Graham Norton announces he is quitting Virgin Radio weekend shows

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

The Irish chat show host, 60, joined the station in 2021 following a decade on BBC Radio 2.

Norton made the surprise announcement on his Saturday morning show, saying he wanted to have his “weekends back” after 13 years of presenting.

He told his listeners: “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.”

Norton 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 continued: “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.”

He confirmed fellow Irish presenter Angela Scanlon, who competed on Strictly Come Dancing last year, will fill in his 9.30am to 12.30pm slot for the next few weeks before “various announcements” on who will take over the slot permanently.

Scanlon was among those to respond to the news, commenting “miss you already” on Norton’s joint Instagram post with Virgin Radio.

During his show on Saturday, he also read out messages from listeners who said they would miss him and thanked him for entertaining them over the years.

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.”

Graham Norton on Virgin Radio
Graham Norton (Virgin Radio/News UK/PA)

He added that his final show will feature chats with actor Callum Scott Howells, who stars in 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.

He moved to Virgin Radio in 2021, with his BBC slot going to Claudia Winkleman. The Strictly Come Dancing and Traitors host is due to leave that show in March after saying she wanted to spend more time with her growing children.

The segments on his Virgin Radio slots include Graham’s Guide, which sees Norton and his long-standing presenting partner Maria McErlane try to help listeners find a solution to their problems.

Norton also hosts an eponymous Friday night chat show on BBC One and is central to the broadcaster’s Eurovision coverage.