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BBC Resignation

Eddie Mair | 17:55 UK time, Thursday, 30 October 2008

What do you think?

More HERE.

Comments

  • 1. At 5:58pm on 30 Oct 2008, Charlie wrote:

    Let's see the report...

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  • 2. At 6:00pm on 30 Oct 2008, needsanewnickname wrote:

    Probably inevitable, given the messy way the Beeb coped with the whole furore.

    Paul Dacre must be into his second round of trebles.

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  • 3. At 6:00pm on 30 Oct 2008, Will Scarlet wrote:

    Quite right that she should go. She tried to defed the indefensible, and in so doing made a massive error of judgement.

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  • 4. At 6:03pm on 30 Oct 2008, ValeryP wrote:

    What - all of you?

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  • 5. At 6:03pm on 30 Oct 2008, David_McNickle wrote:

    I think the last thing I listened to on Radio 2 was The News Huddlines or Humphrey Lyttelton, so I can comment.

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  • 6. At 6:05pm on 30 Oct 2008, melblogger wrote:

    I am one of the 27000 complainants in the brand Ross case. Unfortunately what I feared would happen is happening: namely that some veruy good BBC employees are suffering for what that ar..hole Ross created, whilst he sits on his fat salary.

    I am even more disgusted than I was by the original material broadcast.

    Brand (by far the nicer of the two) has walked. BBC employees are resigning. The only one currently surviving with no hopnour is the appalling Ross.

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  • 7. At 6:05pm on 30 Oct 2008, needsanewnickname wrote:

    All of who, Val?

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  • 8. At 6:05pm on 30 Oct 2008, TrishenFrance wrote:

    So our tabloids win again. What a shame they don't bring their moral outrage to their own dubious practices.

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  • 9. At 6:13pm on 30 Oct 2008, U13643995 wrote:

    ValP - Haha! 10/10

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  • 10. At 6:14pm on 30 Oct 2008, Joe Walker wrote:

    The damaging response to and long term effects of this 'crime' has far exceeded the damage caused by the original offence.

    This nonsense says far more about the priorities of certain newspapers, a relatively small but nonetheless shrill number of the British public and a typically but understandably supine BBC than it ever says about the attitudes and values of two performers and their programme's production team.

    Really depressing and shameful.

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  • 11. At 6:16pm on 30 Oct 2008, politeTazmanianDevil wrote:

    Well done BBC, I'm proud of you. Decency has prevailed.
    We just need the full set though - ROSS must go. Please?

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  • 12. At 6:17pm on 30 Oct 2008, jennygreensleeves wrote:

    It's only a few extremists, usually with vested interests, that loathe the BBC, but the Corporation continuously overreacts to mistakes as if trying to appease these enemies. All this does is give the impression that the BBC bosses lack any confidence in the organisation they run. Instead of pandering to the Murdoch press, the BBC bosses should be reminding themselves that the Corporation is this country's greatest achievement and one of the pinnacles of civilisation.

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  • 13. At 6:21pm on 30 Oct 2008, jamie55a wrote:

    If Russell Brand left a message like that on my voicemail, he'd be helping the police with their enquiries by now.

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  • 14. At 6:27pm on 30 Oct 2008, needsanewnickname wrote:

    Oh - just got it, Val. Being slow. Forgot to put pedant's hat on.

    With you on that, Trish and Joseph; except that the clip should never have gone out, so there was slackness in the production team's decision-making, or whoever OK'd it.

    Champagne for Sir Paul? Magnum, sir? Cigars?

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  • 15. At 6:28pm on 30 Oct 2008, Martin Pollard wrote:

    Utterly ridiculous. Once again the BBC has shown no backbone at all, this time losing some of its top talent for the sake of appeasing bandwagon-jumpers. Yes, it was offensive. Yes, they should have apologised. And that's it - the proportionate response, rather than the scared, reactionary response.

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  • 16. At 6:29pm on 30 Oct 2008, ingeniousCliff wrote:

    Why should that BBC manager go? Call it an error and let her finish her distinguished carreer.
    Ross the selfish fool cannot watch and smirk at peoples lives being ruined all around him because of his boring rude unfunny mouth.
    Resign Ross, you have never been any good. Shock value but no talant.

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  • 17. At 6:35pm on 30 Oct 2008, The Stainless Steel Cat wrote:

    "In a shock announcement today, the BBC announced its resignation from the post of Britain's public broadcaster. It said it intends to spend more time with Lord Reith.

    The BBC (81) has recently been under fire for the senseless slaughter of a Christmas Tree, revealed by the BBC's own PM Programme. Almost two complaints were registered by the Programme On-Line Blogification Watchdog, BlogOff, and questions were asked by the Prime Minister in the House of Commons*.

    Although initial speculation suggests that Channels Four and Five are interested in taking on the role, no formal announcement has been made, and insiders suggest it is more likely to be 'anyone with a loud voice and a half-decent suit'."

    * Specifically, "Who are you?" and "What are you talking about? Christmas trees? Security?"

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  • 18. At 6:38pm on 30 Oct 2008, germaniumdiode wrote:

    So Ross will be suspended without pay for 12 weeks - how unsurprising that the BBC would not fire Ross for actions which would land most people in a court of law. Also, the Ross Blog comments regarding what he would do with Andrew Sachs show that he was far from the junior partner in this affair.
    No, BBC. If you have to have it explained to you that so-called comedians committing offences on air is wrong, then you are not fit for the job - and that applies right up to the DG, who has presumably seen fit not to fire Ross.
    Two resignations and a suspension. Really decisive action then from the BBC. Thank goodness I never read the Daily Mail or I could have got really upset about this!

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  • 19. At 6:45pm on 30 Oct 2008, peejay01 wrote:

    As I understand it there is a system of editorial review, whereby potentially dodgy material is signed off by someone in the hierarchy. If Lesley Douglas was the most senior signatory, then fair enough. If she wasn't, then presumably she's resigning as a matter of honour - the BBC equivalent of ministerial responsibility. If that's the case its a darn shame, because she seems to be a person of real ability. But fair play to her, I'm not sure there are that many people who would have done the same.

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  • 20. At 6:46pm on 30 Oct 2008, Martin Pollard wrote:

    germaniumdiode:

    "the BBC would not fire Ross for actions which would land most people in a court of law"

    and

    "If you have to have it explained to you that so-called comedians committing offences on air is wrong, then you are not fit for the job"

    This is just the sort of disproportionate reaction that I'm talking about. It's hardly likely you'd end up in court for leaving an offensive message on someone's answering machine, particularly if that person had no interest in pressing charges.

    And even if you did commit a criminal offence, are you suggesting presenters should be sacked for anything they do wrong? For getting a speeding ticket, or having a minor altercation with someone in the street?

    These things are not black and white.

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  • 21. At 6:48pm on 30 Oct 2008, Finisterre wrote:

    Brand gone.
    Delighted to see the controller of R2 has gone.
    Ross too I hope.

    Lesley Douglas doesn’t actually have the authority to accept full responsibility, unless she set R2's strategic direction of pandering to the youth of today.

    The BBC claimed they know what we want and we aren't qualified to judge as the sheer diversity of license payers is so huge. I think this sorry episode proves the BBC is not as smart as it thinks.

    Its self congratulatory corporate culture and profligacy has alienated anyone with any sort of expectations. There is more to taking our money than hiring a few helicopters and chanting “we are the BBC”.

    I would like to see the BBC stop and think a little more about what it should be doing for us as a society and not trying to be all things to all men.

    I have been depressed by the BBC for many years and have enjoyed this comeuppance immensely.

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  • 22. At 6:55pm on 30 Oct 2008, norwblue wrote:

    I am incensed by the tardy, inadequate response of the BBC in suspending Ross for 12 weeks. That is really going to punish him, isn't it - a loss of a mere £1.5m for someone who earns more per day than many licence payers receive in a year. Sorry, BBC, if you think the licence payers of this country are going to put up with this sort of feeble response in these circumstances, you are sadly mistaken. The only rational action is to sack him immediately. If an individual is paid £6m p.a., then we have the right to expect the very highest standards from that person, something that Ross has demonstrated is way outside his capabilities.

