Endemol today announced it has entered an exclusive development deal with UK production company Hotsauce TV, owned by one of the UK’s most well known entertainers and talk show hosts, Jonathan Ross. The deal will see Hotsauce TV working exclusively with Endemol in jointly creating and producing entertainment ideas for the UK and international markets. Endemol will also globally distribute programmes and formats that are developed as part of the deal. Ross is also coming back to the BBC. A keen amateur astronomer, he’s taking part in the astronomy show Stargazing Live for BBC2 airing in January, BBC TV boss Jana Bennett tells me. Ross was the BBC’s star chat show host until he resigned in January but “the door’s never been shut for Jonathan,” Bennett says. Ross will continue to separately work on his ITV chat show and a number of other presenting projects.
The talent agents point out the BBC needs their clients’ permission to quote how much their clients earn. Which the stars are hardly likely to give. “What the BBC is doing is just a sop to the government,” says one agent. Sir Michael Lyons, chairman of the BBC’s oversight body BBC Trust, has called on the Beeb to publish how much its stars earn. It all stems from the furor after the BBC disclosed that TV host Jonathan Ross was paid £6 million ($9 million) a year.