Out TV host Graham Norton has been poached from Channel 4 by the BBC in an exclusive deal to develop ideas for Saturday night television. The late-night talk show host renowned for his bawdy humor has signed a 2-1/2 year contract with the corporation starting in April. Norton's deal will see him primarily work on ideas for BBC 1's Saturday night lineup, an area many television channels in the United Kingdom are struggling to fill. "I'm convinced he will delight viewers of all ages at the heart of the Saturday night schedule," BBC 1 controller Lorraine Heggessey said in a statement on Monday.
Norton's five-nights-a-week Channel 4 chat show V Graham Norton, currently running on BBC America, is being replaced by a new U.S.-based weekly show in January, which will run through April. Norton has also signed a deal with Comedy Central for a talk show, an arrangement the BBC said it would honor. Norton has won four British Academy of Film and Television Awards, six British Comedy Awards, and an International Emmy.