    This sort of behaviour would not be tolerated in any other organisation. Why should it be accepted by what used to be regarded as the world's premier broadcasting organisation. The BBC should be setting and maintaining high standards and not allowing itself to be dragged into the gutter by puerile presenters.

    Even Brand had the decency to fall on his sword and the Radio 2 controller has done likewise. Ross, in clinging on pathetically to his position, has again demonstrated his inability to accept the consequences of his own actions and also his total lack of dignity and honour.

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  • 23. At 6:56pm on 30 Oct 2008, turnyourradioon wrote:

    Lesley Douglas and Russell Brand have been victims of something that was in part perpetrated by Jonathan Ross. They've done the right thing, now it's his turn - how can he stay at the BBC while his controller (who did not leave disgusting messages on Andrew Sachs's answering machine) heads out of the Beeb?

    It looks as if there's a problem terminating Ross's contract, but it shouldn't stop him announcing his resignation while he still has some dignity. He won't have any credibility left at all if he comes back to work in 12 weeks time with his former boss standing in the job queue.

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  • 24. At 7:00pm on 30 Oct 2008, Big Sister wrote:

    Joseph Walker (10)

    "The damaging response to and long term effects of this 'crime' has far exceeded the damage caused by the original offence."

    How do you know? I doubt it is something Mr. Sachs and his granddaughter will get over very quickly. And how presumptious of you to think that those who are outraged (of whom I am one) are influenced by the tabloids?

    I am sorry that a talented Head of Programming has resigned, though I applaud her willingness to accept the blame for Radio 2's indiscretion. I remain appalled that two men could behave in such a way in such circumstances, and, like many another, am deeply concerned that the Beeb took so long to express their own concerns.

    And, at the end of the day, I feel deeply sorry for Mr. Sachs, who did not deserve to be treated in this way, and for his granddaughter who, whatever her private life, did not deserve to have it broadcast to the nation in this way.

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  • 25. At 7:01pm on 30 Oct 2008, Chris Counsell wrote:

    Once again a paroxysm of navel gazing absorbs the BBC - this story is middle ranking stuff which certainly does not justify the amount of air time. It certainly should not be the main news headline let alone for 2 days running. Lets get a sense of perspective here - some stupid and offensive comments were made - but is this really more important than the other news stories?
    Nor should anyone resign - a sincere apology is all that is needed. After all, we don't want a diet of exclusively bland programmes. Sometimes people who are on the edge in order to provide original entertainment will push too far - slap them on the wrist but don't control them to the point where all we get is uniformly insipid programming.

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  • 26. At 7:02pm on 30 Oct 2008, ebolatzetsefly wrote:

    12 week suspension? Not good enough! Someone (47 years old; married; father; "STAR") who has left 'obscene' and 'lewd' (the BBC's website's words) and 'puerile' (per Jonathan Ross) comments on someone else's answerphone, and then broadcasts them to the multitudes, in the name of 'entertainment', doesn't deserve one penny more of my licence fee and any organisation (are you listening BBC?) which thinks he does, should be ashamed. This is a rotten, self-serving compromise, which BBC executives hope will dig them out of the hole they have created by seeking - at licence payers' expense - to cater for the 'yoof' market at the expense of common decency. What a bunch of low lives.....

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  • 27. At 7:02pm on 30 Oct 2008, Ilavabeer wrote:

    melblogger (6) -
    I agree with you entirely.
    I've just heard on Radio 4 that Jonathan Ross is suspended for three months without pay.
    If he accepts that, then presumably his career will be on borrowed time if he eventually reappears on the BBC. What level of moral interest will he be willing to pay on this magnanimity I wonder?
    Forget all the hand-wringing over the fact that the story came to the attention of a wider audience via the Mail on Sunday: so many voices have been raised against him and so very few in support that the writing on the wall must surely be apparent even to someone - supposedly a "popular" entertainer - who is capable of hiding from the consequences of their actions behind their friends and colleagues. Just to spell it out for you, Jonathan, it says "You've come to the end of the line."
    There is still time (just) to do the decent thing.

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  • 28. At 7:07pm on 30 Oct 2008, thistakestoolong wrote:

    Lesley Douglas had to go that was unfortunate but inevitable. The fact that Ross was not sacked on 19th October shows what a fragile organisation with pitiful leadership exists at the BBC. Nobody should have resigned in truth as they should have been sacked immediately including Mark Thompson and the producer. The Trust (sic) and BBC hierarchy are timid and afraid of doing the right thing. This frightened rabbit scenario of clinging to viewing/listener figures over content has done for the World Service, Radio2 and 4 and BBC1 and 2.

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  • 29. At 7:13pm on 30 Oct 2008, J_O_E_L_-_C wrote:

    #24: "I doubt it is something Mr. Sachs and his granddaughter will get over very quickly"

    Well I'm sure the fees from the Sun interviews (and the acres of free publicity for her nascent career) will be of some comfort for her anyway...

    As for the main point: An over-reaction. Full Stop. Alas, Russell is gone from the Beeb (for the next few years at least). With any luck, this will draw a line under the whole sorry affair.

    As I said before, once the circus leaves town, you will just be left with a whole bunch of unhappy (ex)Radio 2 listeners with not much to listen to - I suppose they always have Eddie and the PM team to fall back on! :-)

    On another note, is there anyway that we can complain to the Beeb about Paul Darce? Not for anything specific, just for being Paul Darce... "crimes against journalism" etc, etc.

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  • 30. At 7:14pm on 30 Oct 2008, tug wrote:

    Will the DG and the Chairman of the BBC Trust be giving interviews tomorrow?

    If not it's a complete disgrace and the bloodletting is pointless.

    The report needs to be published by the Trust.

    I was interested to read Jack Straw's view on how the BBC handled this: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/oct/30/bbc-jonathan-ross-russell-brand1

    I think it might be useful if the BBC News organisation answered his accusation of a lack of vigour in trying to confront the BBC protagonists. I'm undecided on this. I'd really like to hear him in discussion with the editor of PM or Today to understand more of the issues.

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  • 31. At 7:21pm on 30 Oct 2008, Martin Pollard wrote:

    J_O_E_L_-_C:

    Thank you. I've been searching high and low for one other person reacting in a proportionate way to this whole sorry thing. How on earth did things get so out of hand?

    And I'm with you on the irony of Georgina Baillie's tabloid interviews. Ironic because I think that her selling her story is, in context, MORE offensive that the original incident.

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  • 32. At 7:21pm on 30 Oct 2008, tug wrote:

    The Trust's statement http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/7700856.stm has an interesting passage:

    "... we have asked the Executive to assess immediately the editorial controls and compliance procedures in place for all programmes - across television and radio - where the production company is owned and/or managed by the featured performer."

    Was the production company which produced the show owned or managed by Ross or Brand? If so, that might explain a lot.

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  • 33. At 7:21pm on 30 Oct 2008, charlie wood wrote:

    I'm sorry she's gone. Not that I condone for one minute what Ross and Brand did but for Lesley Douglas, who has played such a large role in turning R2 into the vibrant and diverse station that is (was?), to resign over it is simply cowtowing to the hysteria whipped up by the tabloids. What a sorry story.

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  • 34. At 7:23pm on 30 Oct 2008, Joe Walker wrote:

    As a voice of common decency that so rarely gets heard these days I would like to express my extreme pleasure at the news that that shocking man Russell Brand has resigned; that Jonathan Ross has been suspended and Radio 2 Controller Lesley Douglas has also gone.

    Let us fervently hope that this will bring an end to the BBC's misguided policy of allowing these so-called 'comedians' the free run of our air-waves. Neither my wife or I can barely tune in our radio or switch on the television these days without being bombarded by offensive language and innuendo.

    I now await with relish a return to the sort of traditional comedy we all so remember with affection. Although I must admit, neither I nor my parents could ever understand what anyone could possibly have thought so funny about Fawlty Towers, which I found to be in itself frequently rather offensive.

