Jonathan Ross has made a full apology for his role in the Andrew Sachs controversy during filming of his new series of Friday Night shows.

The veteran presenter returns to screens this weekend after completing a three-month suspension for making lewd remarks about Sachs and his granddaughter Georgina Baillie on Russell Brand's Radio Two show last year.

And in his opening monologue at the top of the show, Ross issued a full and frank apology for his actions that led to him being banned from the corporation without pay last October.

"There can't be many viewers watching who aren't aware that this show hasn't been on recently and the reason for its absence," he said.

"Well, I am going to take this opportunity to apologise for what I said on the radio because being on the BBC and being allowed this level of freedom to communicate openly with people - it's a great privilege and it's something I've always enjoyed and I value enormously.

"In future I do intend to be more aware of the responsibility that comes with such a gift.

"But, as the kids say, it was my bad - so I do apologise for any hurt or distress it's caused."

Ross' apology comes just days after his reinstatement by the BBC, which will be complete once his Friday Night With Jonathan Ross programme airs later this week.

The latest edition features guest appearances from film star Tom Cruise, presenter and QI host Stephen Fry and comedian Lee Evans.

22/01/2009 18:37:56