BBC still want me despite Sachsgate, says Ross

Jonathan Ross
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Presenter Jonathan Ross, whose part in the “Sachsgate” scandal on Radio 2 caused a furore and hastened his departure from the BBC, has said he has been asked to do more work for the station.

Ross left the corporation in 2010, after more than a decade, in the months following the upset caused when he and Russell Brand left lewd answerphone messages for veteran actor Andrew Sachs, which were then approved for broadcast.

He briefly stood in for Steve Wright for four days this summer - described at the time as a “one-off” - which prompted complaints from some listeners.

But during the recording of his ITV chat show to be broadcast this evening, Ross claimed he had been invited to do further work for the radio station.

In an exchange with guitarist Noel Gallagher, a guest on the show, he said to the musician: “You said ‘I’ll get back together with Oasis on the day you go work for the BBC again - Now about three months ago, I did some work for Radio 2 again. They’ve asked me to do some more, so are you a man of your word?”

The Sachs incident led to the resignation of senior BBC figures including the controller of Radio 2, and led to a tightening up of “compliance” procedures to ensure shows were suitable for broadcast. Brand also resigned and Ross was suspended from his TV and radio work for a period of three months.

Although Ross returned to Radio 2 when his ban was up, he announced he was leaving the BBC 12 months later in the fall-out from the incident.

He has appeared on a number of BBC programmes since, including recent slots on Don’t Make Me Laugh and Just A Minute on Radio 4, but his stand-in role for Wright in late August was his first presenting role on Radio 2 since his departure. Ross recently renewed his deal with ITV.

A Radio 2 spokeswoman said: “We don’t have anything to announce on any new projects for Jonathan, but we talk to a range of talent all the time.”