The NewsDemon Blog

Jonathon Ross, Russel Brand Upsets BBC, British Comedy Awards and Andrew Sachs

October 31st, 2008

f_0_brand_sachs_320.jpgJonathon Ross has already cost BBC TV hundreds of thousand of pounds, leading to a 12-week suspension due to a series of prank calls to Andrew Sachs.Estimates range around £550,000 in cancelled studio costs alone.

Jonathon Ross has since stepped down as the host of the British Comedy Awards, breaking tradition over the last 17 years of the 18 year old award show history.

A spokesman for Ross said of the British Comedy Awards: “It’s a show he very much enjoys being part of but would not want his participation in this year’s event to take away from the awards themselves or the many talented winners of the awards.”

The offensive on-air comments presented by both Johathon Ross and Russell Brand on the Radio Two show against veteran actor Andrew Sachs, famed for his role in the bumbling Spanish waiter Manuel in the 1970’s comedy Fawlty Towers, have unleashed a political storm throughout the UK. Complaints topped 30,000.

The situation was sparked when Ross and Brand aired recordings of multiple explicit voicemail messages of Sachs, 78, in which they told him Brand had sex with his granddaughter, Georgina Baillie, 23, a burlesque performer who is a member of a group called the Satanic Sluts.

Lesley Douglas, the controller of Radio 2, was forced out of her job. Following an emergency meeting of the BBC Trust, Miss Douglas announced that she was resigning her post after four years, admitting that she was ultimately responsible for allowing the offending material to be broadcast.

The BBC Trust has also demanded that the BBC management broadcast an apology to licence fee payers on Radio 2 for what it called “serious and deliberate breaches” of the editorial code. It has also instructed Mr Thompson to write a personal apology to Mr Sachs and his granddaughter for the “deplorable intrusion”.

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