Jonathan Stephen Ross (born 17 November 1960) is an English broadcaster, film critic, comedian, actor, writer, and producer. He presented the chat show ' during the 2000s, hosted his own radio show on from 1999 to 2010, and served as film critic and presenter of the ' programme. After leaving the BBC in 2011, Ross began hosting his comedy chat show ' on ''.'' Other regular roles have included being a panellist on the comedy sports quiz ' (1999–2005), being a presenter of the (1991–2007, 2009–2014), and being a judge on the musical competition show (2020–present) and its spin-off series (2021–present). Ross began his television career as a programme researcher, before débuting as a television presenter for ''The Last Resort with Jonathan Ross'' on in 1987. Over the next decade, he had several radio and television roles, many through his own production company, Channel X. In 1995, he sold his stake in Channel X, and embarked on a career with the . In 1999, Ross took over presenting the ''Film'' programme from , and also began presenting his own radio show, while two years later he began hosting ''Friday Night with Jonathan Ross''. For the chat show, Ross won three awards for Best Entertainment Performance, in 2004, 2006 and 2007. By 2006, he was believed to be the BBC's highest-paid star. In 2005, Ross was made an (OBE) for services to broadcasting. Ross has been involved in controversies throughout his broadcasting career. As a result, in 2008, he wrote a semi-autobiographical work titled ''Why Do I Say These Things?'', detailing some of his life experiences. He has also written his own comic books, ' and ''America's Got Powers''.

Early life and education

Jonathan Stephen Ross was born on 17 November 1960 in , North London and raised in , East London. The son of John and actress , he has four brothers and one sister. He is the younger brother of journalist, television editor, and media personality . Their mother put all of her children forward for roles in television advertisements. Ross first appeared in a television advertisement for the in 1970, when he was 10 years old. He also appeared in an ad for the . Ross was educated at the s and . He then studied at the and took a degree in Modern European History at the (SSEES) in London, which today forms part of . Ross began his adult career as a researcher on the show '. After leaving this, he worked on various other shows before beginning another research job on ''Soul Train'', which became ''Solid Soul''. It is believed his first appearance on television was as an extra in the 1981 ' episode ''The Last Roll Call''.


1987–95: Channel X

Whilst on ''Solid Soul'', he met fellow researcher Alan Marke, and the two devised what would prove to be a breakthrough hit for Ross in 1987, ''The Last Resort with Jonathan Ross''. The two men based their concept on the successful American show ', and formed a new production company called Channel X, to produce a pilot. Ross had not planned to be the show's host, but he presented the show from its debut in January 1987. While the series was initially a co-production with , ownership transferred to Marke and Ross, meaning that the latter retained a great deal of control as well as being presenter.'Baggy fashion is blamed for trouble at t'mill', Roland Rudd, ''The Times'', 2 June 1988. The show was successful for both Ross and for Channel 4, making him one of the major personalities on the channel. A year later, his documentary series ''The Incredibly Strange Film Show'' introduced many to the works of makers like and . In 1990 and 1991, his television documentary series ' profiled and interviewed directors including , , and in 2014, the Spanish filmmaker . In 1989, he co-presented the biennial BBC charity telethon ', the same year he launched ''One Hour with Jonathan Ross'' a short lived chat show on Channel 4. Its game show segment, "", introduced comedians such as , , and to television. In December 1989, Ross appeared on '' Goodbye to the 80s'' and presented all four members of with the "Top Band of the Eighties" prize in a broadcast for which would turn out to be 's penultimate public appearance before his death from AIDS in 1991. Ross presented the annual ' each year from 1991 to 2014 with the exception of 2008 following his suspension from the BBC. In 1992 he presented an interview with about her ' album and ' promotion. Ross has appeared in numerous television entertainment programmes on several channels throughout the 1990s and 2000s. He was a regular panellist on the sports quiz ', and hosted the ''It's Only TV...But I Like It''. Other projects include the BBC joke-quiz ''Gagtag'', the Channel 4 variety show ', new-acts showcase ', and the ITV programme ''Fantastic Facts''. In 1995, he left Channel X, despite its profitable nature. He was quoted in a 1998 article as stating:


In 1995, he presented ''Mondo Rosso'', a programme about old s. He took over presenting of , the BBC's long-running cinema review series, in 1999 after left the show. Ross himself has made a number of cameo appearances in films, playing himself in the ' film ' (1997) and voicing the character of Doris in the UK version of ' (2004). In 2001 he also played himself in ', presenting ', a fictional television quiz on which the main character, , was a contestant. In 2001 he voiced characters in two episodes of the animated comedy series '. He also appeared on the first pilot show for ', acting as a team captain. He was the subject of ' in March 2001 when he was surprised by at the BBC Television Centre.

