The BBC has apologised to Andrew Sachs after Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross joked about having sex with his granddaughter live on air.

Brand has already said sorry to the Fawlty Towers actor for leaving a number of obscene answer phone messages with Ross, in which the pair joked Brand had slept with Sachs' 23-year-old granddaughter.

Sachs, 78, was said to be "very upset" by the incidents, which occurred during Brand's Saturday evening programme on BBC Radio 2.

On Monday a spokeswoman said the station was sorry for the "unacceptable and offensive" behaviour.

"We have received a letter of a complaint from Mr Sachs' agent and would like to sincerely apologise to Mr Sachs for the offence caused," she said.

"We recognise that some of the content broadcast was unacceptable and offensive.
She added: "We are reviewing how this came about and are responding to Mr Sachs personally. We also apologise to listeners for any offence caused."

Brand apologised for the remarks this weekend, a week after the incidents occurred.

"Sometimes, you mustn't swear on someone's answer phone and that's why I'd like to apologise personally," the 33-year-old said.

The voicemails were left after Sachs - who played Manuel in Fawlty Towers - did not answer his phone after being unable to appear on Brand's show.

In one message, Ross, 47, was heard shouting "he f**ked your granddaughter" as Brand was leaving a message.

And in another Brand sang: "I said some things I didn't of oughta, like I had sex with your granddaughter, though it was consensual. It was lovely sex. It was full of respect."

Meg Pool, Sachs' agent, said she had written to Radio 2 controller Lesley Douglas requesting an unreserved apology over the messages.

Brand was forced to issue a statement in July after an onstage telephone prank in which he claimed to have information about a sex attacker.

The comedian had been performing at the Derngate theatre in Northampton when he borrowed an audience member's phone and called a crime hotline claming to have seen an alleged attacker.

He later said he was "devastated by the possibility" he "may have offended vulnerable people".

"I maintain that through discourse we can illuminate these dark behaviours but that ought not to be at the expense of people's feelings," he added.


27/10/2008 12:10:40