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Russell Brand, Jonathan Ross, Andrew Sachs and the BBC.

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Eddie Mair | 15:12 UK time, Monday, 27 October 2008

brand.jpg rossj.JPG sachs.JPG bbc.jpg

The BBC has apologised...you can read more here .

In the programme tonight, we'll discuss all this. I'd like to know what YOU think. Feel free to leave a comment. We already had this email:

"I was absolutely appalled to hear about Brand and Ross's call to Andrew Sachs. Rightly so the BBC has apologised to Mr Sachs and presumably his granddaughter. However, I have heard nothing about what disciplinary action is being taken against Brand and Ross. In many jobs such activity would mean loss of employment. As entertaining as both Brand and Ross are (and I do enjoy their shows), I do not feel it is acceptable to let such awful behaviour go unchecked.

I have 2 young daughters and if I were to one day to hear of men boasting of their conquest of either of them you can imagine what reaction I might have.

Mr Flack"


  • 1. At 3:34pm on 27 Oct 2008, Fearless Fred wrote:

    I'm just going to repeat what I said in the Glass Box, with a few additional comments....

    All I can say is that I agree with the vast majority of people here. Leaving offensive voicemails isn't big, it isn't clever, and it certainly isn't funny. It's the sort of thing that makes teenage boys laugh in the back of the class at best. So far, there's been no mention of any disciplinary action taken by the Beeb against either of the pair. In most companies, you'd at least get penalised, if not sacked for behaviour such as this. If the Beeb wants to show that they won't tolerate abuse, they should at least fine both broadcasters a significant amount (2 month's salary would be a good starting point).

    Both broadcasters are vastly over-rated as far as I'm concerned. 'Wossy' in particular is paid an absolute fortune for a below average chat-show (more about promoting himself than the guests) and a boring R2 show. Cut him loose, Beeb, and let him make his way in the commercial sector...

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  • 2. At 3:44pm on 27 Oct 2008, betty-jane wrote:

    will the bbc look at whether jonathan ross is a suitable host for comic relief or children in need. i think that this episode proves he is not suitable.

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  • 3. At 3:46pm on 27 Oct 2008, U13643995 wrote:

    And to repeat what I said on The Glass Box:

    So the BBC Radio 2 spokeswoman said: "We are reviewing how this came about . . ."
    I hope that means that whoever passed this pre-recorded rubbish as being suitable for broadcast will be sanctioned as much as Ross and Brand should be.

    Brand's pathetic apology is rendered insincere by other comments he has since made. I'm not sure that he should be trusted on the airwaves again. I've not heard of any apology from Ross.

    I'm all in favour of the BBC paying the going rate for the most talented presenters and entertainers. These two aren't in that bracket. I agree with Fearless Fred - cut them loose.

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  • 4. At 3:48pm on 27 Oct 2008, peej wrote:

    Can't disagree with you FF (1). I can understand the BBC trying to provide programming which attracts the 'yoof' of today. But there must be a way of doing it without abandoning their core values - that is if they haven't been submerged in management-speak. I would imagine most people are far more concerned about this incident than they are about some nonsense over who named Blue Peter's cat. But I doubt if the powers that be will take similarly quick action

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  • 5. At 3:49pm on 27 Oct 2008, Piper wrote:

    I hope no-body who posted on this issue earlier on "The Glass Box" objects, but I've copied the post's here, for reference.

    2. At 1:09pm on 27 Oct 2008, Chris_Ghoti wrote:
    A little haggle of questions that don't seem to fit anywhere else:

    Why did anyone think it 'funny' to ring up an elderly man and leave offensive messages on his answerphone?

    Given the unpleasant 'sense of humour' thus displayed, why did anyone think that broadcasting the comments on national radio was correct behaviour?

    *How* much are the two people directly responsible for this peurile nastiness paid, and why?

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    3. At 1:13pm on 27 Oct 2008, Charlie wrote:
    One of the most telling articles I've read for some time about the condition of our "society".

    At least, the final couple of chapters restore some sense of dignity...


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    4. At 1:23pm on 27 Oct 2008, mittfh wrote:

    a) Russell Brand has 'form' - apparently during one live show he made a hoax call to the local police station and claimed he'd been responsible for an assault.

    b) The same kind of person who'd do (a)?

    c) Too much! Especially as both have multiple income sources...
    It would be interesting to see how they'd cope with a Countdown-style pay cut...
    Actually, since Carol was threatened with going from 700k to about 70k, and Woss currently gets about 4.5m a year, a 90% salary cut would only bring him down to 450k a year. How about a 99% cut, to 45k a year? That's still considerably more than the majority of the working population of the UK...

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    5. At 1:28pm on 27 Oct 2008, Piper wrote:

    If the following is any where near correct, we have some idea of Mr Ross' minimum gross income as it stood a few short years ago:


    Oh, I almost forgot this, from the same source (2006):

    "...Leaked figures earlier this year revealed Ross is paid '530,000 for hosting his radio programme"

    "...BBC1 controller Peter Fincham said: "Jonathan is a uniquely talented broadcaster and is at the very top of his game. He's one of the defining faces of BBC1 and his Friday night chat show is the best in the business. We're all delighted he's staying."


    Bringing the BBC into disrepute by such utterly appalling behaviour should, surely, be enough reason for contract termination?

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    6. At 1:34pm on 27 Oct 2008, The Stainless Steel Cat wrote:
    Chris and Charlie:

    That's unbelievable.That anyone on any British broadcast medium would think that this was acceptable is disgusting, that it would happen on the BBC is completely unacceptable.

    Brand and Ross have shown over the past few years a complete disregard for the notions of respect and professionalism and I think they need to be relegated to some squalid little commercial station somewhere rather than the jewel of radio.

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    7. At 1:37pm on 27 Oct 2008, Big Sister wrote:
    Well, for me Manuel is eternally young!

    But seriously - I agree. I'm afraid that what Ross and Brand did was NOT funny - it was puerile, offensive, and may even be illegal. It is a pity that the Beeb took a little while to offer its apologies, and an even greater pity that the two miscreants are allowed to continue broadcasting.

    Can the Beeb not, at the very least, inflict a fine upon them? Perhaps to be contributed to a charity of Mr. Sach's (or his granddaughter's) choice?

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    8. At 1:40pm on 27 Oct 2008, Piper wrote:

    You might wish to consider adding (with permission) Chris_G's post@2 to your comments. You both make good points.

    mittfh@4. I get your drift on this issue but, why I wonder, should imbecile's like these two be allowed to exercise and perfect their stupidity at the public expense?

    I don't know but suspect the contractual sums involved would produce some very worthwhile programmes in all sectors offered by the BBC. And, save the jobs of quite a few decent, hard working people.

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    9. At 2:12pm on 27 Oct 2008, justfloating wrote:
    I agree. When a person can be banned from using the NHS for just verbal actions. These two should be banned from Radio for continued abuse.

    What is the percentage of our TV license that goes to this pair?

    Please include the producers salaries since the program was recorded? It was not just a slip up.

    I can survive happily without them.

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    10. At 2:32pm on 27 Oct 2008, Chris_Ghoti wrote:
    I have just remembered that a few years ago (when he was not yet a household name, I think) I encountered Ross at a booksigning.

    He was trying to jump the queue.

    I *knew* I recognised the face from somewhere!

    I wouldn't invite either of these people into my house, in fact if either came to the door I would turn him away, so I slightly resent the fact that they might gatecrash into it if I turned on a radio that was set to the wrong signal at the wrong moment.

