Graham Norton joined by comic Maria McErlane on his new Virgin Radio weekend show after leaving Radio 2

GRAHAM Norton will be joined by comic Maria McErlane on his new Virgin Radio weekend show after leaving Radio 2.

The hit presenter, 57, has followed in the footsteps of broadcaster Chris Evans and left BBC Radio 2 for Virgin Radio.

Graham announced his departure last month and has now revealed his beloved partner-in-crime Maria, 62, will support him once more when his new Virgin Radio show kicks off on Saturday, 9th January.

Maria has been a popular broadcaster for two decades and featured heavily on Graham's BBC Radio 2 show.

She co-presented the ‘Grill Graham’ feature and together the pair welcomed high-profile star guests including Kylie Minogue, JK Rowling, David Tennant and Tina Turner after she joined the show in 2011.

Maria said she is "delighted" to follow Graham to Virgin and is "looking forward to tackling all the problems that Virgin Radio listeners decide to throw at us!"

Graham added: "Maria is amazing and the show just wouldn’t be complete without her. We’ll be there with all the best celebrity chat and all our usual antics broadcasting from our brilliant  new home at Virgin Radio."

Maria started acting in 1984 and has appeared in several TV shows including The Fast Show with Jo Brand and Jack Dee.

In 1993, Maria became the voice behind Channel 4's hit comedy show EuroTrash.

In 2006, she ventured into films and starred as Shirley in the Oscar nominated film Children of Men alongside Clive Owen, Julianne Moore and Sir Michael Caine.

She now jokingly refers to herself as Graham's wife, even going so far as to write it in her BBC profile.

Graham revealed last month that he had decided to follow in the footsteps of Chris Evans and swap the Corporation for Virgin.

He presented his final Radio 2 show on December 19.

But the TV chat show and Eurovision host reassured fans his other work with the BBC will continue as normal.

BBC content boss Charlotte Moore said Norton will be “hugely missed” and added: “I’m thrilled he’s committed to continuing to be a regular fixture on the BBC as  host of his hugely popular and award-winning The Graham Norton Show, the BBC’s coverage of Eurovision and Drag Race UK.”

Norton was an instant hit in 2010 when he replaced  Jonathan Ross.

Virgin relaunched in 2016 with a live broadcast from a Virgin Train by Edith Bowman and Matt Richardson.

And two years later it was revealed that Radio 2 Breakfast Show host Evans would be making the switch to Virgin, the station on which he starred in the 90s.

He began the show with a live studio performance of Lucky Man by Richard Ashcroft.

Virgin Radio is available nationally on DAB digital radio, online and on mobile via the Virgin Radio app.

You can download the app on iTunes and from the Google Play store.

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