1987, 1999–2010, 2014–2018: BBC Radio

Ross' first radio work was on in 1987, when he sat in for for two weeks. Ross began presenting a Saturday morning show on in July 1999. He has also presented radio shows for (having previously worked on 's earlier venture, ''Radio Radio''), as well as the now-defunct network service ', where his producer was . Ross' show on Radio 2 last aired on 17 July 2010 when his contract at the BBC ended. In August 2014, he returned to Radio 2 as a stand-in presenter on Steve Wright's afternoon show for four days. In March 2015 Jonathan sat in for Steve Wright again from 16–27 March 2015. In February 2016 Ross returned to Radio 2 on a regular basis to present the weekly arts show. From January 11, 2018, took over the arts show.

2001–10: ''Friday Night with Jonathan Ross'' and other projects

On 2 November 2001, Ross began presenting his comedy chat show '. In 2004, Ross presented a documentary on one of his favourite subjects, , for the BBC. In 2005, Ross anchored the BBC television coverage of the concerts. Later that year he was made an Officer of the in the for services to broadcasting. He celebrated the news by playing "" by (which was banned by the BBC when released in 1977) on his Saturday morning show. On 21 June 2006, Ross was made a Fellow of , where he studied. In early 2006, Ross announced that after eight years he was quitting his regular panellist seat on the sport/comedy quiz show ' explaining: "I need time now to focus on my other commitments and so regrettably I won't be back for the 20th series." After Ross's departure, only two more episodes of the show were made before it was cancelled. In January 2006 he presented ''Jonathan Ross' Asian Invasion'', broadcast on . The three-part documentary followed Ross as he explored the film industry in Japan, Hong Kong and South Korea, interviewing directors and showcasing clips. His interest in and his self-confessed love for Japanese and led him to making three series of show ', as well as producing another television series for the same channel called ', starring and . He produced the latter programme through his own television production company Hot Sauce. In June 2006, a bidding war was sparked between BBC and other broadcasters for Ross's services. Although other broadcasters were unsuccessful in poaching Ross, it is believed that their bids were higher than the BBC during negotiations. ITV, who bid for Ross, poached chat host around the same time. Ross became the highest paid television personality in Britain, when a new BBC contract secured his services until 2010, for a reported £18 million (£6 million per year). That same month, he was named by ' as the . On 25 June 2006, he performed at the for 's 80th birthday. In August 2006, Ross was enlisted to ask the first question since the transition from beta for the in UK and Ireland. On 16 March 2007, Ross hosted 2007 alongside and . On 7 July 2007, Ross co-presented (with ) BBC television coverage of the awareness concerts, which became the subject of controversy due to the foul language used by performers including , and , resulting in one of 's toughest sanctions to date on the BBC. Ross had been required to apologise on the day for the language used by Collins and Borrell. Starting on 10 September 2007, he presented the BBC Four series ', about the . This forms the core of a Comics Britannia season, which includes another documentary, ', by Ross. Ross is also greatly interested in Japan, presenting a BBC-TV series on many different aspects of Japanese culture, ', for three series between 2002–07. In May 2008, Ross won the Sony Gold Award "Music Radio Personality of the Year". On 3 August 2008, he hosted ''Jonathan Ross Salutes '', a BBC One tribute to the popular sitcom set during . In 2010, Ross took part in ', a held in aid of , filmed live at the in London on 30 March. On 7 April 2010, Ross's first comic book was published. ' was written by Jonathan himself and drawn by artist . In 2011, Ross wrote an introduction for ''The Steve Ditko Omnibus Vol. 1'', a collection of work by the American comics artist featured in Ross's 2007 documentary.

2010: Leaving the BBC

On 7 January 2010, Ross confirmed that he would leave the BBC in July 2010. This would see him leave all his regular BBC roles, namely his Friday night chat show, Radio 2 show and a film review programme, although he would be continuing with some specials, such as Comic Relief and the BAFTA Awards. Ross said that while he "had a wonderful time working for the BBC" he had "decided not to re-negotiate when my current contract comes to an end," a choice which was "not financially motivated". The announcement came a day after it became public knowledge that had signed a two-year deal with the BBC. Torin Douglas, the Corporation's media correspondent speculated Norton would be a ready-made replacement for Ross's chat show role, while of was a potential successor in the film review role, but that "replacing Ross on radio will be harder." Ross last appeared on the film programme in Episode 10 of ''Film 2010 with Jonathan Ross'' aired on 17 March 2010. After Kermode publicly ruled himself out on 26 March, was announced 30 March 2010 as his replacement as host of the ' programme. Ross's final ''Friday Night'' chat show episode aired on 16 July 2010, with , , , and as guests. Ross ended the show with an affectionate tribute to his guests and to the audience, while mentioning that he had promised that he would remain composed and "wouldn't cry." His final Radio 2 show was broadcast the following day. initially took over Ross' Radio 2 slot, after which took over permanently from 2 October that year.