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  • 35. At 7:26pm on 30 Oct 2008, anubisanubis wrote:

    Russell Brand should be asked to withdraw his resignation. He was not the real culprit. It was Jonathan Ross if you read the transcript. Any way surely if the two thought that everything was recorded they can be forgiven for going to the limit in normal circumstances. They did go far too far in this case but if the programme had not gone out, as it should not have, then only Mr Sachs would have been affected and a simple heartfelt apology would have been enough. Russell Brand has a big fab base and Radio 2 will be the poorer for his departure. Please get him back. He will have been chastened and likely to be the better for it.

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  • 36. At 7:28pm on 30 Oct 2008, sassmann wrote:

    It is rather a waste when a long standing BBC management career is brought to and end because of Messrs Ross and Brand's stupidity. OK, the BBC failed to stop the broadcast which was clearly a blunder....and somebody had to pay the price. However, the resignation would not have been in question if the broadcast nonsense had not not occurred in the first place.
    Has Ross the strength of character and decency to resign himself?

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  • 37. At 7:36pm on 30 Oct 2008, Ilavabeer wrote:

    TrishenFrance (8) -
    "So our tabloids win again. What a shame they don't bring their moral outrage to their own dubious practices."
    Surely you can bring your own moral outrage to bear in that direction, the same as evey one of us can. Then, when we eventually do that and stop buying the wretched things (I don't and I don't read them either), we'll have rid ourselves not only of substandard entertainment, not to mention education and information, on the tele and radio but also on the newsstands.
    We're worth it!

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  • 38. At 7:42pm on 30 Oct 2008, Joe Walker wrote:

    Big Sister (24)

    Actually, I'm not defending the original act, I'm suggesting that the response and its effects goes far beyond the 'crime'.

    For me the effects include for example BBC news editors choosing to knock the horrors being perpetrated in the Congo off the top of the news in favour of your outrage over Mr.Ross' and Mr.Brand's offence.

    Also we should consider the long-term effects of this manufactured storm on BBC editorial policy, because despite claims by some of those exercised by this got-up piece of nonsense that they simply feel Ross and Brand were out of order, the real damage will be caused by a more insidious agenda, exercised by the conservative right who have always had a particular hatred of what the BBC frequently and consistently do so well.

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  • 39. At 7:44pm on 30 Oct 2008, gossipmistress wrote:

    My twopennyworth is (though I'm really tired of this story now) that had the BBC acted more swiftly to reprimand the two presenters and the Editor/producer, then she wouldn't have needed to resign.

    'The BBC' (management) are their own worst enemy - fannying about until they look really stupid and appear just to be reacting to public opinion.

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  • 40. At 7:46pm on 30 Oct 2008, Martin Pollard wrote:

    Joseph Walker (38):

    "For me the effects include for example BBC news editors choosing to knock the horrors being perpetrated in the Congo off the top of the news in favour of your outrage over Mr.Ross' and Mr.Brand's offence."

    Quite right. If people expended as much energy getting worked up over genuine international causes - and, say, writing a letter for Amnesty International or donating to an aid agency - as they do on tiny matters like this, the world might be a more caring place.

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  • 41. At 7:46pm on 30 Oct 2008, colin_DP wrote:

    Along with most of the nation I did not here the original broadcast so I could not have been offended. I only became aware of the story with ITV news repeatedly playing the clips along with their holier than thou mock outrage. I am just sorry at the BBCs readiness to join in with the rest of the news media and giving itself a good kicking. Stop trying to bend over backwards appeasing to this orchestrated anti BBC campaign.

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  • 42. At 7:54pm on 30 Oct 2008, scooterboy45 wrote:

    I hope Jonathon is satisfied with the carnage he has contributed to. I am saddened by his unwillingness to do the decent thing that his 2 friends have already done and go - but again this is Jonathon Ross bigger and greater than all of us poor listeners.

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  • 43. At 7:58pm on 30 Oct 2008, BoiledBunny wrote:

    Time to move on. It's getting too BBC centric.

    Let's face it we know there have been greater editorial lapses from the BBC this year.

    Can the BBC please reduce the amount of time it spends being the official government mouth piece.

    We pay for the BBC.

    Just give us the facts and let us make our minds up.

    While the BBC censor 'news' and their own footage they should wind their necks in about censorship anywhere else in the world. It's just hypocritical.

    The BBC needs Editorial guidelines so those working at the BBC can differentiate what constitutes news, and what are PR pieces.

    Flat Earth News?

    Can't the BBC develop a Babbelfish that filters out all the PR BS, state generated or otherwise?

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  • 44. At 7:58pm on 30 Oct 2008, Dogs_breath wrote:

    Surely the BBC are hoping that the main reason for these resignations will be ignored. The reason people are upset is that Brand/Rosses actions were offensive and illegal. So a 3 month suspension is not a punishment, it is a delaying device by the BBC for everyone to cool down.
    The BBC seem to be forgetting that the real issue is one of standards -this delaying tactic means they support the illegal and offensive actions.

    So, who do I contact to ask: who appoints the govenors and trustees? and : how are they removed?

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  • 45. At 8:05pm on 30 Oct 2008, SheffTim wrote:

    Credit to the controller for resigning, presumably she had a say in Brand`s appointment and knew what his show was like; compliance should have caught this one. It shouldn`t be the end of her career though. People should be allowed to learn from their mistakes.

    The problem with Ross and Brand was that they didn`t have enough maturity to realise when they`d overstepped the boundaries. It was passed for broadcast by someone, but by that time the message was on the ansaphone.

    Personally I don`t like Ross. I did at the start of his career but now he comes over as smug, complacent and far too full of himself. His treatment of female guests on his TV show is at times appalling and it`s obvious that many of his guests don`t feel relaxed in his presence. I want to hear what they have to say but they don`t get the opportunity. It`s like Chris Evans in his last few TFI Fridays, it had been good at the start, but then became a tired parody of itself. Perhaps like Evans, Ross needs time away to reinvent himself.

    I know finding a good talk show host is difficult, but it can`t be that difficult. As for new talent, it has to be out there. I`m also not convinced that giving TV comedians radio shows is the best move. It looks like a gravy train.

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  • 46. At 8:12pm on 30 Oct 2008, Screamingmuldoon wrote:

    Glad I don't work for Auntie Beeb (remember her?) I'd have been *&@£%" out long ago. "Edgy" comedy may be at the centre of this - just to the right of that fluff-filled BBC navel. But think of the impact of these leavings on lesser employees than Douglas, Ross and Brand. The phone calls were banal, the response is hysterical. Mark Thompson should take Ross into the car park for a good drubbing, instead of telling the nation he's on a "final warning" - woooo, that's brave.

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  • 47. At 8:34pm on 30 Oct 2008, Katieblog wrote:

    "If people expended as much energy getting worked up over genuine international causes ....... as they do on tiny matters like this, the world might be a more caring place."

    But that's the point - caring begins with those close to us. I am so sad at the R1 listeners and some of the teens interviewed on news, who think that the broadcast was not only 'OK' but actually funny. And this is the generation who's going to be looking after me when I'm 78! It isn't a tiny matter - it cuts to the core of respect and understaning for the feelings of others.

    Whether the broadcast could have been stopped is irrelevant - once the calls were made, the damage was done. I employ staff, if anyone of them had done this, on work time, they'd have been sacked - not least for bringing the company into disrepute. I'm furious that the BBC hasn't sacked Ross. Angus Deayton was fired for less in my view.

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  • 48. At 8:47pm on 30 Oct 2008, invincibleoldandwise wrote:

    It's fascinating how the Brand/Ross sympathisers blame the tabloids for whipping up reaction against these celebs.

    This just goes to show that when the numbers are against you, you call them a "baying mob". But when the numbers are with you, it's an outstanding example of "people power" or "democracy at work"!

    This mis-management by the BBC reveals the continuing high level of group-think within the Biased Broadcasting Corporation that was revealed two years ago. If you missed it last time around, just Google "liberal bias within the BBC" and a lot of recent events will slot into place...

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  • 49. At 8:55pm on 30 Oct 2008, postiepete70 wrote:

    why dont all those people who complained get a life.surely there is more important things going on.there was only a few complaints orginally until the media got wind of this story.i repeat myself get a life

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  • 50. At 9:28pm on 30 Oct 2008, notamusednorfolk wrote:

    It should have been a clean sweep. What a missed opportunity, he'll be back just as smug, arrogant and repulsive as ever. No doubt to a rigged round of rapturous applause.

