So the BBC is to be free of Jonathan Ross. The corporation's best-paid presenter, on a salary package of £18m over three years, announced this morning that he would be quitting the organisation after 13 years service.
In a statement, he said: "Although I have had a wonderful time working for the BBC, and am very proud of the shows I have made while there, over the last two weeks I have decided not to re-negotiate when my current contract comes to an end."
For many at the BBC that will come as a great relief. Ross has become a lightning conductor for the BBC's critics, a highly-visible symbol of the corporation's perceived failings.
His pay package has come to represent the image of a bloated, publicly-funded organisation, at a time when the rest of the media industry, indeed the rest of the British economy is struggling. His humour - including the outrageous phone bullying of actor Andrew Sachs when Ross was a guest on Russell Brand's BBC radio show - has been highlighted as an indication of falling standards at the corporation. The broadcasting environment that has emerged after the backlash to that particular episode is markedly different. It has stifled the creative output of the BBC to a point where some bonafide comedians now claim that their working conditions are impossible.
Ross, though he rarely gives interviews himself, constantly uses the microblogging site Twitter, scaring the life out of BBC managers with comments such as the recent description of some BBC programmes as "shite".
His vast Twitter following, his widely-admired show on Radio 2 and his position as the BBC's premier chat show host are all evidence of his skill as a broadcaster and his popularity.
But in recent weeks, the relationship between Ross and the BBC has become increasingly strained as the corporation attempts to renegotiate expensive contracts with its top talent in the face of criticism that its excessive salaries are distorting the market and wasting public money. Rumours began circulating in the industry that Ross was being asked to take a 50% pay cut, although I understand a deal was never actually put on the table.
Since the "Sachsgate" episode the BBC has faced demands for Ross to be sacked, with right-wing commentators including the Daily Mail and the former Daily Telegraph editor Charles Moore being especially vociferous. BBC senior managers, still widely criticised for being cowed in the wake of the Hutton affair, have been keen to stand up to such pressure.
But now Ross has made the decision for them, realising that whatever new deal he might have struck would have antagonised the likes of the Mail. Some senior BBC executives accepted that logic, I am told.
In his statement, Ross said: "I would like to make it perfectly clear that no negotiations ever took place and that my decision is not financially motivated. I signed my current contract with the BBC having turned down more lucrative offers from other channels because it was where I wanted to be and - as I have said before - would happily have stayed there for any fee they cared to offer, but there were other considerations."
The presenter will still have a relationship with the BBC, working on one-off projects such as the BAFTA Film Awards and Comic Relief.
But we can assume that Ross, 49, will now be speaking to commercial broadcasters, though none is likely in the current climate to be in a position to give him the "more lucrative offers" that he says were once dangled before him.