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    11. At 2:32pm on 27 Oct 2008, mittfh wrote:
    Perhaps at the very least the two should be given a Final Written Warning - i.e. if they do anything else similarly crass, instant dismissal on the grounds of Gross Misconduct (after all, if they can dismiss without notice children's TV presenters caught indulging in the use of illegal substances...) The fact their broadcasts regularly pull in 2m listeners plus shouldn't be used as an excuse to let them pull off this sort of behaviour.

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    12. At 2:39pm on 27 Oct 2008, Sid wrote:
    re Ross and Brand: appalling (and not funny).

    It occurs to me that very different standards are applied to those of us who post on the BBC blogs, where you can't even quote Humphrey Lyttleton without a slap on the wrist ...

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    13. At 3:03pm on 27 Oct 2008, Fearless Fred wrote:
    All I can say is that I agree with the vast majority of people here. Leaving offensive voicemails isn't big, it isn't lever, and it certainly isn't funny. Both broadcasters are vastly over-rated as far as I'm concerned. 'Wossy' in particular is paid an absolute fortune for a below average chat-show (more about promoting himself than the guests) and a boring R2 show. Cut him loose, Beeb, and let him make his way in the commercial sector...

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    14. At 3:28pm on 27 Oct 2008, Eddie Mair wrote:
    There is a Brand thread that has just been started, if you're interested...

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    15. At 3:43pm on 27 Oct 2008, BrokenBronco wrote:
    So the BBC Radio 2 spokeswoman said: "We are reviewing how this came about . . ."
    I hope that means that whoever passed this pre-recorded rubbish as being suitable for broadcast will be sanctioned as much as Ross and Brand should be.

    Brand's pathetic apology is rendered insincere by other comments he has since made. I'm not sure that he should be trusted on the airwaves again. I've not heard of any apology from Ross.

    I'm all in favour of the BBC paying the going rate for the most talented presenters and entertainers. These two aren't in that bracket. I agree with Fearless Fred - cut them loose.

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  • 6. At 3:59pm on 27 Oct 2008, mittfh wrote:

    Never mind the abusive phone calls, surely Brand deserves punishment for whatever was going on in picture 1 above...
    If that's typical of his radio shows, it's a good job radio isn't a visual medium...

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  • 7. At 4:04pm on 27 Oct 2008, Lynnblogger wrote:

    I'm so sorry that the BBC has degenerated into an organisation that allows public money to be wasted on programmes that rely on tasteless stunts like this presented as entertainment. Is Controller Lesley Douglas intending to take any action against Brand and Ross? If I, like other employees in any organisation, was guilty of conduct at work that management considered 'unacceptable and offensive' (BBC's words), disciplinary action would most certainly follow. It's about time that BBC management understood that there is a majority of people in this country who do have moral standards and expect much more than the immature drivel that these two so-called broadcasters provide.

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  • 8. At 4:07pm on 27 Oct 2008, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    Sorry I pre-empted your thread by being peevish about this earlier, Eddie: I was just put out by the story...

    It seems to me that these two louts (judging by their behaviour) really ought to be in some way brought up short and stopped from behaving in such an unpleasant way. It can't be good for the BBC in general to be associated with the sort of behaviour that they've apparently thought acceptable. I'm not shouting for a return to everyone having to wear evening dress to broadcast in, but I think some standards are needed, and some sanctions against them if they clearly overstep the mark.

    Of course, if they don't know where the mark might be, then getting rid of them altogether is probably the safest thing to do. They can't be trusted not to get it badly wrong again, if that's the case.

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  • 9. At 4:11pm on 27 Oct 2008, Aggie wrote:

    I'm a huge fan of Jonathan Ross (not Russell Brand though) and generally find him very entertaining, unlike some others commenting here. *But* I thought this was an absolute disgrace and he should be more than ashamed of himself.

    I agree with someone earlier that he should be heavily fined and the money given to charity. And the editor who let this pre-recorded piece go out on air should be disciplined too.

    I can't begin to imagine how Andrew Sachs' granddaughter feels about all of this..

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  • 10. At 4:18pm on 27 Oct 2008, MrZico wrote:

    It is difficult to understand what all the fuss is about, re Ross and Brand.

    The only option is dismissal, and cancellation of all contracts, with immediate effect.

    The same should apply to any member of staff who failed to prevent this sort of thing being broadcast. An "apology" is not enough.

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  • 11. At 4:24pm on 27 Oct 2008, DI_Wyman wrote:

    I have no time what so ever for Brand.

    Until now I have thought Jonathan Ross has been a quite reasonable presenter, a bit near the knuckle at times but still a decent sort.

    Now I am not so sure, perhaps we could e-mail him or perhaps give him a call and make suggestions about his wife Jane Goldman, his three children and a menagerie of pets including a dog, cat, iguana, two salamanders, 2 chinchillas and a number of ferrets - he hopes to get a fruit bat soon.

    I'm sure he would see the funny side.

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  • 12. At 4:33pm on 27 Oct 2008, David_McNickle wrote:

    I don't listen to Brand or Ross. They are a couple of jerks.

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  • 13. At 4:35pm on 27 Oct 2008, DI_Wyman wrote:

    David_McNickle (12) one certainley is, but I think the other is now a wonker!

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  • 14. At 4:36pm on 27 Oct 2008, David_McNickle wrote:

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

  • 15. At 4:39pm on 27 Oct 2008, Charlie wrote:


    "...Cut him loose, Beeb, and let him make his way in the commercial sector..."

    Fearless, I couldn't agree with you more and, the same treatment should apply to Mr Brand (if he has any contractual ties to the BBC) and to whichever member/s of the BBC production staff who thought the pre-recorded material appropriate for broadcast.

    An appalling situation. Truly.

    The amounts of licence payer money reportedly being spent by the BBC for the services(?) of Mr Ross alone, if even remotely correct, are shaming.

    Are these incompetent people (Mr Ross and Mr Brand) really the best the BBC can obtain given the funds involved..?

    Someone, (apart from Mr Ross) is, I fear, having a huge laugh at the licence payer's expense. If only the situation were amusing.

    So, the question remains, what is the BBC actually going to do about this..?

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  • 16. At 4:40pm on 27 Oct 2008, David_McNickle wrote:

    mittfh 6, I believe Brand peed in a cup (back turned) on two TV programs including HIGNFY. If I did that in front of a much smaller audience in the center of St Albans, I would probably be arrested.

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  • 17. At 4:49pm on 27 Oct 2008, adamsblogg wrote:

    I think that the BBC should consider terminating both their contracts they are a very bad example to the young

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  • 18. At 4:51pm on 27 Oct 2008, Big Sister wrote:

    I gather Mr. Brand, in his 'apology', compared leaving a swear word on Mr. Sach's answerphone with a newspaper supporting Adolf Hitler, intimating that his offence was trivial in comparison with theirs.

    Frankly, I think this sums Mr. Brand up. How can he possibly find this any kind of a justification for what he did? How does he think that the use of a swear word was the root of his offence? And, not least, how can he possibly try to justify his behaviour by reference to Adolf Hitler, a reference which illustrates how utterly ignorant he is, and in particular in connection with Mr. Sachs, whose family were refugees from the Holocaust?

    This is one of those days when I feel ashamed of my countrymen, and will be disgusted with the BBC if it does not take some meaningful action against Mr. Brand and Mr. Ross.

