Graham Norton quits Virgin Radio weekend show – and tells listeners why live on air

Entertainment

Graham Norton is stepping down from hosting his weekend shows on Virgin Radio.

The 60-year-old Irish presenter joined the station in 2021 after leaving his BBC Radio 2 Saturday morning show.

Norton made the shock announcement on Saturday morning, telling his listeners he wanted to have his “weekends back” after 13 years of radio presenting.

“Now the show isn’t quite the normal show today because I have a bit of an announcement to make – I’m leaving weekends here at Virgin Radio,” he said.

The chat show host said he will not be leaving Virgin entirely, adding: “I’ll still be kind of popping up on the station from time to time but my regular Saturday and Sundays, I’m stepping away.”

He added: “I’ve worked weekends between here and the old place for 13 years and my life has changed a bit so I just want my weekends back.

“So really the next two shows, today and tomorrow, are me just saying thank you to you all for listening.”

The slot will be temporarily filled by fellow Irish presenter Angela Scanlon, before a permanent replacement is announced in due course.

Scanlon, who competed on Strictly Come Dancing last year, responded to Norton’s joint Instagram post with Virgin Radio confirming the news, writing the message “miss you already”.

During his Saturday show Norton read out messages from listeners, thanking him for entertaining them over the years.

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After playing You’re The Voice by John Farnham, he closed the show by saying: “Well that’s got me running, running out the door.

“I’ll still be on Virgin Radio every now and again but the weekends end tomorrow.”

He said his final show will feature chats with actor Callum Scott Howells, who stars in the new BBC drama The Way, and actress Laura Donnelly, who will feature in the West End play The Hills Of California.

Norton joined Radio 2 in 2010 on the 10am to 1pm Saturday show, taking over from Jonathan Ross, and spent 10 years in the role.

He moved to Virgin Radio in 2021, with his BBC slot going to Claudia Winkleman.

(L-R) Hannah Waddingham and Norton at the Eurovision 2023 grand final. Pic: AP
Image:
(L-R) Hannah Waddingham and Norton at the Eurovision 2023 grand final. Pic: AP

After three years in the role, Winkleman announced that she would be leaving the show in March, to spend more time with her growing children. Comedian Romesh Ranganathan will step into her role.

Norton still presents The Graham Norton show on BBC One, airing on Friday nights.

He also leads the broadcaster’s Eurovision coverage – a role he took over from Irish chat show host Terry Wogan in 2009.

Norton’s final weekend slot will be tomorrow from 9.30am to 12.30pm.

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