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Norton ready for backlash from Wossy's radio fans

Graham Norton has told how he almost turned down the chance to take over Jonathan Ross's BBC Radio 2 show -- and expects a backlash from Ross's fans.

Norton, right, also quashed speculation he could be set to take over Ross's Friday night TV slot, saying "there's been nothing said about Friday nights".

The 47-year-old Irishman has been confirmed to take the helm on Ross's long-running Radio 2 Saturday morning show later this year.

Ross, who caused a storm with the notorious Sachsgate prank phone calls scandal, is due to quit the BBC this summer when his contract runs out.

Norton told the Radio Times: "Soon after Jonathan announced he was going, my agent had a conversation with Radio 2 but, to be honest, my immediate response was to say no. She said I should at least meet them, but I couldn't see the point because it was going to be a complete waste of time.

"But I went and (BBC Radio 2 controller) Bob Shennan did an incredibly good pitch and convinced me that, if I didn't take it now, I couldn't assume that it would come along again later."

He added: "I'm excited about doing it, but I know Jonathan has a lot of fans and so there is bound to be a backlash."

Asked if he watches his tongue more carefully nowadays, Norton said he had been "toning it down" for a number of years.