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  • 19. At 4:52pm on 27 Oct 2008, Derek Forrest wrote:

    There is nothing surprising about the antics of these two overpaid baboons but what is surprising is that some hopefully more responsible editor gave the episode approval. This gives the go- ahead for more of the like and tells the world that Auntie now behaves like a half drunk thirteen year old child who takes delight in making rude noises through a public address system.

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  • 20. At 5:01pm on 27 Oct 2008, hurrahforjoanofarc wrote:

    I cannot for the life of me understand why both Brand and Ross were not sacked instantly. It isn't simply up to the BBC to "give them another chance" for we are the licence fee payers and, as far as the majority are concerned, they are simply not worth it. I would go even further and sack all those who love to "challenge" any degree of morality or decency and bring back the the old BBC we not only loved but respected.

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  • 21. At 5:01pm on 27 Oct 2008, mittfh wrote:

    David @ 14: Interestingly enough, I heard a different moan from a viewer of that episode of SoP (I was more productively employed at the time of broadcast - walking her dog!). It was apparently "The nation's favourite hymns", yet apparently all but one they featured were pre-20th century. Given the ever increasingly number of evangelical / pentecostal churches in the UK, that probably rarely use anything more than 20 years old, it would be interesting to compare the demographics of the survey respondents with church-goers in general...

    @16: If they must use comedians to front such programmes, is it too much to ask that they use types other than those that pander to the "lowest common denominator"? Just because The Currant Bun happens to have the highest readership of any UK newspaper, it doesn't mean you have to target national radio shows at a very narrow stereotypical subset of that readership (i.e. the kind that wouldn't buy it if one of the early pages didn't feature a rather large photograph featuring a rather large percentage of bare skin...)

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  • 22. At 5:03pm on 27 Oct 2008, Dr_Hackenbush wrote:

    In other news, is it true that Jack Straw admitted that he's 'nuts' today?

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  • 23. At 5:05pm on 27 Oct 2008, greyDalesman wrote:

    I can't understand the Beebs love affair with these two. neither is funny and both are overpaid.

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  • 24. At 5:10pm on 27 Oct 2008, Orange_Squash wrote:

    Surely this story can not be the lead news item.

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  • 25. At 5:13pm on 27 Oct 2008, BlueWombat wrote:

    it is offensive that my license fee is used to pay for these clowns. They are not funny. They are offensive. They should pay for their mistake and be shown the door.

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  • 26. At 5:15pm on 27 Oct 2008, gullwingracer wrote:

    Re Messrs Ross and Brand, and the un-named editor who approved this abusiove offensive trash- Its quite simple --they should all be sacked- its beyond belief that this was allowed, and even approved by someone in he editorial process- Ross is one of the top paid BBC presenters, (even though his by-line should read 'Dross' - his salary is some £6 million plus per year?) (Brand ,even if he earns only 2 bob, is grossly overpaid)- they should all be sacked, forthwith- I cannot believe what I have heard--- I am a great one for allowing free speech etc etc, but this does go beyond any accepted BBC norm. Sack them NOW!

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  • 27. At 5:16pm on 27 Oct 2008, z wrote:

    You described Ross and Brand as two of the BBC's biggest stars, on the PM programme. Says it all really doesn't it. My immediate reaction to hearing what you said was that you should have given us time to get something to be sick into.

    Of course these two should be fired without further delay.

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  • 28. At 5:17pm on 27 Oct 2008, Matterbooboo wrote:

    I think Brand and Ross are both a waste of rations. The BBC should dispose of their services as soon as possible and bring back Simon Dee.

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  • 29. At 5:17pm on 27 Oct 2008, sparklesinhere wrote:

    Will Wyatt was right when he said they sounded like naughty schoolkids. I think they're a pair of overpaid berks who can only dream of entertaining as many people as Andrew Sachs has in Fawlty Towers.

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  • 30. At 5:18pm on 27 Oct 2008, petermillsminal wrote:

    These guys are paid a huge amount of money for what? They have no more talent than many other people but seem to have such huge egos that they think they can do anything without consequence . The consequence should be to terminate their contracts but the BBC have not got the courage to do that , so guess what it will happen again and so will another half heated apology .
    Mr Brand also thinks disability is a joke I hope one day he can discover that it is not .

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  • 31. At 5:19pm on 27 Oct 2008, carregwen wrote:

    Sack them immediately. They are not funny, and it has long been a sore point that Ross earns so much from licence payers money. The huge sum that he earns must lead him to take ever more risks in order to justify his -over-inflated salary.

    Sack them, and do it now.

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  • 32. At 5:19pm on 27 Oct 2008, RobBailey1968 wrote:

    It's hardly a surprise. Just look at the language and behaviour of Jonathan on his Friday night show. Both he and Russell are clearly funny guys, but why the need for this type of behaviour? I'd imagine people at the BBC would say that their shows are 'edgy', or something like that. I'm one of the 'Youngs One' generation, so know all about real alternative comedy. What I don't get is the lack of manners that goes with all this. No wonder many of the kids today don't care about anyone. And NO, I'm not a Daily Mail reader who would rather live in the 1950s. I read The Mirror, and would rather tax payer's money is not wasted on shows like this.

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  • 33. At 5:19pm on 27 Oct 2008, jonnie wrote:

    I agree whole heartedly with BigSisters comments.

    I also found and heard the hoax phonecall he made to the police during a live show.

    I really hope that some type of action is taken - and if it was pre-recorded the producer should also take some flack.

    Many years ago, as a producer I accidentilly let some un-edited material of Joan Rivers go out to air.

    It basically libelled Prince Charles. The station received a large fine and I received a major telling off.

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  • 34. At 5:20pm on 27 Oct 2008, loracenna wrote:

    I have just heard the so-called apology that Russell Brand broadcast after his appalling behaviour. How can justifying bad behaviour by suggesting that at least it is not a bad as supporting a Nazi regime be construed to be an apology? That is equally insulting in about six different ways!
    Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross are not talented, not funny, definitely not worth whatever obscene sum they are being paid and, furthermore, they appear to be totally oblivious to the consequence of their actions. If the BBC is funded by the public and the public are disgusted by this then the BBC should sack them

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  • 35. At 5:21pm on 27 Oct 2008, Topdad41 wrote:

    How many more chances and apologies will this overpaid, arrogant idiot (Ross) be allowed before someone tells him to go? Is there no leadership or accountability within the BBC. Is this what my licence fee pays for?

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  • 36. At 5:21pm on 27 Oct 2008, GoldenGrannieAnnieG wrote:

    The BBC apologising is a first step, but I feel that both Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross should be sacked. What they did was disgraceful and there can be no excuse for it. They hold positions of responsibility and have shown they are not to be trusted. They should go.

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  • 37. At 5:21pm on 27 Oct 2008, ebolatzetsefly wrote:

    Jonathan Ross has children - what would he do if someone broadcast remarks like this about his daughters? It's really disgusting to know that my licence fee is going towards paying these people.

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  • 38. At 5:21pm on 27 Oct 2008, johnsr1948 wrote:

    Regarding Brand and Ross, simply hit them where it hurts, fine them a percentage of their salaries and donate it to Children in Need

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  • 39. At 5:22pm on 27 Oct 2008, socialcommentator wrote:

    It is unbeliveable that the BBC in any way could try and defend this pathetic and offensive attempt at humour. I can get that sort of tripe at any pub or from feeble minded teenagers. Brand is a talentless half-wit whose lack of ability is displayed when he comes up against true talent. Repetitious drivel.
    If either of them had left that type of message on my answer machine they would not have had to read about any adverse comments.
    Maybe it is time for producers with some back bone to take charge of the programmes or simply let the duo fade away.
    Is this the best talent we have to offer today!

