Page last updated at 13:29 GMT, Thursday, 7 January 2010

What's next for Jonathan Ross?

Jonathan Ross and Sir Michael Caine
Jonathan Ross may pursue his passion for film

Broadcaster Jonathan Ross has decided to leave the BBC after 13 years of presenting and making programmes at the corporation.

While the 49-year-old has yet to announce what his future plans are, the bookmakers are speculating he will move to another channel or even embark on a comedy tour with Russell Brand.

Media commentators gave the BBC News website their more considered opinions on what might come next for Ross, the highest paid star on the BBC.


What most people don't seem to realise is that the documentaries he did on Japanese films, anime and cultish subjects were absolutely fantastic and I imagine he might want to go and do more of that.

I'd be surprised if he did a big show on ITV. I've always thought he was the Bill Clinton of television with a massive popular streak that he can play, but he's also an incredible politician and quietly clever behind the scenes and could hold his own as a serious TV presenter.

He could go either way - go to ITV and do some stupid gameshow or could do something more culty.

As for going to America, he's got dogs and would have to put them into quarantine and he's such a family man.

I hope wherever he goes he has a good time.


He's certainly not going to retire from public life. We know him as a slick-witted entertainer who gets good audiences.

His market value has now plummeted, but he won't be scraping by or turning up on a tiny digital channel.

Channel 4, Five and Sky One might try to do something with him, but I don't think he'll be signed up on an exclusive deal. He'll go freelance and pick and choose the projects he wants to do.

His wife is a successful scriptwriter and movie producer so his bridge to Hollywood is already there. He has a comic book he's been working on for a long time and the plan is to turn it into a film. He'll now have time to get the wheels in motion.

You might not see him for a while, but I doubt you won't see him at all as he's in showbusiness and needs to be in the limelight.


I imagine Ross will go freelance, which will allow him to do what he wants to do with projects that interest him like comic books, films and interviewing celebrities for numerous broadcasters. I'm sure there will be loads of people clamouring to work with him.

I can't see him getting tied to one channel like ITV and doing one show - he's done 10 years of his chat show.

He's got his absolute passions like cult movies and I imagine he'd like to make documentaries about them. He doesn't need to earn a lot of money with a big contract. I'd be stunned if he did that.

I'd be surprised if he went to America as he is settled in London with his family, but if he was offered some work there maybe he would take it. I could see him hosting a late night talk show.

I don't think he's pursuing a huge career there, though, and will enjoy the freedom.


Ross's decision is a little moment of television history. It's the moment which proves even the biggest celebrities can't escape the fallout of the digital explosion.

As audiences fragment across new channels and online, so broadcasters simply can't afford exclusive deals with the hottest talent any more.

He is now doing what thousands of other forty-something men are already doing in the recession - he's leaving the embrace of one company where he's worked for years, and heading off to build a "portfolio career" instead - that's management speak for going freelance. He won't starve, but he will have to work more.

Interviews conducted by BBC News entertainment reporter Michael Osborn.

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