2010–present: ITV and Channel 4

On 19 December 2010, Ross presented a three-hour list show, ', with the broadcaster describing Ross as a "huge with a private collection that would rival any museum's." In 2012, Ross's voice appeared as a Headteacher in "Back to School" at the In October 2013, Ross was hired by Xbox (Microsoft) to help promote the brand. In 2011, he presented ' on ITV, a collaboration with magicians , which he would resume hosting when the show moved to in 2014. Ross's new chat show ' began on 3 September 2011 on , drawing an audience of 4.3m viewers, compared to the 4.6m for his finale on the BBC show. The first series ran for thirteen weeks. Speaking about the new show, Ross said: "I am thrilled and excited that after a short break I will be rolling up my sleeves and creating a brand new show for ITV1." On 20 October 2014, it was announced by ITV that Ross had signed a new contract with ITV. The new contract will see him present two more series of his chatshow along with a Christmas Special on ITV in 2015. ITV's Director of Entertainment and Comedy Elaine Bedell added: "Jonathan is the king of talk shows and a valued member of the ITV family. He continues to attract the biggest names in showbiz onto his sofa and I am delighted that he will remain on the channel until at least the end of 2015. "Ross said: "I've been lucky enough to interview some of the biggest stars around on The Jonathan Ross Show and I'm delighted that I'll continue to do so for ITV until at least the end of 2015 with two series booked for the channel for next year." In 2015, Ross's 2004 interview with was featured in 's highly praised about the late singer, entitled as '. In 2017, Ross was a team captain along with on the ITV panel show, '. In December 2017, Ross presented ', a one-off special for ITV. On 9 September 2019, Ross was announced as a judge for ', the UK version of the international music game show ', which aired on ITV from January 2020. In August 2020, Ross appeared on ' where Ramsay shows Ross how to kill lobster. In September 2020, Ross started hosting his own 30 minute weekly show called Jonathan Ross' Comedy Club. On 4 March 2021, it was announced by that Ross would be on the 'star panel' of a brand new spin off show of , '','' which aired in spring 2021. Ross made his debut appearance on ' on 2 July 2021, and was joined by his son Harvey, daughter Honey and her boyfriend.

Personal life

Ross married author/journalist/broadcaster in 1988 when Goldman was 18. They have since had three children: Betty Kitten, Harvey Kirby (named after , a comic book creator whom Ross especially admires), and Honey Kinny. In 2005, Ross was made an in the Queen's Birthday Honours for services to broadcasting. He celebrated the news by playing by the on his Radio 2 show. Ross resides in , . He owns a second home in in and owns property in in the . Ross and others have used his for comic effect, and he is sometimes known as "Wossy", including on his Twitter feed (@wossy). Ross is a big and fan and maintains a particular interest in British , which captivated him when he was young. The first band he saw in concert was punk band at 's Hope and Anchor pub in . He paid tribute to lead singer following her death. He has described himself as "about as big a fan of as you will find on the planet". The band are one of his all-time favourite acts and were invited to perform on the final episode of '. Ross is a fan of , including '. He contributed his early memories of the series, which included the 1968 serial ', to a book which raised funds for . Ross is also a fan of comic books and co-owned a comic shop in London with . He released ', his first comic book, in 2010, with American artist . Ross has attended a fundraiser for the called ' in London in 2009 and 2010. Ross has described himself as a big fan of and the other speakers – who were mainly prominent – and said that he and his wife had come to have a sceptical view of the world. Ross has been supportive of 's efforts to defend an accusation of libel by the and Ross has posed for the ''Geek Calendar 2011'', a fund raiser for . Ross’ mother, , died on 14 January 2019, at the age of 79.


BBC contract

In April 2006, details of his fees and those of other BBC personalities were leaked to the tabloid press. It was claimed at the time, by a then-unidentified BBC , that Ross earned £530,000 per year for hosting his Radio 2 show (equivalent to £10,000 per show). While refusing to comment specifically on the leak in line with BBC policy on the matter, Ross did hint during his radio show that the figure was exaggerated; in addition to this, any pay highlighted as being "his" would actually be split between himself and his producer/co-presenter on the show, Andy Davies.