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  • 40. At 5:23pm on 27 Oct 2008, bigboss5 wrote:

    I'm sitting here as usual listening to your excellent programme but with a sour taste in my mouth! How can the word 'talent' be associated with either of the two perpetrators of this cruel act - especially compared with their innocent target.

    As to punishment - well obviously we await the BBC's decision but in addition to any BBC staff dismissals, surely both of these 'popular characters (??)' should suffer by way of contracts - Russell Brand's apology was pathetic and totally inadequate.

    And no, I'm not an old purist - I actually like comedy but only given by talented comedians not insulting idiots

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  • 41. At 5:25pm on 27 Oct 2008, MirryJ wrote:

    Apologies if this point has already been made.

    The comments were offensive and the pair should definitely be disciplined.

    It might also be a good opportunity, though, for Andrew Sachs to apologise for making his television name on the back of offending Spanish people with the racial stereotype, Manuel!

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  • 42. At 5:25pm on 27 Oct 2008, ramlmmjem wrote:

    Like Messrs Brand and Ross, I work for a public sector organisation. If I left a message like they did to Andrew Sachs on someone else's answerphone from my work phone, I would expect to be immediately suspended and disciplined and probably sacked. I would anticipate the same outcome if I said what they said to Mr Sachs in front of one witness, let alone an entire Radio 2 audience.
    I find it hard to understand why the contracts of both Brand and Ross have not already been withdrawn. It cannot be for financial reasons regarding the cost of compensation as, by their actions, they must have broken the terms of their contracts. As a long-time advocate of the BBC and the standards it sets, I wish I didn't have to say it, but I can only assume that the BBC wishes to condone their actions.

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  • 43. At 5:25pm on 27 Oct 2008, Bubanc wrote:

    Jonathan Ross was, once upon a time, quite funny and clever. Those days are long gone. Russel Brand has, in my view, no talent at all. Yet, both of these men are receiving some of the money I pay into the BBC. They repay this, unbelievable generosity, by acting like a pair of extremely ignorant, bad mannered ten year olds. Do they ring doorbells and run away as an encore I wonder?
    Sack them both and the show's Producer.

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  • 44. At 5:26pm on 27 Oct 2008, Jart wrote:

    Brand comes accross as a cocaine fueld 14 year old. His ego knows no bounds, having "got away with it" on at least one occassion he seems to feel justified in making more deeply offensive comments and when repremanded offer further abuse in a mockery of appology.

    If he and Ross wish to keep their jobs, there needs to be a real, sincere and personal appology.

    I somehow doubt that they are capable of such and would preffer to see them both removed from the BBC's payroll.

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  • 45. At 5:26pm on 27 Oct 2008, akaAntonio wrote:

    In most decent, responsible organisations, Ross, Brand, and the responsible Editorial staff would have already been dismissed. Why is the BBC procrastinating?

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  • 46. At 5:26pm on 27 Oct 2008, Si Trew wrote:

    I think they have probably committed an offence under the various telecomunications acts which bar you from using the telephone system for obscene purposes. I would have to check the act which will take some time so can't quote chapter and verse right now-- it used to be provided in the back of every phone book (in abbreviated form).

    Seems from the look of all the comments here that public censure will be enough. I agree that Woss is no longer suited to present children in need. I don't like Wogan much myself either but at least he always conducts himself with dignity.

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  • 47. At 5:27pm on 27 Oct 2008, mdavies1234 wrote:

    Having, the once and only time, seen 10 minutes of a Ross show in which he humiliated not some "media/actress type" female, perhaps accepting public exposure of his sort, but a clearly innocent captain of a ladies football team, by referring to himself potentially masturbating whilst watching them in the changing room, (this after the victim had complained of a prior innuendo), I am not surprised at any appalling behaviour on his part.

    In my opinion he comes from the cesspit of our society and the BBC should sack him for his behaviour vis-a-vis Andrew Sachs. At the very least I do hope some form of prosecution can be brought.

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  • 48. At 5:27pm on 27 Oct 2008, Baynhall wrote:

    It seems as though respecting the privacy and dignity of individuals has become unfashionable, and anyone who seeks to maintain such standards runs the risk of ridicule. But if phone calls such as those featured in this incident ARE obscene and illegal, then Messrs. Brand and Ross deserve to be prosecuted. Surely bringing their employer, the BBC into disrepute is an action worthy of disciplinary action. An apology from the BBC is not enough.
    Or are highly paid celebrity broadcasters the new sacred cows?

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  • 49. At 5:27pm on 27 Oct 2008, trabuch wrote:

    Having listened to this again on YouTube I have to say that I believe it is Jonathan Ross who comes out of it worst. It will be very interesting to see who takes the flak for this. I should think Ross will be the last in the firing lane as he is the highest paid.

    This really is nasty bullying - teenagers may well take it upon themselves to leave offensive messages on the answerphones of the parents of bullying victims at school. If there is no substantial punishment by the BBC they are setting a dangerous precedent.

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  • 50. At 5:27pm on 27 Oct 2008, RxKaren wrote:

    Maybe I'm just getting old but that wasn't entertaining and I resent the fact that a penny of my licence fee went to pay for it.

    I'm sure the presenters will be keen to emphasise the "team" nature of this kind of enterprise (in a way that is frequently absent when they receive plaudits at the Sony Awards) but, at the end of the day, the words came from their mouths. If they'd not said or done anything there would have been nothing to broadcast to cause offence.

    Ross' flashes of genius are becoming increasingly dominated by crass and senseless acts like this IMHO and I never understood the appeal of Brand. I doubt that either have the decency and maturity to give Mr Sachs a genuine, heartfelt apology as I cannot see them having the insight into the consequences of their actions.

    This whole episode leaves an unpleasant taste in the mouth and diminishes the reputation of more than just the output of one programme on one network. Truly appalling.

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  • 51. At 5:27pm on 27 Oct 2008, georgenann wrote:

    Clearly these guys have seriously overstepped the mark, and unless the BBC take swift and appropriate action, then sadly the credibility of the organisation will have been badly damaged!!!

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  • 52. At 5:27pm on 27 Oct 2008, johnaerial wrote:

    I agree with the majority sentiment expressed in this blog. They are both crap and are simply showing their true colours.

    The highly overrated Russell Brand and Jonathan Dross must be loving this.

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  • 53. At 5:29pm on 27 Oct 2008, Didaskalos wrote:

    Agree with most of what has already been said. However, my fear is that after various suits have appeared on BBC programmes to say how shocking it is, how "lessons have already been learned", how "further action has been taken" Ross and Brand will continue to indulge in their cult of self and nothing will change. We mere mortals would face prosecution for making abusive phone calls, a serious risk of losing our jobs, and the disapproval of the vast majority of people.

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  • 54. At 5:29pm on 27 Oct 2008, mikegun wrote:

    I think that the behaviour or russell & ross was deplorable & both should be dismissed from the bbc.

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  • 55. At 5:29pm on 27 Oct 2008, RobDorking wrote:

    I can't see any argument for not sacking Brand, terminating the contract of Ross, and disciplining the producer.

