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Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 April 2006, 16:58 GMT 17:58 UK
Channel 4 wooing Norton and Ross
Graham Norton
Norton hosted his chat show V Graham Norton on Channel 4
Channel 4 is in talks to poach TV hosts Jonathan Ross and Graham Norton from the BBC.

Ross, who presents his own Friday night chat-show and Film 2006, will see his BBC contract expire next year.

Norton, who joined the BBC in April 2004 after signing an exclusive two-and-a-half year deal, is also back on Channel 4's radar.

Channel 4 director of TV Kevin Lygo spoke of the plans at the release of the network's annual report on Tuesday.

Prime time

He told trade magazine Broadcast that they were in discussions with both men, including the possibility of transferring Ross's Friday night BBC One chat show directly to Channel 4, or coming up with a new format.

"That's what the discussion is about. Is there any point changing it?" he said.

Norton left Channel 4 in 2004 when he signed an exclusive deal with the BBC.

He has gone on to host Saturday prime-time show Strictly Dance Fever and "comedy discussion" show A Bigger Picture.

But Channel 4 nurtured Norton's talent, giving him his own irreverent chat show in 1997, V Graham Norton.

Lygo said: "We are talking to Graham Norton about what he might do.

"Would I be averse to having Graham back on the channel? No. Would I want him to do the same programmes as before? No. But I don't think he'd want to do that either."

Channel 4's annual report published on Tuesday shows the broadcaster made a profit of 48.5m in 2005, up almost 9% on the previous year.

The broadcaster is pledging an extra 50m towards its TV and online operations in 2006.

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