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  • 51. At 9:36pm on 30 Oct 2008, Kinghitter wrote:

    The lady producer obviouslly felt she had to resign. The one that everyone wants to resign is Ross. The reason there have been so many complaints is that people are fed up with Ross and his foul mouth, very poor wit and general bad conduct. He has no quality at all. The othe person who should resign is the idiot who negotiated a six million pound a year contract. Just think of all the quality programmes and people the BBC could employ with that.

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  • 52. At 9:48pm on 30 Oct 2008, turnyourradioon wrote:

    Ross's Saturday morning Radio 2 show is surely consigned to the archives forever - how could he ever have the nerve to return to the network when the controller was forced to resign because of his behaviour?

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  • 53. At 9:48pm on 30 Oct 2008, Philosopher1 wrote:

    There are those who talk of the few initial complaints about Ross and Brand as though the extent of the offence caused only amounted to those inital complaints.However,with the assistance of the media fee payers have learned just how mismanaged their money was spent by the BBC in paying the salaries of these two misfits.Now that the media has brought this to the attention of the public I believe the BBC has no alternitive but to demonstrate it will not tolerate or risk the liability of Ross or Brand appearing on any future BBC production.Ross may think things will settle down with time,but if the BBC retain him in any capacity I feel confident this Blog will only represent a tiny fraction of the expressed complaints the BBC would receive in the future.DG take note.Fire Ross without delay as any decent Manager would do and demonstrate management crediability or risk a level of complaints which will require your resignation.

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  • 54. At 9:59pm on 30 Oct 2008, needsanewnickname wrote:

    Hey! It's Russell Brand's new telly show tonight!

    Wonder if he'll plug Jonathan Ross's new book or isn't it that kind of proggie? 'Fraid I won't be watching, I've got an urgent appointment with some undried paint.

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  • 55. At 10:08pm on 30 Oct 2008, justfloating wrote:

    (51) - I think it is the contract that is the problem. Last night they used the word CAN. As in what was possible to do.

    I liked the use of the word "deliberate" in today's statement. It looks like they took advantage of the DG on Holiday and the Executive only newly in his job.

    The contract was for 3 years in June 2006. So that makes the end June 2009. He is suspended until mid January so that leaves approx 5 months left.

    But the best news ever is that the Friday program is to be replaced by the film "Speed". How wonderful to think they are equivalent! Two out of control situations racing to their destruction.


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  • 56. At 10:28pm on 30 Oct 2008, bgnewsking wrote:

    The furore over the 'misuse' of the licence fee, overpaying puerile, unfunny édgy' presenters, the laxity of the BBC in sanctioning the broadcasting of dross, the obscenities used in the phone call, have masked the most important aspect of the Ross/Brand situation - threatening phone calls. I received these for two years and the effects are devastating, from the first one onwards. To inflict these on a 78 year old man, in the name of entertainment, is criminal. Sach's refusal to prosecute is understandable - he will want to try and forget it has happened. However, justice should be seen to be done and Ross should go.

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  • 57. At 10:29pm on 30 Oct 2008, Big Sister wrote:

    Joseph Walker (38): I'll not disagree with you over editorial priorities - The Brand/Ross affair shouldn't have been allowed to overshadow stories like the Congolese horrors, and Martin Pollard (40), please don't try to insinuate that people like me aren't bothered about international atrocities - that is offensive and inaccurate.

    I don't live in an 'either/or' world - Do you?

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  • 58. At 10:55pm on 30 Oct 2008, gossipmistress wrote:

    Katieblog (47) I agree with you entirely. I posted a comment in a similar vein on an earlier thread but you put it much better.

    bgnewsking(56) I have great sympathy for you - a friend went through a similar ordeal. They had an awful time.

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  • 59. At 11:05pm on 30 Oct 2008, ShandyTobyjug wrote:

    Finally a measure of justice but let's be honest 1 million will be nothing to Ross. Is he truly contrite? I doubt it very much. Is he worth the millions he is paid for 4 million viewers? Not in my view. Should he be paid less and the rest of the money go to improve the quality of programming on television? Yes in my opinion.

    It's the controller who resigned because of his unfunny irresponsible pranks and the poor judgement of junior members of staff who is really suffering fall out- what a sad affair and in January he'll be back making light of it no doubt. Go on BBC employ a competing chat show host to give him a run for his money!

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  • 60. At 11:05pm on 30 Oct 2008, adam1969 wrote:

    Ross and Brand... I am so disappointed with the BBC...
    I listen to the Today Programme on the way to work and PM on way home and at the weekend I listen to Jonathon and Russell (I use their first names to remind people we are not still at school).
    I am NOT offended by the programmes content...and as regular listeners of both of these shows have heard much more cringe worthy moments...which have raised a smile.
    I have maintained that there are only two networks worth watching...the BBC and Channel 4. This weekend I shall be watching Russell on Friday night...and for the next three months it is hard to imagine what will be worth watching on BBC for entertainment.
    The whole situation is ridiculous. Andrew Sach's grandaughter clearly has her own agenda... and the prudish reaction of the BBC has lessoned it's integrity in my view.
    An apology was necessary, but the following series of resignations, sackings and suspensions is such an over reaction that as a licence payer I find it incredulous that the BBC should send such time and effort on this witch hunt.
    As for presenters pay... Bankers bonuses are ridiculous, footballers earn far too much money, top celebrities expect far too high salaries...and my house has appreciated 4 times in the last 15 years...there is greed at play...and there needs to be a correction. We all need to reassess our position.
    The prime minister and the leader of the opposition making statements on this trivial affair...I am angered that they shoud waste there time on such a matter. Has the world lost all sense of proportion?

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  • 61. At 11:10pm on 30 Oct 2008, philmollon wrote:

    The problem with the Brand/Ross affair is not that it was offensive (although of course it was) - but that it was simply wrong, and almost certainly criminal. We do not normally complain that slavery or child abuse is offensive - we recognise that they are wrong and illegal. The phone calls involved violation of privacy, the sending of obscene (voice)mail, along with bullying and taunting. To frame this episode as if it were merely a matter of bad taste is surely to miss the point.

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  • 62. At 11:12pm on 30 Oct 2008, J_O_E_L_-_C wrote:

    Well, Russell's C4 program was just broadcast a few minutes ago (pre-recorded before this all blew up natch).

    Kudos to C4 for not losing their nerve by going ahead with it - pity the BBC couldn't have been similarly supportive.

    (for those who missed it, it was very funny!)

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  • 63. At 11:31pm on 30 Oct 2008, harryrjh wrote:

    After a long wait - suspending the two individuals (for an unspecified period) was right.

    The subsequent two resignations were right and honorable.

    But what considered appraisal of the facts and the reports has led to the declaration that Ross's suspension should be for three months (without pay)? Are the Beeb so desparate to show the prime minister and the public that they are doing something that they have to rush through an instant 'result' when due and fair consideration - which cannot have happened in such a short timescale - may have resulted in any outcome between immediate re-instatement and permanent exclusion/dismissal. I know which end of the scale I would favour, but would be happy to wait in a Ross-free state whilst a considered and un-challengable decision were arrived at in due course.

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  • 64. At 11:31pm on 30 Oct 2008, justfloating wrote:

    (57) - Sis. Is there a solution to the Congolese horrors?

    I was only 1 month in Africa but away from any white landrovers and other external or tourist influences. I could not see anyway to help them. Aid was aid, it was not a future. Every type of aid help was destroying some part of their society. Every gun just removed a youngster from the society to defend the border. They were sick of war.

    Given all the money in the world what could be done?

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  • 65. At 11:36pm on 30 Oct 2008, nikandphil wrote:

    I can hear the advice to Ross from his manager 'Keep your head down and mouth closed for the next three months and people will forget'. I hope people do not forget. He has been so full of himself for quite some time (not a pretty sight). I feel that many licence payers have been dissatisfied with Mr Ross for a long time and this has been their opportunity to express how they feel about him.
    He really should do the decent thing and step down, all credit to Brand for doing so.
    I am sure that in the long run his career will not suffer but he has acknowledged the awful situation they have caused. Mr Ross, over to you!