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  • 56. At 5:29pm on 27 Oct 2008, psharpe wrote:

    Ive just turned my radio on for the 5 O'clock NEWS. Imagine my surprise to find 'Points of View' in the PM slot. There's been a great deal of comment on editorial decisions made to let this inappropriate prank (because that's what it was) air. But what should come under far more scrutiny is the editorial decision to lead with this story in a news programme. I don't really understand why it is considered news at all. I'm sure the way media views itself has changed in the wake of various scandals of late but this media story is not a news story and it shouldn't be lead story on the PM programme. Ridiculous.

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  • 57. At 5:29pm on 27 Oct 2008, Si Trew wrote:

    Maybe relevent, Esther Rantzen used the word "n--g-r" on a comedy programme broadcast on radio 4 and the presenter said "I think that will get edited out and I will have to use the N word" and it was left in-- precisely because she said it is not words that hurt people, it is the sentiments behind them. I have not heard of any complaints of it on Feedback or anything. I think that shows the difference-- the editor (probably risking his job) left it in against BBC guidelines because she was making a genuine and deliberate point.

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  • 58. At 5:30pm on 27 Oct 2008, baje3ooo wrote:

    BBC will stand for Below Broadcasting prinCipals if this trash is allowed to clog the airways and pollute the any impressionable youngsters. I am truly disgusted by the slippery behaviour that has been broadcasted over the last 10 years. This company has now hit rock bottom (I hope) and is now in dire need of moral leadership.

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  • 59. At 5:30pm on 27 Oct 2008, ourvoice wrote:

    Jonathan, Russell start packing your bags mates. I hear they are looking for presenters on those shopping channels, you never know, they might bring out the talent we have failed to see. By the way, your daughter....

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  • 60. At 5:30pm on 27 Oct 2008, City Bumpkin wrote:

    Both these so-called entertainers should be dismissed immediately, as should the person who allowed it to be broadcast. I don't ever to listen to or watch Jonathan Ross so I don't know what his shows are generally like but I am appalled that such trash is being sanctioned by the BBC.

    It is a disgrace that licence-payers money is being used to pay these 2 morons ridiculously high salaries.

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  • 61. At 5:30pm on 27 Oct 2008, shesings wrote:

    If any ordinary licence player phoned up and left abusive and obscene emails on the BBC's answering machine the police would be at their door.

    It is a criminal offence so why have these overpaid, arrogant louts, and the craven producer who allowed this offensive muck to be broadcast, not already been charged.

    The reference to Hitler and the Daily Mail is almost beyond belief. Any 'apology' is not enough.

    Of course, the BBC will probably move or sack the producer but they haven't the guts to sack Brand and Ross, in case it damages their 'ratings'. It makes me sick to my stomach that the BBC has sunk so low.

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  • 62. At 5:31pm on 27 Oct 2008, Kipperuria wrote:

    I object most strongly to my licence fee being used to pay these louts. I wouldn't listen to that clown Brand and soon found many other things to do than listen to 'Woss'; what makes these greatly over rated, vastly over paid and quite talentless nonenties think they have a right to make a joke of decent people? What possible minute importance do these charlatans add to any form of life on this planet?
    As ever, the media lionises the ridiculous and marginalises the important matters in our lives.
    Fire the both of them.

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  • 63. At 5:31pm on 27 Oct 2008, SheffTim wrote:

    If you read what was said I think you'd agree it was grossly offensive. Given what it concerns I think it's also an invasion of privacy. Both of them displayed the sense of two 15yr olds.

    A semi apology by one of them isn't enough. I think its a matter of drawing a line regarding what is and isn't acceptable behaviour.

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  • 64. At 5:31pm on 27 Oct 2008, Somedecorum wrote:

    What really irritates about this is that for years I have managed to avoid the inane puerile nonsense that is all of Brand and most of Ross and now PM of all shows has gone and ruined my efforts.

    These two are pathetic and make fewer folk laugh than Andrew Sachs did in his day. Sadly, they are probably enjoying all the attention. Clever boys.

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  • 65. At 5:31pm on 27 Oct 2008, Alan wrote:

    Criminals Ross, Brand and their director should be suspended immediately. The BBC is funded by our licences but seems to have lost its way. Very, very big shame. Make a stand for morality so such disgusting criminal outbursts will never happen again on our BBC.

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  • 66. At 5:31pm on 27 Oct 2008, Warlman wrote:

    An example of how standards have dropped. The fact that the presenters thought this funny and that it was not deleted by the show's production team reflects badly on them all.

    I doubt that it was a thoughtless act. More likely that they were trying to appeal to the lowest common denominator, their fan base, who would think it funny.

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  • 67. At 5:31pm on 27 Oct 2008, 14fret wrote:

    Unacceptable. Brand, Ross and producer should be sacked.
    Anyone else would be.

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  • 68. At 5:31pm on 27 Oct 2008, lynzzylu wrote:

    They are both disgusting and I've never been able to watch or listen to that creep Brand, just look at the pic you've used at the head of this blog! he is a sick degenerate and should be sacked from all media jobs at once. Ross is often disgusting too except in his film review prog which is good. So he has the ability to be mature and intelligent, what a pity he fails most of the time, grow up Wussy, oops I meant Wossy.
    At least Ross has apologised personally, but I note that pig Brand is "preparing to do so", what a loser, get rid of him BBC, please!

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  • 69. At 5:32pm on 27 Oct 2008, lancecrimewriter wrote:

    I don't usually sign up to these things but this is just another example of Jonathan Ross abusing his position.
    I was really appalled at that phone call.
    Ross is arrogant, abusive and seems to have no respect for his guests or, on this occasion, the victims of his pranks.
    Brand is different beast, he seems autistic or a Tourette's sufferer - he has no idea what he is saying half the time, but Ross knows what he is doing and just doesn't care.
    As a license payer I'd like to see Ross made an example of and sacked.

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  • 70. At 5:32pm on 27 Oct 2008, unitignorer wrote:

    Ross and Brands contracts should be terminated forthwith with no compensation. They are a disgrace to the BBC. The staff of the BBC who decided that these pre-recorded deeply insulting comments were suitable for broadcasting should also lose their jobs.
    Lord Reith must be turning in his grave.

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  • 71. At 5:32pm on 27 Oct 2008, phaido wrote:

    As a licence payer, I am very upset that my licence fee is being used to pay Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand to break the law. Abusive telephone calls are against the law for a good reason.

    This is not just about what is or is not in good taste.

    The media is constantly complaining about the lack of respect for others which young people show. It is clear where this lack of respect originates when senior editors at the BBC, a public service broadcasting organisation, think it is alright for presenters to make abusive telephone calls on air to a respected and elderly actor. There is a laddish and sexist culture in comedy broadcasting which has got out of hand here.

    The BBC cannot have it both ways. Either it takes the licence fee and takes its responsibilities in educating as well as entertaining us seriously, or it gives up the licence fee and goes for the lowest common denominator in broadcasting.

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  • 72. At 5:33pm on 27 Oct 2008, nikandphil wrote:

    This inane childish behaviour has no place in the public broadcasting arena. So called celebrities (who are basically people who were in the right place at the right time) seem to think they are immune from basic moral behaviour. I certainly feel that there should be a strong reprimand to the two presenters. In any other walk of life they would probably be sacked, neither of them are indispensible! The apology from Brand made the matter worse, I for one would not miss his removal from tv and radio. There are many decent talented people who could quite easily fill any vacuum left by Mr Ross and Mr Brand.

