Broadcaster Graham Norton is set to join News UK’s Virgin Radio after leaving the BBC last week.
The legendary presenter will host a flagship weekend show on Saturdays and Sundays.
The hire is a major coup for Virgin as commercial rivals vie for listeners in an increasingly competitive radio market.
Read more: Sun newspaper wins Johnny Depp legal case
The station made its first major signing last year when it poached Chris Evans from BBC Radio 2 last year.
Virgin ushered in a shake-up of the commercial radio market by shunning adverts on Evans’ breakfast show in favour of a sponsorship deal with Sky, ramping up the pressure on the ad-free BBC.
The latest appointment will also come as a boost to Rupert Murdoch’s News UK empire, which snapped up Virgin owner Wireless — which also controls Talk Radio and Talk Sport — in 2016.
Earlier this year the group bolstered its radio output further with the launch of Times Radio, a talk station dedicated to news and current affairs.
Times Radio, which is also ad-free, has been positioned as a new rival to the BBC’s flagship Radio 4.
Competition in the radio market has been heating up in recent years, with the growing popularity of podcasts and the rise of smart speakers helping to drive an increase in listener numbers.
Savvy radio operators have also begun to harness video to promote their audio output, sharing clips of heated interactions between presenters and guests to appreciative audiences on social media.
Wireless CEO Scott Taunton said of the hire: “Wireless continues to invest in the very best talent as we drive forward the ambitious plans we have for our national digital stations in the UK.
“Graham is a broadcasting icon and it’s not hard to see why he has the highest-rated single radio show in Europe.”