Gay presenter Graham Norton has been tipped to take over Jonathan Ross’ BBC 1 slot when Ross leaves the corporation in July.

Bookmaker William Hill has placed him as the favourite to take over the Friday night slot at odds of 1/6.

Next is comedian Michael McIntyre at 9/1, followed by Ian Wright at 12/1.

Others in the running are gay presenter Paul O’Grady, Harry Hill and Chris Evans.

Ross announced yesterday he was leaving the BBC after 13 years. He was expected to take a substantial paycut if his three-year contract was renewed, but denied he left over a money dispute.

He was one of the highest-paid stars on an estimate £6 million a year, although he got into hot water this year over a gay adoption joke and obscene prank calls to actor Andrew Sachs.

This week, it was also revealed that Norton has signed a two-year, £4 million deal to stay at the BBC.

He reportedly accepted a pay cut of £500,000, having previously been on £2.5 million a year.