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  • 66. At 11:36pm on 30 Oct 2008, justfloating wrote:

    (64) Sorry, Should have been on the glass box.

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  • 67. At 11:59pm on 30 Oct 2008, wishfordjulian wrote:

    I will not be satisfied until I see Jonathan Ross sacked. Suspension is not enough.

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  • 68. At 00:56am on 31 Oct 2008, jonnie wrote:

    Well I'll pop in rather late to add my own thoughts - and I'm afraid against public opinion I'm the wrong side of the fence.

    As gossipmistress said - had the Beeb reacted quickly and apologised for Ross and Brand without the long delay some huge talent may have remained within the grasp of the BBC.

    As J_O_E_L_-_C pointed out (one of the few voices of reason) the publicity surrounding Andrew Sachs Grand daughter will serve her very well. After just reading Miss Baillie's comments in yesterdays Independent she is very clued up about what she can get out of this affair!

    Yes of course what was transmitted was over the top and obviously Andrew Sachs was upset - these things sometimes happen. It's inevitable, but was it really so bad?

    That bad? - even Andrew Sachs admitted that these things happen now and again - and appearing on television he wasn't that upset, possibly even enjoying the spotlight?

    The truth is - yet again - the majority of the nation has pandered to the tabloids and two initial complaints have escalated into thousands of 'bandwagon' followers.

    All they have achieved is removing talent, albeit possibly expensive talent in one case, from the airwaves.

    I hope that the BBC really tries to encourage and search for fresh personalities to fill the gaps.

    Finally I'd like to say how sad it is that Lesley Douglas has been put in a position to resign.

    BBC Radio Two has continued to be innovitive under her helm and the listening figures have increased year on year.

    If anyone cares to look at her CV they may see what the BBC has lost.

    l find it sad that many of the so called sterotypical Radio 4 listeners, some my own friends blame the tabloids yet fall in to their hands without even realising, or having the ability to take a logical view of the situation.

    Thank goodness the Radio 4 theme tune wasn't a real person.





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  • 69. At 00:59am on 31 Oct 2008, jonnie wrote:

    Oh and adam1969 - who I missed above.

    The clan is building.

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  • 70. At 01:04am on 31 Oct 2008, needsanewnickname wrote:

    jonnie - your 68 - hear, flipping hear.

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  • 71. At 01:08am on 31 Oct 2008, needsanewnickname wrote:

    Except I think you're being horrid about that pretty young girl, who's obviously deeply upset about 'Kiss-and-Tell' Brand.

    And who can blame her. It must have devastated her pensioner grandpa, poor old dear.

    It's a good job those newspapers are giving her the chance to tell her side of the story.

    I do think she wears a bit too much make-up in all those photos.

    And that's another thing. Splashing her picture all over the place. Now everyone will recognise her and she'll feel even more embarassed

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  • 72. At 01:24am on 31 Oct 2008, jonnie wrote:

    Thanks Frances - and perhaps I was being to judgemental on Miss Baillie's comments though I made my own opinions of the independents editorial.

    I feel equally sorry for Lesley Douglas who has had to sacrifice her career at around 45 for what?

    Radio was my life for 16 years and I can appreciate how she must feeling. I also resigned - not from the BBC but from being unhappy with the regime,

    I'm also aware that there are far more important news stories that have been stifled by this ridiculous story -

    Again blame the tabloids - and unusally for Radio 4 listeners those that feed off them.

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  • 73. At 01:28am on 31 Oct 2008, U13643995 wrote:

    I used to like Ross. Then I grew tired of him. In recent times I've found him repetitive, boorish and annoying.

    I didn't really know a lot about Brand. I listened to his resignation speech earlier this evening - apologetic, contrite and sincere.

    Considering that Ross was more offensive in the messages to Andrew Sachs, I think the wrong guy resigned.

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  • 74. At 01:44am on 31 Oct 2008, jonnie wrote:

    Re:- BrokenBronco above:-

    'I didn't really know a lot about Brand.'

    BrokenBronco - I'm glad you admitted that - and have considered that many people liked Brands style and humour.

    Great - so that makes at least 5 now ;-)



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  • 75. At 01:53am on 31 Oct 2008, RJMolesworth wrote:

    J_O_E_L_-_C @62

    You don't write like a 12 year old but you laugh like one. I listened to the show and it didn't even approach being funny although I have found both men very funny in the past.

    I just asked two teenagers to listen to the clip and they got bored after 20 seconds so I don't know who this could have been aimed at, other than you.

    There is a growing amount of BBC comedy that just isn't funny. I don't know why those who commision it think it is funny. Perhaps one of them just resigned. Let us hope the rest follow suit.

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  • 76. At 02:04am on 31 Oct 2008, RJMolesworth wrote:

    jonnie @ 68

    Whilst much of what you said is very true, the one thing you can't get around is that this item was not funny. If it had been the BBC would not have a problem defending it and Andrew Sachs would have laughed with the rest. Of, course his grand daughter is going to make hay and good luck to her.

    Brand and Ross's "crime" was being dull and boorish when they are paid to be sparkling and amusing. End of story.

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  • 77. At 06:47am on 31 Oct 2008, John1948 wrote:

    Don't blame the 'media frenzy'. What the media creates, the media can destroy.

    Jonathon Ross and Russell Brand are very average comedy performers whose humour is labelled 'edgy'. What does edgy mean? It seems to me that edgy means daring to go beyond the boundaries of what most people find acceptable and this very fact is thought of as being clever and somehow makes their actions even funnier. The media have built these two comedy performers up for this very reason. The channels are full of them and their clones, which is great for those who enjoy this brand of humour. I believe that the media have over inflated their ability and their popularity to the extent that people were made to feel out of touch and missing something amazing if they did not appreciate their talent. A bit like the Emporer's New Clothes.

    Now that their talent has been exposed as very ordinary, it is hardly surprising that the media which made them into 'stars' is bringing them back down to Earth. This will be good for 'British Comedy'. Ross and Brand have had their day and were in danger of blocking development due to even more mediocre imitators. It is time to move on from humour which is judged by its edginess rather than its wit.

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  • 78. At 07:29am on 31 Oct 2008, michael1948 wrote:

    There is one more resignation needed. Ross is always ready to instruct his lawyers to act when anyone gets too near HIS personal privacy, and if he had any decency he would go. But he hasn't , and probably won't.
    I have to live on a pension, not several millions a year, and when my TV licence reminder arrives in a week or so I shall tear it up. The BBC has plenty of money, it seems. I don't.

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  • 79. At 07:49am on 31 Oct 2008, grungebum wrote:

    So Ross has been "sent off" for 12 weeks without pay, I think he will be laughing into his huge bank statement all the way to the bank. How did he do it, heads rolling left right and centre but not his, that really is a joke.Get rid of the biggest ego in television and sign up some rel talent with our money, what an own goal by the BBC.

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  • 80. At 07:51am on 31 Oct 2008, tone1947 wrote:

    As someone who can take in humour from all corners from LOTSW to the Mighty Boosh, I think I can safely say that this prank was way OTT. I was not totallly endeared by Russell Brand, or his later "it was funny "apology. Nevertheless his actions since have made him rise in my esteem. He resigned, and then subsequently apologised again, also for the support of Lesley Douglas who unnecessarily resigned, IMHO - should have been someone more closely linked to the broadcast.
    However Ross has been noticably quiet, apart from an apparent written apology. We need to see his face speaking the apologywithout the innnuendo smirk he always wears.
    Or is he so embarrassed about the whole thing, or embarrassed about the size of his salary.

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  • 81. At 08:36am on 31 Oct 2008, sassmann wrote:

    Mr Ross is now the odd million pounds poorer.....my heart bleeds.
    Lesley Douglas had the courage and moral fibre to resign and now does not have a job at all.
    Frankly it is Ross that should resign from the BBC...he is overpaid and over the top....I doubt that will change.
    3 months enforced holiday means nothing to him I suspect?
    The BBC should have been brave enough to fire him....but yet again a "fudge".
    The BBC should be ashamed also for wishy washy , indecisive procrastination...and a pathetic "decision"
    Mr Ross should now withdraw with his tail between is legs and hide is face in shame.
    I doubt he will

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  • 82. At 08:38am on 31 Oct 2008, Trevor Mansell wrote:

    Come back Angus Dayton, all is forgiven.

