Graham Norton has thanked his listeners for “sharing your lives” as he closed out his last weekend show on Virgin Radio.

The Irish presenter, 60, announced on Saturday that he was leaving the station as he was keen to get his “weekends back” after his life has “changed a bit” of recent.

Norton has hosted weekend shows for 13 years as he joined Virgin Radio in 2021 following a decade on BBC Radio 2.

Signing off his last Sunday show on the station, he told his listeners: “My final thank you has to be to you, to you for listening and sharing your lives with us.

“We’ve loved hearing your messages and finding out what you’ve been up to, and what you’ve liked, what you haven’t liked, what’s made you happy, what’s made you sad over those years.

“It has been such a privilege to sit here and share your weekends with you for the last three years and two months.”

He also thanked presenter Chris Evans for “creating this opportunity” for him as Norton followed in the footsteps of Evans by moving from Radio 2 to Virgin Radio.

“I came in here about three-and-a-half years ago and Chris was all gung ho that I come here and look, it happened,” he added.

Norton also thanked the management and his team at Virgin Radio as well as his regular contributors and celebrity guests.

Reflecting on his time at the station, he added: “It is a really lovely place to work here at the top of the tower.

“They’ve created such a nice atmosphere and I’ve only had good times here.”

He closed out his last show with the first track he played on his Virgin Radio debut – Hung Up by singer superstar Madonna.

After the song ended, he joked that his final moments on air were like when you say goodbye to someone, and then you realise you are both walking in the same direction as he had already said his farewells.

He added: “Goodbye again, see you soon … Thank you very much for your company this weekend. I hope you enjoyed the shows.”

Throughout his final show, Norton read out a host of messages from people who said they would miss listening to him every weekend.

One admitted they were “distraught” but hoped he enjoys the lie-ins, to which he responded: “I will, getting out of bed this morning was so lovely, thinking ‘I won’t be doing this next week’.”

The final show also featured a chat with It’s A Sin actor Callum Scott Howells, who talked about his new BBC drama The Way.

Howells congratulated Norton on finishing the run, to which the presenter jokingly replied: “Hold the lift doors.”

He also spoke with Northern Irish actress Laura Donnelly about her new role in the West End play The Hills Of California, which is being created by Jerusalem writer Jez Butterworth and The Lehman Trilogy director Sir Sam Mendes.

His long-standing presenting partner Maria McErlane also joined him for another edition of Graham’s Guide, which saw the pair try to help two listeners who had sent in problems.

She said that she should have written her own problems into this week’s edition, to which he jokingly replied: “What? ‘I’ve no job’.”

The pair also revealed that Norton was going to take the team for lunch afterwards, with McErlane joking she was expecting to go Buckingham Palace for the occasion.

Fellow regular contributor Bake Off star Martha Collison also cooked up a storm for him, with the recipe this week being Norton’s favourite – braised tofu udon noodles.

His songs throughout the show varied from upbeat hits including Cher’s Believe and Billy Joel’s We Didn’t Start The Fire, to more emotional tracks such as Lewis Capaldi’s new single Strangers and Coldplay’s Clocks.

At the start of his Sunday show, he shared a selfie of himself in the Virgin Radio presenting chair to Instagram, writing: “Here we go! One last spin!!

“Thanks to everyone @virginradiouk and everyone who has listened along the way!!! Three hours to go – must not swear!!!”

During his show on Saturday morning Norton explained his decision to leave, saying: “I’ve worked weekends between here and the old place for 13 years, and my life has changed a bit, so I just want my weekends back.”

Norton married filmmaker Jonathan “Jono” McLeod in West Cork in July 2022.

Irish presenter Angela Scanlon, who competed on Strictly Come Dancing last year, will fill in his 9.30am to 12.30pm slot for the next few weeks before there will be “various announcements” on who will take over the slot permanently.

Scanlon was among those to respond to the news, commenting “miss you already” on Norton’s joint Instagram post with Virgin Radio.

Norton joined Radio 2 in 2010 on the 10am to 1pm Saturday show, taking over from Jonathan Ross.

He moved to Virgin Radio in 2021, with his BBC slot going to Claudia Winkleman. The Strictly Come Dancing and Traitors host is due to leave that show in March after saying she wanted to spend more time with her growing children.

Norton also hosts an eponymous Friday night chat show on BBC One and is central to the broadcaster’s Eurovision coverage.