David Cameron interview

In June 2006, when leader appeared on ', Ross began a line of questioning relating to Conservative ex-Prime Minister , culminating in the question "Did you or did you not have a thinking of Margaret Thatcher?" Ross was defended by the publicly, but repeat showings of the interview have been banned.

"1,000 journalists" comment

On 5 December 2007, Ross joked at the ' that his salary meant that he was "apparently worth 1,000 BBC journalists". His quip came shortly after the BBC had announced plans for more than 2,000 job cuts, and was condemned as "obscene" by the general secretary of the . Ross has denied this and in a 2011 article is quoted as saying that he was commenting on a piece that was written in a newspaper about his salary being that of 1,000 journalists:
You know where that came from? The newspapers. After the fee was announced, they said, 'The BBC says he's worth 1,000 journalists', so on the Comedy Awards I made a joke that began, 'Apparently I'm worth 1,000 journalists according to the newspapers.' Every time it's quoted, is the word 'apparently' ever used? Which does change the meaning somewhat.

Gwyneth Paltrow interview

The ruled that Ross's interview with American actress , broadcast on 2 May 2008, breached editorial guidelines. They ruled that bad language in an episode of Ross's pre-recorded BBC1 chat show, ''Friday Night with Jonathan Ross'', in which the presenter told Paltrow he "would fuck her", was "gratuitous and unnecessarily offensive". The trust said it disagreed with the judgement made by BBC management that the episode should be broadcast uncensored, adding that the comment was made in an "overly sexual way" and that it had upheld a number of complaints made about the edition of ''Friday Night with Jonathan Ross''. The trust reminded BBC staff that "the casual gratuitous use of the most offensive language is not acceptable on the BBC in accordance with the BBC's existing guidelines and practices", adding that "this particularly applies in entertainment programmes".

''The Russell Brand Show'' and Andrew Sachs

Following a guest appearance by Ross on ' broadcast on 18 October 2008, Ross was suspended for 12 weeks without pay by the BBC on 29 October, after a series of lewd answerphone messages, including Ross saying, "He fucked your granddaughter", were left for then 78-year-old actor regarding Sachs' granddaughter , by and Ross, which were broadcast on the pre-recorded show. After little initial interest, a media story about the calls by the ''Daily Mail'' generated a high number of complaints. Brand resigned from the BBC, while Ross was suspended without pay. BBC director general stated that Ross should take the disciplinary action as a "final warning". The BBC was later fined £150,000 by Britain's broadcast regulator for airing the calls. On 21 November 2008, the said that the phone calls were a "deplorable intrusion with no editorial justification". The trust gave its backing to Ross's 12-week suspension but recommended that no further action be taken against him. He returned to work in January 2009 with a new series of ''Friday Night''. From 23 May 2009, Ross' BBC Radio 2 show was recorded 24 hours before broadcast.

Homophobia accusation

On 13 May 2009, Ross was accused of after a comment he made on his radio show, in which he said,
If your son asks for a ' MP3 player, then you might want to already think about putting him down for adoption in later life, when they settle down with their partner."Ofcom Broadcast Bulletin Issue 137"
, , 6 July 2009. Retrieved 6 July 2009
An incorrect version of this quote was also circulated, in which Ross was accused of saying:
If your son asks for a ''Hannah Montana'' MP3 player, you might want to already think about putting him down for adoption before he brings his ... erm ... partner home.
received 61 complaints following the comment. On 7 July 2009, Ofcom ruled that Ross did not breach the broadcasting code. They wrote in their opinion that "the comment was clearly presented as a joke intended to make light of the reactions that some parents may have if their child chooses a toy that is very widely recognised to be designed and marketed for the opposite sex" and that the nature of the joke and tone and manner in which it was presented "made clear that it was not intended to be hostile or pejorative towards the in general." criticised the ruling; saying "the fact that a comment is light-hearted does not absolve it from perpetuating the stereotypes that lead to homophobic bullying."Geen, Jessica

', 6 July 2009. Retrieved 6 July 2009



As himself

As actor


Television advertisements

Video games


Honours and awards

*2005, Ross was made an by in the for services to broadcasting. *2006, made a of , into which his alma mater, SSEES, had been absorbed. *2012, Special Recognition award at the .


Further reading

*''Jonathan Ross: The Biography'', Neil Simpson, John Blake Publishing Ltd (31 July 2007), *''Why Do I Say These Things?'', Jonathan Ross, Bantam Press (16 October 2008),

External links

''The Jonathan Ross Show''
on *

for the British Film Institute {{DEFAULTSORT:Ross, Jonathan Science fiction fans