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  • 73. At 5:33pm on 27 Oct 2008, birdbrookagain wrote:

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

  • 74. At 5:33pm on 27 Oct 2008, crimsonblog wrote:

    I suspect I don't share the majority views of the PM demographic but I would like to support Russell and Jonathan. To start with, both of them are very, very funny and generally very popular. Russell is popular with a younger audience but not exclusively (I for instance am over 50!). I heard the radio show in question and at the time thought the messages they left were hilarious. However, I could see that they were going to be in for some stick. Then again, I do remember Jonathan saying "they won't play this bit anyway because it's prerecorded" - little did he know. Yes, they did come over like a pair of schoolboys, but hey, that really is rather what the show is about. I think possibly putting the two of them together was a bit dangerous because they egg each other on. Russell's usual co-host Matt Morgan has been on unexplained leave for the last 7 weeks and Matt usually stops Russell from over stepping the mark. So I do believe the BBC has some explaining of their own to do.
    But please those of you who are making these disparaging remarks about ol' Russ, remember comedians do take risks and sometimes they get it wrong. Remember Peter Cooke? Hmm?

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  • 75. At 5:33pm on 27 Oct 2008, BackoBennachie wrote:

    I am puzzled by comments that have been made admiring the alleged talents of Ross and Brand. Based on the extract of the offensive programme I have just heard and other encounters on the box and radio involving these two I am struggling to find any justification for saying that they are gifted, skilled, accomplished, brilliant, etc etc. or why they should be paid by the BBC. It's time their contracts were terminated. Let others who have more talent be given the opportunity that they have squandered.

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  • 76. At 5:33pm on 27 Oct 2008, irontormodmor wrote:

    I was utterly appalled by the antics of Ross and Brand. Unlike some of your other listeners, I find both of those men utterly devoid of talent, and would never listen to their shows.
    One listener said they sounded like foolish teenagers, and that teenagers might find them funny. In that case, BBC, put them on a show for teenagers and spare adults their unamusing drivel.
    Their broadcast apologies didn't sound very sincere, and I do think some disciplinary action by the BBC is called for.

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  • 77. At 5:34pm on 27 Oct 2008, bestclocks wrote:

    I find Ross and Brand extremely distasteful, and their "joke" to Mr. Sachs was absolutely appalling.

    This is from a listener who is not a prude, and thought the late Mr. Bernard Manning was a perfect gentleman.

    I really wish the BBC would refrain from spending my licence fee on these vulgar, unpleasant lower life forms.

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  • 78. At 5:34pm on 27 Oct 2008, returningblobby wrote:

    He who pays the piper......I do and I certainly do not pay my licensing fee for the yobbish antics of Ross and Brand. They represent a lowering of standards as to what purports to be 'young humour' but what is in all reality puerile and offensive to most listeners. Put them through the same rigorous disciplinary process any other employer would should their employees have acted in this fashion. I'm astonished Mr Sachs has not considered suing the BBC and I suggest he takes legal advice immediately - hitting the Corporation where it hurts is the only way to stop such behaviour.

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  • 79. At 5:34pm on 27 Oct 2008, Si Trew wrote:

    I should qualify that. The rpgram was "I've never watched Star Wars before" and the producer Bill Dare. He got pulled up on Feedback for it being a boring or irrelevant programme but not for any comments about the N word, because it was clearly in context.

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  • 80. At 5:34pm on 27 Oct 2008, dewiena wrote:

    It's not a total surprise that if anyone would be involved in behaviour such as Andrew Sachs and his grand daughter have been subjected to, it would be the duo Russell Brand and Jonathon Ross.

    The first response of the BBC was to play down the issue because it seems there were only two complaints.

    It now seems that despite further complaints about their purile behaviour, we can unfortunately look forward to years of the two cretins 'entertaining' us and being paid up to £ 6 million each per annum.

    I wonder what you have to do to get the sack at the BBC

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  • 81. At 5:35pm on 27 Oct 2008, purpleGembry wrote:

    Two totally overated and overpaid people. I cant even call them entertainers.
    I found their comments highly offensive, goodness only knows what Mr Sachs thought.
    They should both be sacked instantly
    for gross indecency.
    I and many others pay their wages and had i the ability to do so would place them on the dole queue.

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  • 82. At 5:35pm on 27 Oct 2008, Big Sister wrote:

    It is telling that this item is bringing a lot of new people to the PM Blog. Unfortunately, because of the way the Blog works, we don't have the benefit of their comments yet.

    Just so that they are aware, these will appear once the moderators have done their stuff. The posts of regulars, meanwhile, go straight through (which must be galling for the newbies).

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  • 83. At 5:36pm on 27 Oct 2008, ian wrote:

    This story goes to the heart of all that is wrong with modern Britain. The political correct lobby has hijacked every aspect of British life and they are once more condemning everything that offends their precious ears. We cannot go on pandering to the minority who are intent in erasing anything that may be considered offensive. By apologising, the BBC is only giving extra impetus to this rather bizarre group. Please, please, please continue to offend and do not give in to the loud minority.

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  • 84. At 5:36pm on 27 Oct 2008, melblogger wrote:

    I am appalled that my licence fee is used to pay the over bloated salary to Jonathan Ross in particular for the puerile smutty pathetic and on this occasion offensive and cruel so called "humour" he routinely comes up with.

    My girlfriend always switches off the TV the minute he comes on and loathes him. This latest escapade persuades me to join her view. He's not worth emloyment by the BBC never mind at THAT salary. He should be sacked forthwith.

    Russell Brand is less dislikeable, but should be disciplined.

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  • 85. At 5:37pm on 27 Oct 2008, David_McNickle wrote:

    mittfh 21, Good thing you read it quickly. Either they didn't like my complaining about SoP or didn't like my reference to the mammary glands. I doubt if the SoP website did either in the message I sent them.

    The last most favoriter hymns SoP I heard had How Great Thou Art at number one. It is fairly recent and caused a few complaints to Points of View for being sung in Tess of the D'Urbervilles.

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  • 86. At 5:37pm on 27 Oct 2008, needsanewnickname wrote:

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

  • 87. At 5:37pm on 27 Oct 2008, mickpv wrote:

    Both should be prosecuted, either by the Public Prosecutor or Andrew Sachs, and the BBC should take the golden opportunity of sacking them without compensation.

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  • 88. At 5:38pm on 27 Oct 2008, bundaysweetenham wrote:

    I am a fan of Jonathon Ross but find this phone call offensive and unnecessary. Also it isn't at all funny. I may not be in the target audience but I hadn't realised they were only trying to appeal to 12 year olds.
    This offence was further compounded by Brand's 'apology' which tried to divert attention tothe support or otherwise which The Daily Mail gave the Nazi regime. I also dislike a lot of what this paper stands for but in this instance this history is completely irrelevant. It certainly is not a case of either supporting the Nazis or supporting the actor's complaint.
    Perhaps Brand was auditioning to play Vicky Pollard, 'yeah sorry but anyway look what they diid 60 years ago.'..

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  • 89. At 5:39pm on 27 Oct 2008, Peter Bolt wrote:

    It was bullying of the worse kind. Some people (I presume) thought it was funny.
    In fact even if funny it certainly relied upon personal abuse.

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  • 90. At 5:39pm on 27 Oct 2008, sailingbrooksie wrote:

    over inflated ego, overpaid and very much overrated.
    Both Ross and Brand need to be taken down a pegg or three.
    It really can't be that difficult to spend our licence fee money in a more acceptable manner

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  • 91. At 5:40pm on 27 Oct 2008, Ashmole1955 wrote:

    Regarding Ross and Brand. I keep hearing, from BBC sources, that both are "hugely talented broadcasters".
    Really?? Perhaps both these giants of broadcasting would like to donate a weeks wages to Children in Need?
    They could do with some good publicity.

