Talk show host in prank-call scandal to quit BBC

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LONDON (AP) — One of the BBC’s highest-paid television personalities says he is leaving the broadcaster, 15 months after he was caught up in a scandal over lewd prank phone calls.

Talk show host Jonathan Ross said Thursday he has decided not to renegotiate his contract when it ends in July.

Ross is one of the BBC’s best-known faces, with a salary widely reported at 6 million pounds ($9.5 million) a year. The BBC won’t confirm that figure.

In October 2008 Ross and comedian Russell Brand were suspended by the corporation after leaving ribald phone messages on the answering machine of actor Andrew Sachs. The calls drew thousands of complaints.

Ross hosts a late-night talk show, a movie program and a weekend radio show. He says his decision is not financially motivated.