Graham Norton is set to leave his BBC Radio 2 after a ten year stint

Graham Norton has confirmed he will leave his Saturday morning show on BBC Radio 2 after 10-years on the airwaves. 

The much-loved presenter, 57, has decided to leave the network before Christmas, a decade after presenting his first Saturday morning show for the station.

Graham will present his last programme on Saturday December 19th 2020. 

The star had hinted last year that he was keen to strip back his workload, although had suggested it could have been a reduction of his television commitments.

Announcing the news of his departure on Wednesday, Graham said he would still be doing television.

He added: ‘Obviously I’m sad to be stepping away from my Radio 2 show. I’ll miss being a part of the Wogan House family, as well as the listeners and their lives. 

‘I’d like to thank my producer Malcolm Prince and all the teams I’ve worked with for a great decade of radio. 

‘Happily with the chat show, Eurovision and Drag Race the BBC continues to be my perfect TV home.’

Graham has repeatedly mentioned cutting back on his work and desire not to keep going until he was too old. 

He told SiriusXm in September, 2019: ‘We are on air right now 35 to 36 weeks a year. So if I cut that down, maybe lob ten weeks off it, then I think that would be ideal.

‘What I might try to do is just cut back on my workload.’

Farewell: Graham Norton has confirmed he will leave his Saturday morning show on BBC Radio 2 after 10-years on the airwaves

Farewell: Graham Norton has confirmed he will leave his Saturday morning show on BBC Radio 2 after 10-years on the airwaves

Farewell: Graham Norton has confirmed he will leave his Saturday morning show on BBC Radio 2 after 10-years on the airwaves

And in 2015 he said he would retire before hit the age of 60.

He told the Mirror: ‘I’m not jumping tomorrow but it is in my head. You want to get out when you can still enjoy your life.

“Neighbours of mine worked and worked and went on this trip of a lifetime round the world. They had to be airlifted three times because they were too old to do this trip. They got stuck on every hike they did.

‘So I don’t want to be them. You want to get out of work when you have still got time to enjoy your life.’ 

Bowing out: The much-loved presenter, 57, has decided to leave the network before Christmas, a decade after presenting his first Saturday morning show for the station

Bowing out: The much-loved presenter, 57, has decided to leave the network before Christmas, a decade after presenting his first Saturday morning show for the station

Bowing out: The much-loved presenter, 57, has decided to leave the network before Christmas, a decade after presenting his first Saturday morning show for the station

The day job: The presenter's decision to step down from his BBC radio job will not affect his hugely popular BBC1 staple, The Graham Norton Show

The day job: The presenter's decision to step down from his BBC radio job will not affect his hugely popular BBC1 staple, The Graham Norton Show

The day job: The presenter’s decision to step down from his BBC radio job will not affect his hugely popular BBC1 staple, The Graham Norton Show

Charlotte Moore, Chief Content Officer, paid tribute to his broadcasting skills after the announcement.

She said: ‘Graham Norton will be hugely missed on Saturday mornings on Radio 2. 

‘He is a first class broadcaster but I’m thrilled he’s committed to continuing to be a regular fixture on the BBC as the host of his hugely popular and award-winning The Graham Norton Show, the BBC’s coverage of Eurovision and Drag Race UK.’

Graham joined Radio 2 in October 2010 to host the Saturday morning slot, taking over from Jonathan Ross.  

His guests have included Kylie Minogue, JK Rowling, David Tennant and Tina Turner.   

There is no suggestion money is a factor in the decision as he is the third highest paid person employed by the BBC.

Figures disclosed by the broadcaster in September showed that he earned between £725,000 and £729,999 the past year, a rise of around £100,000 on 2018.  

It has not yet been confirmed who will be replacing Graham, with the BBC teasing that a new schedule will be announced in due course. 

Head of Radio 2 Helen Thomas praised Graham as she shared: ‘For the past decade, Graham has made Saturday mornings his own on Radio 2.

‘His sparkling interviews, as well as his brilliant shows from the Eurovision host city each May, have kept millions of listeners entertained each week.

‘On behalf of the Radio 2 listeners, and everyone in Wogan House, we’d like to thank him and wish him the very best of luck for the future.’

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