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  • 92. At 5:40pm on 27 Oct 2008, HuwfromKent wrote:

    Jonathan Ross, Russell Brand and whoever allowed this utter rubbish to go through should all be sacked. ( I was going to say adolescent rubbish, but that would be insulting to adolescents)
    They would be sacked in any other area of life for this kind of revolting (if not illegal) harassment of a man who has done nothing but give us loads of pleasure over a long and distinguished career.
    I find it astonishing that people seem to regard Jonathan Ross as talented. He's always struck me as a a nasty bullying loud mouth that one would avoid in the local pub. Get rid of him BBC, and stop wasting our licence money on him.

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  • 93. At 5:40pm on 27 Oct 2008, supergrammer wrote:

    In any other industry these people would be SACKED!! Just because they are considered to be 'celebrities' does not mean they have a licence to be offensive or obscene, nor slanderous! They are self-important, overpaid and a disgrace. Whilst understanding the BBC's, albeit delayed, apology to Andrew Sachs-has anyone apologised to his poor granddaughter? I don't believe they have earned any right to keep their jobs.

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  • 94. At 5:42pm on 27 Oct 2008, Bruce Mills wrote:

    What totally escapes me is the fact that 'the powers that be' constantly declare that these two sub-juvenile idiots are otherwise classed as 'talented'.
    In what way exactly ?

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  • 95. At 5:42pm on 27 Oct 2008, anwood wrote:

    appalled appalled appalled. I do not want one penny of my licence fee to go to this pair of foul mouthed trash. They should both be sacked along with the managers who allowed this contemptible behaviour to happen. The BBC has lost the plot.
    David Connah

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  • 96. At 5:42pm on 27 Oct 2008, treeside wrote:

    The BBC used to set the standards for the Nation and need to set a clear example, sack the both of them, then lets see if they can command such high fees from the independent stations. Just consider how much money the BBC could save and still employ many more talented commedians who rely on genuine humour!

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  • 97. At 5:42pm on 27 Oct 2008, DavidLangridge wrote:

    I have found myself forced to go against all my reservations in supporting endless requests to comment on 'blogs' and websites to broadcasting channels.To comment on the absolute cowardice off the BBC in not immediately taking the action that any other company would take that is instant dismisal of any employee making obscene calls in company time. The fact that these calls were made using the public broadcasting network which should be treated with the utmost respect to the licence fee payers with the privilege and responsibility that goes with that fills me with disgust. The BBC should act this evening in cancelling both contracts with Ross and Brand.
    I would that like to think that the police are looking to take action, surely laws have been broken not only on the obscene calls but the apparent subsequent anti semiticism in the so called apologies . David Langridge

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  • 98. At 5:43pm on 27 Oct 2008, David_McNickle wrote:

    F_O 86, I offended by saying toots. Not quite up there with what Brand and Ross said, but then, I don't get paid millions by the BBC.

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  • 99. At 5:43pm on 27 Oct 2008, alan2108 wrote:

    Messrs Brand and Ross behaved in a crass, vulgar and offensive manner. Whoever sanctioned the broadcast compounded the offence.
    I resent having to pay for their pathetic contributions to the BBC; all of them should be summarily dismissed.

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  • 100. At 5:43pm on 27 Oct 2008, colonnelchrism wrote:

    I believe it is a criminal offence to send a message over a public communications network that is grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing nature (Communications Act 2003).

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  • 101. At 5:44pm on 27 Oct 2008, lifelistener wrote:

    I agree that this kind of behavior is totally unacceptable. Regrettably just another example of the BBC "dumbing down"?

    Maybe the outcry this must surely provoke will lead to a return to the higher standards the BBC was known for, I certainly hope so.

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  • 102. At 5:44pm on 27 Oct 2008, unit-13 wrote:

    A lot of you expressing morale outrage at only here about this after Brand had a go at a newspaper in his apology why do you think about that, and it was funny

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  • 103. At 5:44pm on 27 Oct 2008, Twiggblog wrote:

    Russel Grant's apology was a sham. He apologised for swearing but said that the incident was still funny.
    So funny that both Mr Sachs and his grand daughter have grounds for taking legal action against both Mr Grant and Mr Ross. I really hope that they do. In businesses throughout the country this kind of incident would, quite rightly, lead to disciplinary action, probably sacking.
    I would like to hear John Cleese's opinions on whether or not Mr Grant and Mr Ross were funny.

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  • 104. At 5:44pm on 27 Oct 2008, brisbuck wrote:

    I listened to the report re Brand/Ross and was struck by the repetition that they are both talented people. In what sense are they talented? My brief experience of Brand led me to the opinion that he is a degenerate with a particularly repellent whine. Ross's manner has always seemed to me to be smug, arrogant and self-satisfied and I find him as entertaining as a bout of cholera. I cannot help feeling pleased that my view of the pair of them as human detritus has been demonstrated for all to see in their latest 'talented performance' focused on Andrew Sachs.

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  • 105. At 5:45pm on 27 Oct 2008, Chalkstream wrote:

    The delay in sacking the deplorable Ross and Brand is causing further damage to the BBC's reputation. In circumstances such as these it is important to act quickly and decisively.

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  • 106. At 5:45pm on 27 Oct 2008, Keith Benbow wrote:

    Ross and Brand contracts should be suspended and the producer fired for misconduct without compensation. The BBC Board should review it's police and procedures and remember it is a public service for the average person not a advertising led organasation for the lowest common denominator. I support the BBC having a License fee but not for this kind of output.
    Keith Benbow - Stockport

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  • 107. At 5:45pm on 27 Oct 2008, cosblog wrote:

    We are constantly told that Brand and Ross are hugely talented and intelligent. Who says? They are overpaid, unfunny and arrogant - and at license payers expense. Such conduct in a commercial business would result in the sack for the guilty employee.

    Their 'prank' wasn't clever, funny or smart. It was embarrasing and puerile. Should we expect more from broadcasters paid the mid blowing salaries enjoyed by these two? Yes.Time for them to try their luck in commercial broadcasting I think, and for the BBC to make an example of them both.

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  • 108. At 5:46pm on 27 Oct 2008, matureadult wrote:

    I used to have the utmost admiration for "auntie beeb", unfortunately I have to report, she is well and truly... dead! She has been replaced by a bunch of overpaid brainless idiots. Aunties replacement is as bad as some other media elements (tabloid newspaper springs to mind) insofar as, anything goes, there is no respect, for anything. The likes of David Jacobs, Humphrey Littleton, ol' "stewpot", Desmond Carrington, Paul Jones etc, (good honest broadcasters all) have been superceded by people such as Jonathan Ross, Chris Evans,Russell Brand who collectively still struggle to muster up one brain cell between them. Management at the BBC has similarly been afflicted with the same malady. Auntie beeb is dead.......long live the OLD......auntie beeb.

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  • 109. At 5:46pm on 27 Oct 2008, Big Sister wrote:

    CrimsonBlog (74): Try putting yourself in Mr. Sach's position for a moment. Suppose these two prats had rung you 'on air', with however many listeners the programme attracts, and had left lewd comments about your daughter, or granddaughter.

    Whatever talent they have between them, they have not sense and no respect for the feelings of other people, for which I despise them.

