Graham Norton quits radio show after 13 years: ‘I want my weekends back’

Graham Norton has quit Virgin Radio after 13 years, the presenter has announced.

Irish host Norton revealed the news on his show, following which he issued a goodbye to his long-time listeners.

He confirmed fellow Irish presenter Angela Scanlon, who competed on Strictly Come Dancing last year, will step in as interim host for the next few weeks before “various announcements” on who will take over the slot permanently.

The news comes following numerous radio shake-ups in recent months, involving Claudia Winkleman as well as Jordan North and Roman Kemp.

Norton told his listeners his decision stemmed from wanting to have his “weekends back” after more than a decade of presenting on the station, which he joined after leaving BBC Radio 2.

“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 at the start of the broadcast.

Norton reassured listeners he will not be leaving the station altogether, telling them: “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.”

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

Graham Norton has quit his Virgin Radio show after 13 years (bbc)
Graham Norton has quit his Virgin Radio show after 13 years (bbc)

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

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

Virgin Radio Content Director Mike Cass said of Norton’s decision to leave his show: “Graham Norton has delighted Virgin Radio’s weekend listeners for the last three years.

“He steps back from the weekend show with our thanks and with our delight that he remains part of the wider Virgin Radio family. His are big boots to fill, and we’ll be announcing the owner of those feet in the weeks to come.”

Additional reporting by Agencies