So BBC ? that?s Graham

So BBC ? that?s Graham

Channel 4 confirmed the departure of Graham Norton this week, a move that will leave the channel with a gaping hole in its late-night schedule.

Norton is defecting to the BBC, where he will work on format ideas for a Saturdaynight show on BBC 1.

The comedian has hosted his chat show V Graham Norton five nights a week on Channel 4 for the past 18 months. The new show will air only once a week, on Fridays, from New York.

After Norton's departure from C4 in May, his programme will be replaced by a combination of drama and narrative comedy.

Drama series including No Angelsand Shameless will show in the 10pm weeknight slot, as well as acquisitions such as the US series Nip/Tuck, a drama about plastic surgery patients and doctors. The programme will initially be shown by Sky One, but will appear on C4 next year.

Norton's departure, although no surprise to C4, is not good news.

The broadcaster is also currently experiencing serious problems with its early morning line-up. Ri:se - the current filler for that slot and a thorn in the broadcaster's side, as it has failed to ma ke the ratings since its launch - will wind up at the end of the year.

It will be temporarily replaced by the likes of The Salon and Friends, but C4 has yet to make a decision about a permanent fixture for that part of its schedule.

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