12 JANUARY 2009 Suspended TV presenter Jonathan Ross returns to our TVs with his Friday night chat show on January 23. And while comedians Stephen Fry and Lee Evans have been confirmed to kick of the new series, producers are apparently struggling to book bigger names to appear as guests.
Tom Cruise has been lined up for the first programme, but is apparently considering pulling out after learning why Jonathan had been taken off the air. "He is having second thoughts," a source close to the Valkyrie actor told the Daily Mail. "He does not want to be involved in any controversy."
Big names who have reportedly turned down an invitation to appear on Friday Night With Jonathan Ross include Kate Winslet and Daniel Craig - though a source close to the 007 star has denied he had been asked to appear on the new series, and said he would gladly come on in future.
BBC bosses suspended Jonathan from his £6 million-a-year job for three months after he and Russell Brand left inappropriate messages on actor Andrew Sachs' answer phone. The corporation this week insisted it was having no problems attracting talent for the show. "It's business as usual," said a spokesperson.