LONDON, England (CNN) -- The BBC's highest paid celebrity has lost more than $2 million after being suspended without pay for a series of abusive telephone calls made by himself and another of the broadcaster's stars.
Talkshow host Jonathan Ross, 47, and comedian Russell Brand, 33, have been at the center of a row after they attempted to contact comedy actor Andrew Sachs for an interview on Brand's weekend Radio 2 show earlier this month.
Ross, who the UK's Press Association reports has a £6 million ($9.7 million) contract with the broadcaster, was suspended from all broadcasting for 12 weeks Thursday after the BBC Trust, the sovereign body of the organization, met to discuss the calls.
"He (Ross) will not be paid by the BBC during this period. The fees that would have been paid will be deducted from his BBC contract," Mark Thompson, director general of the BBC, said in a statement.
The suspension will cost Ross £1.5 million ($2.43 million). He is now believed to be in Wales with his brother Paul, a fellow broadcaster.
Thompson added: "Jonathan Ross's contribution to this edition of the Russell Brand show was utterly unacceptable and cannot be allowed to go uncensored or without sanction."
Earlier Thursday, Lesley Douglas, Controller of BBC Radio 2, 6 Music and Popular Music, stood down from her role and offered a "personal apology to Sachs and his family and to the audience for what has happened," the BBC said.
The prank calls row has also claimed the scalp of Brand, who resigned Wednesday.
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