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  • 83. At 08:49am on 31 Oct 2008, justfloating wrote:

    (78) - (79) I just phoned my parents. (young retirees) Since I was brought up on Radio 2, for 12 hours a day, every day, I wondered what they thought.

    They now hit the power button at midday. There is nothing for them. They are into music and need company. But all they get is a series of "egos" with very little content.

    They want a friend and entertainment. But all they get is "hyper", "mentally retarded", "self-congratulating egos". They do not want people like that in their house.


    My point of view is the BBC have lost their core audience and with this excuse they fought back. It was not JUST about this incident. This was the trigger for the anti-ego campaign.


    As for "... the publicity surrounding Andrew Sachs Grand daughter will serve her very well..." I think it is more damage limitation. She is building a career, if she had done nothing she would be always JUST remembered for the incident. Her only way to re-assert her personality on the issue is to take advantage of the situation to get equal coverage controlled by herself. She has to be seen as her own person. Not all publicity is good, but all publicity is a good opportunity.

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  • 84. At 08:57am on 31 Oct 2008, jonnie wrote:

    Re: - RJMolesworth #76

    I agree - the item was far from funny - and very offensive.

    I'd also be surprised if the core 'target' audience found it amusing.

    Both have said that it was very poor judgement and have apologised.

    It's a very fine line to what is deemed acceptable when trying to be innovative and linking with young audiences.

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  • 85. At 09:07am on 31 Oct 2008, chops_uk wrote:

    Are we STILL banging on about this trivial Ross / Brand matter?
    The BBC's incessant hand wringing has entirely disuaded me from turning on the radio in the past couple of days.
    Get over it and report on something interesting in these recently unprecedentedly turbulent fiscal times.

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  • 86. At 09:19am on 31 Oct 2008, J_O_E_L_-_C wrote:

    #71 "It's a good job those newspapers are giving her the chance to tell her side of the story... Splashing her picture all over the place. Now everyone will recognise her and she'll feel even more embarassed"

    I would suggest that not only is she well aware of the pictures, she will have approved them and I further propose that "recognition" is the sole intention behind them.

    I wouldn't underestimate her capacity for exploiting the situation - I suppose you could argue that she is entitled to make use of the publicity for her own benefit, but I personally feel a dignified silence would have been the more appropriate response, given the apparent level of offense.

    Perhaps we should reserve judgement until we observe to what extent she continues to garner exposure (pun intended) in the media - the cynic in me suspects we haven't see the last of her...

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  • 87. At 09:34am on 31 Oct 2008, Froggersfroat wrote:

    I shall use my 'off/Channel change' button when Mr. Ross returns next year. If the sheer number of complaints is reflected by people doing the same thing, and a number of the 'Personality ' interviewees' decide that association with the genre may affect career/financial prospects,and if they put their financial interest where their condemnation has been this past week, Friday nights may well improve .

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  • 88. At 09:36am on 31 Oct 2008, J_O_E_L_-_C wrote:

    #75 "You don't write like a 12 year old but you laugh like one."

    Oh well...

    The fact is there is an audience for his style of humour, in much the same way as there is an audience for Clarkson, Titmarsh, Mair and even (nnnngh!) Moyles.

    John Humphrys did make a reasonable point this morning on "Today" about there being a potential audience for pr0n on the BBC too (and that we shouldn't necessarily be rushing to serve it).

    Having said that, it is instructive to note that the Brand (radio) show was a popular download (I refuse to use the pseudo-label "podcast"). With the advent of digital platforms and the increasing balkanisation of 'content' throughout the BBC, even the term "audience" is becoming less meaningful. It should be possible for individual licence payers to tailor their listening and viewing to match their preferences, tastes and standards, without stepping on other people's sensibilities. Its just a shame that a reactionary mindset has, in this case, prevented that from happening.

    (p.s. pull my finger)

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  • 89. At 09:50am on 31 Oct 2008, ingeniousCliff wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 90. At 09:54am on 31 Oct 2008, U13643995 wrote:

    J_O_E_L_-_C (86) - I suspect if you go back and read Frances O's (71) again you might entertain the idea that her tongue was very firmly in her cheek.

    Or a meringue Frances?

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  • 91. At 09:57am on 31 Oct 2008, Gladys_Friday wrote:

    I blame Alexander Graham Bell.

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  • 92. At 10:02am on 31 Oct 2008, David_McNickle wrote:

    Anybody watch Brand last night on Ch 4?

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  • 93. At 10:04am on 31 Oct 2008, David_McNickle wrote:

    Mansaylo 82, Dayton is in Ohio. I think you mean Deayton. Yes, Agnes Deayton.

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  • 94. At 10:08am on 31 Oct 2008, David_McNickle wrote:

    RJM 76, 77-93, not end of story.

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  • 95. At 10:08am on 31 Oct 2008, J_O_E_L_-_C wrote:

    #90 Oh Cobblers -there goes my credibility!

    This is the last post on the subject from me folks. Promise!

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  • 96. At 10:09am on 31 Oct 2008, needsanewnickname wrote:

    jonnie (72), J_O_E_L_-_C (86) - oh, dear, I forgot to switch on the irony alert re the unfortunate young lady. Or was trying to be too clever.

    Bronco - ye're no wrang

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  • 97. At 10:11am on 31 Oct 2008, David_McNickle wrote:

    F_O 71, From the pics I've seen, she's not bad looking. A bit too Goth for me, but not bad.

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  • 98. At 10:13am on 31 Oct 2008, U13643995 wrote:

    DMcN (93) - I think you'll find that the correct spelling is Agnus Dei.

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  • 99. At 10:14am on 31 Oct 2008, Leancranker wrote:

    I for one am glad that Lesley Douglas has gone. Over on 6music, we have had to put up with her signings (George Lamb) and messing about with established DJs.
    There is a huge thread

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/mb6music/F1950413?thread=5020256&latest=1#p70978881


    which has been calling for Douglas to go for some time now, and we all collectively cheered when we heard the news.

    It made me smile inwardly when I saw Chris Evans choking back the tears on the news. Presumably, he (and his ilk) has an eye to future salary negotiations in a Douglas-less BBC.

    I agree with Justfloating, this is actually a blow against the Cult of Celebrity, and the ratings chasers, that have ruined what was good about the BBC, and panders to the lowest common denominator. The likes of Ross, Brand etc, were becoming so big, that they reminded me of the Radio 1 dinosaurs that had to be cleared out in the eightees.

    At 6music we are looking forward to a new controller who, we assume, will be there for the good of the listeners, not for the benefit of career path blowhards.

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  • 100. At 10:14am on 31 Oct 2008, David_McNickle wrote:

    JOEL_C 62, To be fair, I watched a bit of Brand on Ch 4 and it was a load of carp. (can't say the other word here)

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  • 101. At 10:17am on 31 Oct 2008, justfloating wrote:

    (88) J_O_E_L_-_C - Could I point out that the way they monitor downloads is extremely easy to fudge. I mean from the outside of the BBC. It does not take long to call an ISP get a new IP number load the page and clean the cookies. Then repeat at a rate according to the audience availability. Do this over a number of common ISPs and accounts and no one will be able to follow it, without demanding ISP logs also. Do it from the first day of a new program and there will never be any changes in trend that will show up.

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  • 102. At 10:19am on 31 Oct 2008, David_McNickle wrote:

    adam1969 60, Ch 5 has Laura Norders, NCIS, and various CSIs that are worth watching and ITV1 has some good crime dramas like Touch of Frost. For comedy I watch HIGNFY, Little Britain (USA at the moment) and some old repeats.

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  • 103. At 10:26am on 31 Oct 2008, David_McNickle wrote:

    pp70 49, So what are you doing here then?

