Poll reveals Harry Hill is popular choice to replace Jonathan Ross

HARRY Hill is the celebrity the public would like to see eventually taking over Jonathan Ross's Friday night show, according to a survey.

In a poll of more than 4,000 Yahoo! TV users, the ITV funnyman beat Chris Evans, Michael McIntyre and Graham Norton, among others, to be the "people's choice" for the prized TV hot seat.

Ross, the BBC's highest-paid television star, announced on Thursday he was quitting the BBC after 13 years at the Corporation. Ross's reported 18 million three-year contract is due to expire in the summer.

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Hill, the award-winning host of TV Burp, received 24 per cent of the votes, with McIntyre coming in second place with 17 per cent. Paul Johnson, TV editor at Yahoo! said: "Both Michael and Harry have had incredible years."

Ross's Sachsgate cohort Russell Brand came third with 12 per cent of votes. Norton, a well-known BBC personality seen by many as a favourite to land the job, came fifth with 9 per cent.

However, stars being tipped to take over Ross's shows included Norton, Mark Kermode, Liza Tarbuck and Mark Lamarr. Comedian and BBC Radio 2 presenter Lamarr was placed by Sky Bet as 5/1 favourite to take the helm.

Meanwhile, Tarbuck, who has filled in on Ross's show during absences, was 6/1, while Paul O'Grady was an 8/1 shot and BBC 6Music rising stars Lauren Laverne and George Lamb were at 16/1 and 12/1 respectively.

Irish comic and chat show host Norton, an increasingly prominent face on the BBC, was at 1/3 to take over the Friday night TV chat show, while Culture Show presenter Kermode was 1/3 to fill his shoes on Film 2010. Ross's radio show was broadcast yesterday for the first time since he made the shock announcement. He stayed off the subject of his departure during the show.