £1,669,999.
Norton joined Radio 2 in 2010 to host the 10am–1pm slot on Saturdays, taking over from Jonathan Ross.
Virgin Radio listeners recently heard Evans attempt to lure Norton to the station during an interview.
“You can see your house from here, so it’s even more convenient for when you leave the BBC,” Evans said.
Norton replied: “Stop, stop!” adding, “I’m very happy at the BBC. It’s where the (chat) show works…”
But he also told Evans: “I’ll look at your schedule and see what’s available.
“It is lovely (in your studio). Do all your guests gush about how lovely it is here?”