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  • 104. At 10:31am on 31 Oct 2008, David_McNickle wrote:

    I don't trust people with a three-day growth of hair on thier face, Mr Thompson.

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  • 105. At 10:55am on 31 Oct 2008, littleFluffyFi wrote:

    Sorry I'm really late in arriving here, been bogged down in work, but I just wanted to say Jonnie, I completely and utterly agree with you. I think it is a really sad loss to R2 that Lesley Douglas has gone. She has turned R2 into a vibrant and interesting station and has been a fantastic Controller. She took chances by bringing Brand, Ross and Chris Evan - another slight wild card - to the station and on the whole it had paid off in terms of the variety of output that it produced. I must admit I initially did feel that Brand and Ross should be sacked over this but after having time to digest the facts and be more aware of the circumstances I no longer feel this should be the case, although I do agree that it is right for Ross to be suspended for a while. I used to be a fan but he has over recent times become far too egotistical and self obsessed - so hopefully this enforced absence may give hime to reflect and revert back to the genuinely funny presenter he once was (and in fact still can be on his radio show when he is not letching over female guests!!). As for Russell Brand, he is what he is - you do not have to listen to or watch him if he is not your cup of tea. He was, after all, only on air once a week. I personally took a while to warm to him but after realising so much he said was done deliberately and in a tongue in cheek way I then really grew to like him. I too watched Ponderland last night and found it very very funny...

    And that is why this business is so incredibly sad and unneccessary. I stand by my view that the phone messages were rude, cruel and completely unneccessary and should never have been made never mind put on air. I still feel whoever made that decision to air them was completely wrong and should be disciplined. But I think the whole business has blown out of all proportion. Whilst I don't doubt Andrew Sachs was upset by the whole business, I also feel that he was completely gracious and willing to forgive and forget after a heartfelt and genuine apology. However I am sad to say I feel that his granddaughter is perhaps, shall we say, making the most of the publicity.

    So it is a very sad day for R2, I wish Lesley Douglas all the luck in the world and I sincerely hope that the Beeb does not go to the other extreme and become a safe, sanitised, dull middle of the road station again.............perhaps Terry Wogan will be asked to drop his Janet and John feature next!!

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  • 106. At 11:34am on 31 Oct 2008, nikandphil wrote:

    The saddest thing of this whole sorry episode is the damage that has been done to the BBC.
    Yes, the fact that it was not stopped being broadcast is bad but let's face it Mr Ross was the mouthpiece, yet he remains silent now.
    We must keep our BBC intact! It is the jewel in the crown.
    The over inflated ego of Mr Ross and the sycophantic behaviour of BBC executives who are pandering to him, is extremely damaging. Do they really believe a suspension will harm him? it certainly won't worry him financially!
    Over to you Mr Ross!

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  • 107. At 11:35am on 31 Oct 2008, freerangehen wrote:

    It's probably already been said (haven't got time to read all the previous comments) but there are parallels here with the Queen's out-of-touch response after Diana died. Too little, too late (though her maj did heed advice a lot more quickly than the lumbering beeb).The facetious upstart they shoved in front of the microphone to make the first 'apology' was a dire choice. You could hear the fatuous snigger in his voice as he said his insincere Sorry. I feel some sympathy for the controller who has had to fall on her sword to save the likes of him (even if she does think Brand and Ross are great guys).

    There's been such an outcry because some of us - a lot of us - are sick to death of yob culture (which is linked to overpaid celebrity culture).

    The BBC has shown itself to be craven in this respect, pandering to the lowest common denominator. Being vulgar and insensitive is not 'cutting edge'. And Jonathan Ross is not 'too important' to be sacked. What's important is that the BBC shows integrity, maturity and acknowledgement of the views of the public (who are also its bosses).

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  • 108. At 11:36am on 31 Oct 2008, squid-1 wrote:

    So no more repeats of I'm Sorry I Havn't a Clue - or will Humph be bleeped? Yow are at risk of becomming the Daily Mail Broadcasting Service. If that is the case then I resign!

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  • 109. At 11:46am on 31 Oct 2008, ingeniousCliff wrote:

    I sent a reasonable comment to this blog today but it has been referred to the Moderator because it contained a quote from the Ross/Brand broadcast . It was not spelled out but I used ****.

    It was used to explain a point, I think it is sad and laughable that the BBC has swung from one extreme to another in dealing with this. Or are they just protecting Ross? All newspapers can Use **** so why not here if it is in context and not indiscriminate?. You have lost alot of credibility in my eyes. Are you going to send this to the Moderator too?

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  • 110. At 12:08pm on 31 Oct 2008, politeTazmanianDevil wrote:

    Well, it seems that most people want Ross to go. I don't know anyone with an i.q. higher than a gnat who likes him. It's just the BBC and gnats who seem to think he has talent.
    Two people have lost their jobs over this incident, yet he was the perpetrator. If he was a professional broadcaster it would not even have crossed his mind to make such vile comments on someones answering machine, and the fact that he did it shows that he has not an ounce of professionalism in him.
    It's not a case of boring old people versus exciting young people as some commentators seem to think, it's about respect or reeespec if you prefer.

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  • 111. At 12:12pm on 31 Oct 2008, Dafyddl wrote:

    I don't give a monkeys if Brand or Ross are fired or fried - they are just spoilt over-paid children in men's bodies. But I do find it amazing that the same politicians, media etc have not called for the resignation of any bankers and investment 'experts' (robbers) who are responsible for the misery of thousands if not millions who lost their homes, savings or pensions. Thinking about it - not that surprising in Britain these days.

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  • 112. At 12:27pm on 31 Oct 2008, needsanewnickname wrote:

    J_O_E_L_-_C , you'll soon get it back!

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  • 113. At 12:38pm on 31 Oct 2008, Joe Walker wrote:

    Big Sister (57)

    I'm sorry you're taking my comments personally. I insinuated nothing about you. I'm saying (again and again!) that this sort of public hysteria has (for those at least who 'only' want to express their disapproval) unintended consequences which are likely to resound for years.

    For good or ill, the BBC's output can have world-altering effects. When public sensibilities have been stimulated sufficiently to appear to warrant mass lobbying, then, as we have seen, the BBC's priorities become those of the most powerful lobbyist's (in this case a few Beeb-hating national papers).

    I think it is you who is taking the 'either/or' approach by not appearing to consider the consequences of jumping on this particular bandwagon and condemning those who may be concerned where this all might lead.

    Perhaps you feel these consequences are worth it. If not at least take the trouble to say so because simply registering your disapproval of the original act is now far from sufficient.

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  • 114. At 12:45pm on 31 Oct 2008, regalvalkyrie wrote:

    Mr Ross and Mr Brand should also be responsible for their work. They must know when they say something 'close to the knuckle' or are insulting. If not they are not too bright or talented and are vastly overpaID.
    The BBC need to monitor and train some of their staff better.
    These 'stars' have too much power. You need strong producers / editors to say NO to them.How did they get 'power' in the first place?
    The BBC have got lazy. Why are they not nurturing new and fresh talent instead of depending and hanging on to the likes of Mr Ross? Is that one of the reasons they are afraid to sack him - they have no one to replace him?
    That £ 18 million could have been utilised alot better I think.
    How the hell did Mr Brand get to where he is?
    Yes the BBC need to entertain across age groups but even the young have standards. Mr Brand is not even witty or intelligently funny. I have yet to meet anyone who watches him! He made them cringe in the US - not that it is too hard to do!
    What happened to common sense?It did not need a BBC producer/editor to spot a 'bad' taping!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Get a grip BBC .Comedy wise you have lost the plot.
    Makes you wonder what all the fuss about Sarah Kennedy was about!!!!!!
    And I love Sarah Kennedy.

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  • 115. At 12:56pm on 31 Oct 2008, ingeniousCliff wrote:

    Ross said the most offensive thing in the crudest terms possible re the Grand daughter of Andrew sachs. He spoke the way we all say we dont want our children or young people to speak. It is so bad I cannot even hint at it here because the BBC will not put it on this blog.(There is a name for that) So why is he still here? The Controller of Radio 2 has taken the punishment, how can he stand by? Imagine the demos that will follow his shows now and demos on air ...why dont we put it all behind us and learn from it........when Ross has resigned of course.

