Brand Quits As Ross Is Banned Over Sachs Calls

by | 29 October 2008

Russell Brand is to quit his Radio 2 show over the furore surrounding his prank telephone call to veteran actor Andrew Sachs.

The comedian had already been suspended from broadcasting on the BBC pending an internal investigation, as had Jonathan Ross, a guest on Brand's show.

The corporation's director general Mark Thompson confirmed he will await the results of an internal investigation concerning the presenters' prank calls to Fawlty Towers actor Sachs in which they joked about having sex with his granddaughter during a pre-recorded show, broadcast on October 18th.

MPs and the girl at the centre of the row had earlier called for the pair to be sacked over the prank.

Mr Thompson offered a "personal and unreserved apology to Andrew Sachs, his family and to licence fee payers" over the incident.

He said BBC audiences accepted that comedy performers attempted to "push the line of taste" but agreed it had become clear that the incident had caused "severe offence", a view he shared.

Tim Davie, the BBC's audio and music director, has been tasked with conducting an investigation into the incident, the findings of which Mr Thompson will review.

"I have decided that it is not appropriate for either Russell Brand or Jonathan Ross to continue broadcasting on the BBC until I have seen the full report of the actions of all concerned," the director general continued.

"This gross lapse of taste by the performers and the production team has angered licence payers. I am determined that we satisfy them that any lessons will be learnt and appropriate action taken."

The findings of the report will be discussed with the BBC Trust, he confirmed.

Georgina Bailie, the subject of Brand and Ross' prank voicemails, told the Sun newspaper the BBC radio hosts "should at least pay for what they've done with their jobs".

The Conservative party's media spokesman Jeremy Hunt called for an investigation into the editorial policy that allowed the broadcast.

And prime minister Gordon Brown has also criticised the pair for their "inappropriate and unacceptable behaviour".

Ms Baillie, 23, admitted to feeling "betrayed" and "embarrassed" that her relationship with Brand had been publicly revealed to her grandfather.

She said he was "really upset, and says he wants the whole situation to end".

"They are beyond contempt," she said of Brand and Ross. "They are warped for what they have put me and my grandfather through.

"It was bad enough that they recorded these things on my grandfather's answer machine but astonishing the BBC saw fit to broadcast it when they could have stopped it.

"Someone high up at the BBC must have decided it was funny and suitable for national radio. They've shown an appalling lack of judgment."

Sachs, 78, confirmed he had received "very apologetic" notes from both presenters.

"They are in trouble now, I don't want to put any more pressure on them," he told Metro.

Brand expressed his apologies for any upset caused to Sachs while Ross issued a statement saying he is "deeply sorry" and greatly regrets his "juvenile and thoughtless remarks".

29/10/2008 17:55:57


Tags: Russell Brand


More Russell Brand

Russell Brand on Rolf Harris "Newly Cast as the Villain"

Russell Brand has offered his two cents on news that Rolf Harris has been found guilty of 12 counts of indecently assaulting four girls dating...

Celebs Get Behind Pressure To Change UK Drug Laws by Signing Letter

David Cameron will receive a letter from over 90 celebrities, politicians, lawyers and health experts, calling for a review of the current policy on the...

Russell Brand "Couldn't Be Bothered" To Pay £14.90 Train Fare

Russell Brand had admitted bunking his train fares when travelling from London to Chelmsford. The comedian, 38 - who is worth an estimated $15 million...

What Could Russell Brand Bring Us With His Trickster Tales?

Comedian Russell Brand, who isn't exactly known for his child friendly material, made a surprising announcement yesterday - he’s writing a children’s book. The funnyman...


Russell Brand Wants To Change The Way Kids See The World, With His Own Books

Russell Brand has been in the news lately for his revolutionary words and thoughts. And, in-keeping with that rhetoric, the stand-up comedian-cum-political activist is writing...

Is This A Celebrity Which I See Before Me? Hollywood Actors Who Have Tackled Shakespeare Roles

There’s no better way of proving that you are a true artiste than taking on a challenging Shakespearean role. Not content with raking in millions...

Davina McCall Doesn't Touch Alcohol, Nor Do These Other Teetotal Celebrities

Former addict Davina McCall has admitted that she won’t even touch a drop of alcohol, because “it just leads [her] to drugs.” Davina has been...

Russell Brand To Pen Book On How To Overthrow Government

Russell Brand is taking his revolution a step further and plans to write a book on how it should be done.The 39 year-old comedian will...



Russell Brand Newsletter

Subscribe to this news alert service to receive news and reviews on Russell Brand

Unsubscribe | Unsubscribe All