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  • 116. At 12:56pm on 31 Oct 2008, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    ingeniousCliff @ 109, the moderators are not actually part of the BBC, as far as I can make out: they are some sort of farmed-out security-firm, or something. Nobody here has the faintest idea what makes them tick or causes them to decide anything! If I were you I wouldn't take their actions personally, or think that what they did necessarily has anything whatever to do with what was in your post: recently they have been censoring posts that contained quotations from Radio 4 that had been spoken by a man in his eighties when they were broadcast! In effect many of us have decided that the mods are off their rockers many times in the past, and no doubt in times to come they still will be.

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  • 117. At 1:27pm on 31 Oct 2008, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    oh, and Cliff -- do you mean that they *told* you why something had been referred to moderation? If so, please share! None of the regulars here have ever had anything more in the way of explanation than 'it broke the house rules' with a list of *all* the rules and no hint as to which one it broke... Though I did once get an email that said my post had been removed because it was potentially defamatory -- but not what bit of a longish post they were upset about. So did they get specific to you in email? tell, tell!

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  • 118. At 1:37pm on 31 Oct 2008, PM_driver_fan wrote:

    I am pleased that the BBC trustees don't have the "laddish" attitude that led to this behavior and have taken the appropriate action. Mr Sachs has the grace and dignity to accept the apology. At least as he is over 75 he does not contribute to Messrs' Brand and Ross' outrageous income. Possibly the suspended pay from Mr Ross could be donated to Children in need?
    I admit that whenever Mr Ross appears on a television programme I change channels and have done this for some time, I suggest that others adopt this approach. We may get some standards back in broadcasting.

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  • 119. At 1:40pm on 31 Oct 2008, jonnie wrote:

    Frances - I did get your intended irony by the way ;-)

    ingeniousCliff @ 109

    Chris_Ghoti is spot on. Even Eddie Mair's comments have been moderated in the past.

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  • 120. At 1:41pm on 31 Oct 2008, regalvalkyrie wrote:

    Chris Ghoti-
    Yes I seem to have been delayed by the moderator too.
    No idea why - no email -as yet.
    I thought I had written some constructive criticism.No swearing. checked my spelling; verbs;adjectives etc.I was very polite using 'Mr'when addressing Mr Ross and Mr Brand!
    Maybe it is getting all too much.
    I only signed in today aswell.

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  • 121. At 2:11pm on 31 Oct 2008, Leancranker wrote:

    If any of you are interested, there is an interview with Paul Gambaccini on 5 live from this morning.
    Interestingly, there are two versions of this interview. One is a full unedited version on the Listen Again feature, go to 2hrs 7 mins after Chris Evans.
    The edited version is the link from the 5Live home page.

    I wonder why the comments about Brand being Lesley Douglas' pet were removed...

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  • 122. At 3:26pm on 31 Oct 2008, U13643995 wrote:

    regalvalkyrie (120) - Welcome.
    You are probably only subject to the usual pre-moderation that all new users encounter. After about 4 or 5 posts you will find that all future posts are accepted and screened immediately.

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  • 123. At 4:47pm on 31 Oct 2008, Leancranker wrote:

    Sorry.
    The BBC has taken down the Listen Again 5 live link and Feedback.

    I wonder why..?

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  • 124. At 4:47pm on 31 Oct 2008, KarenfromOxford wrote:

    Reflecting on all of the discussion regarding taste and decency and what is cutting edge on the BBC - I remember as a child the thrill of watching Monty Python's Flying Cisrcus when it first came out and the delicious sense of outrageousness that kept my parents hovering over the TV 'off' button. My brother and I were at an age when smut equalled humour - in common with millions of others - even though I'm now 54 years of age and my sense of humour may have changed. Then at Christmas we got the Monty Python Big Red Book and I remember being horrified when my grandfather picked it up, thinking it was some innocuous Christmas annual. I dreaded him turining to the pages where you could see a nipple through a keyhole and then turn the page to discover it was a picture of a policeman with his shirt open revealing his breasts! And all this by the people - or at least John Clease - who went on to make Fawlty Towers. The personal attack on Andrew Sachs and the deeply offensive, misogynist nature of the Ross Brand 'prank' shows a lack of judgement and taste in a league of its own and deserves a harsh reaction. But don't let's get all puritanical about the current state of cutting edge comedy going too far. I love Ross's shows and think the editor's head should have rolled, not that of the Radio 2 Controller.

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  • 125. At 6:57pm on 31 Oct 2008, freerangehen wrote:

    I felt some sympathy for Leslie Dpuglas until todays' news that she knew about the pre-recorded obscene phone call. Why didn't she stop them? Middle-aged women are supposed to be sensible! And why didn't she do the honourable thing and resign immediately, not dither for days.
    As for Brand's resignation, it's blindingly obvious he jumped before he was pushed. Not much honour and grace there, then.

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  • 126. At 7:45pm on 31 Oct 2008, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    Karen @ 124, the thing about Monty Python (which I also watched first time round) was that it mocked at shiboleths, and also at smutty idiots (remember the nudge-nudge wink-wink sketch?) but in general, people who saw anything smutty in the show had put the smut in for themselves. As in the nipple-through-the-keyhole: people who assumed it must be a female nipple and therefore 'taboo' had made a fool of themselves -- the Python team simply allowed them to do it, they didn't go around brandishing pictures of naked women and saying 'oooh, shocked are you, get a life, can't take a joke...'

    Much more opening for the mind!

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  • 127. At 00:59am on 01 Nov 2008, jonnie wrote:

    The last ever refuge post - as the site will close tomorrow - or in the near future.


    Angry Jane @ Mon, 27 Oct 08 20:29:58 +0000:

    Why have he BBC not suspended Jonathon Ross and Russel Brand. They have been rude and abusive and have been caught in the act. They should at least be suspended without pay until a disciplinary hearing or better still just sacked. If the general public behaved in such a way at work, policies and proceedures would be used to put an immediate stop to their behaviours. so why have the Beeb not done so.

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  • 128. At 01:00am on 01 Nov 2008, jonnie wrote:

    Ahem !

    A little late - but aired nonetheless.

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  • 129. At 1:58pm on 01 Nov 2008, mittfh wrote:

    Just spotted this link courtesy of an iPM contributor...
    Most of those quotes / incidents apparently slipped out on his TV show - as the list is dated by month, I presume the descriptions/quotes are accurate...

    -oOo-

    One thing that's been bugging me with the whole issue of JR's salary:
    How does it compare with other TV/radio personalities? Their contracts are probably all individually negotiated, but what is the average going rate for an "A list" / "B list" / "C list" etc. personality? The "A list"ers would probably hate the idea, but how about a little more transparency in salaries? Or even a fixed salary structure depending on the channel (e.g. BBC1 would pay more than BBC2 due to a bigger audience), hours of work involved (including off-screen), length of service etc.?

    A clear code of conduct would also be useful, with clear guidance on disciplinary / grievance procedures - i.e. like practically every other organisation!

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  • 130. At 8:56pm on 01 Nov 2008, ingeniousCliff wrote:

    It was because I used a word with *****. All forms of swearing are banned.

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  • 131. At 9:01pm on 01 Nov 2008, ingeniousCliff wrote:

    Why did the hesitant stumbling DG of the BBC protect Ross? Does Ross know something?
    I was a Private Detective until I retired 14 years ago I might get a few old contacts to sniff around. Keep your eyes on the Sunday Papers.

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  • 132. At 10:05pm on 03 Nov 2008, Mike Taylor wrote:

    I would like to make a couple of nominations for Film YYYY presenter:
    1 Katie Derham, who used to be a well-informed sidekick to Barry Norman and who must be getting bored of readin auto-queues by now;
    2 Gail Porter, who showed a surprising grasp of film theory when presenting a cinema programme for Channel Five.
    The BBC management might complain that they are both too well qualified, but isn't it time to try using competent people for a change?
    I am a feminist, but my suggestions are based purely on talent.

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  • 133. At 11:03pm on 03 Nov 2008, ingeniousCliff wrote:

    It needs a gent for gravitas, try Brian Blessed

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