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  • 110. At 5:46pm on 27 Oct 2008, purplesankey wrote:

    If a teacher, a policeman, a store manger and indeed anyone in a responsible job behaved like this, they would face dismissal. Not to take disciplinary action will set a very unfair example in our society. Far from considering that 16 and 17 year olds might find these two men funny, could we remember that they need positive role models not poor examples of how to behave.

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  • 111. At 5:47pm on 27 Oct 2008, MillontheFloss wrote:

    I object very strongly to the fact that our licence fees - about which we have no choice in paying- are spent to support the lavish lifestyles of these so say 'media icons'.

    If they are so good, then I am sure that they will not complain at all when the BBC fires them for inappropriate conduct.

    Let them move to the commercial world - it would seem that they have lots of experience of advertising - themselves at least.

    As for Brand's 'apology' - I think that this in itself is a good enough reason for taking him off of the air - and the person with him saying that he hates all minorities - no, I don't care if it was a 'joke'.

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  • 112. At 5:48pm on 27 Oct 2008, mikevashonbaker wrote:

    Way past time to get rid of these absurd and deeply offensive people.

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  • 113. At 5:49pm on 27 Oct 2008, saucyjuicylucy wrote:

    John a thong should apologise to Mr Sachs
    granddaughter, should he not?

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  • 114. At 5:49pm on 27 Oct 2008, Susieblogger wrote:

    Even I am moved to write to add my outraged voice to , surely, many others, about the extremely offensive calls made and broadcast by Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross last week. I was truly nauseated to hear them today on PM: I cannot think how these calls were allowed to be made, let alone broadcast. I am not a fan of Jonathan Ross's, indeed I avoid his programmes. I regard him as being generally crude, under-amusing and grossly overpaid- very poor value for our money. But last week's escapade went well beyond anything remotely acceptable, and I very much hope that the BBC will sack him immediately. After all, Angus Deayton was for something far less offensive. I am also very surprised that the programme was allowed to go out, uncut: whoever was responsible showed very questionable judgement. Susanna Proudfoot.

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  • 115. At 5:49pm on 27 Oct 2008, llewots1 wrote:

    Unbelievable! Two middle aged men think it wildly funny to leave crude messages on an old man's answerphone. Not only that but some prat who is suipposed to be 'responsible' decides that it would be great if it were broadcast to the nation. But it'is alright -the middle aged men have apologised and the BBC will do no more about it. But hey.....

    What about an apology to the innocent grandaughter who has been slandered?

    What about an apology to the license fee payers who have been appalled by this behaviour?

    What about sacking Messers Ross and Brand as would happen in any other organisation?

    Fat chance of any of the above, I'll bet.

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  • 116. At 5:50pm on 27 Oct 2008, gerpsych wrote:

    I am glad to see that this topic has caused such a stir. I had started to worry that no-one thought what had happened was unpleasant and nasty. I feel that to treat someone as rudely as this on air is awful and the BBC should be very ashamed that it let it happen.

    Brand and Ross have no excuse for this. It was not funny. Even had it been funny it was not acceptable. Their comments made it clear that they knew they were overstepping boundaries.

    Had it been anyone else they would be sacked. But given their experience in radio their mistake is worse - they should be sacked.

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  • 117. At 5:50pm on 27 Oct 2008, 1sttimeblogger wrote:

    Words fail me.
    Neither intelligent nor entertaining, fire these two fools immediately.

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  • 118. At 5:50pm on 27 Oct 2008, prettyinterested1 wrote:

    I am absolutely amazed that this subject merits the first piece of news on this evening's programme. This is absolutely typical of the BBC anything about themselves is more important than the world news, even more surprising on a day when there is lots to listen too and discuss.

    However, what ever audience the BBC is trying to reach the behaviour of both these celebrities is appalling. I agree that they should be disciplined in and in manner that is really effective, I too suspect that the BBC would not castigate either of these them because of who they are, thus raising a real case of double standards.

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  • 119. At 5:51pm on 27 Oct 2008, juristaEuro wrote:

    Tbe BBC is a public institution funded by the tax payer. The highly unwarrented actions by Brand and Ross has exposed the BBC and the two "presenters" to possible criminal prosecution and to actions for defamation. Is it acceptable for the public and the victims to be subjected to such abuse? Is it right that the public pay Brand and Ross hundreds of thousands of pounds per year for delivering this offensive material. An employee in any responsible company who used his employers services to leave offensive messages on a answering machine would exposed that employee to instant dismissal for gross misconduct. The BBC should look very carefully at the contracts of Brand and Ross. Furthermore if prosections were to follow, the BBC would be exposed to its profits being confiscated under the Proceeds of Crimes Act. It should therefore deal with this matter with the appropriate level of seriousness.

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  • 120. At 5:51pm on 27 Oct 2008, KTJaneB wrote:

    I only bother posting in order to help show the BBC how strong public opinion is on this. It's a no brainer. The Beeb is giving far too much air time to this story, thus continuing the agony for Mr Sachs and his grand-daughter. The sooner the two are sacked or at least fined and off aired for a considerable period (during which they should have to work for the beeb being useful but not visible) and the editor who passed this disciplined, the better. Then let's shut up about it and move on, giving more air time to the genuinely funny. (Preferably without affected speech: regional accents genuine impediments etc are fine, but these two have just never grown up vocally- it's lazy and silly and horribly affected.)
    Instead of giving them so much publicity why don't we have a length debate as to who are the funniest people around who should be given these prime spots to entertain us in. Lots of clips of good commedians being funny would be far better than an illustrative clip of two grown men being peurile.

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  • 121. At 5:51pm on 27 Oct 2008, rainbowAlison wrote:

    Here's my answerphone message to Ross and Brand:

    Your contracts have gone down the plughole
    Your contracts will not be renewed
    Why should we give money
    For acts so unfunny
    So puerile, so nasty, so crude?
    Your talent's as thin as a slug trail
    Squirm off and offend us no more
    Your contracts have gone down the plughole -
    We do wish they'd gone there before!

    Not too clever, I know, but wittier than them.

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  • 122. At 5:52pm on 27 Oct 2008, seedy-bee wrote:

    Just a posting to add more weight to the already substantial volume of messages expressing disgust and revulsion at the behaviour of Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand. The time has come to consider if it is appropriate for the BBC to continue to employ these talentless and juvenile individuals who, in my opinion, drag the reputation of the BBC down to the level of the gutter.

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  • 123. At 5:52pm on 27 Oct 2008, patprimer74 wrote:

    I really can't see what needs to be considered here. The infantile actions of these two are offensive and unacceptable. They, plus the person(s) who allowed the matter to proceed, have shown that they are unfit for the positions they hold and should immediately leave. They had the time to, at least, partly undo the offence but each chose not to. I'm not usually an advocate of sacking media offenders but this behaviour is beyond the pale. The BBC, in my view, will not be following the wishes of its paymasters if it chooses to play down this sad event. Act now.

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  • 124. At 5:55pm on 27 Oct 2008, princeanthonya wrote:

    the performance by ross and brand is absolutely disgusting and both should be dismissed by the bbc asap-this is not broadcasting, it is bringing the bbc into the gutter which they both inhabit.

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  • 125. At 5:57pm on 27 Oct 2008, ajsilvertone wrote:

    There is only one action. The BBC is required to take,regaurding The repulsive jokers Brand and Ross.
    Fire them both!
    The disgusting pair are paid so much of our Tax payers money. They think they are untouchable.
    Yours Tony Aspinall
    Filey North Yorkshire

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  • 126. At 5:58pm on 27 Oct 2008, Digger41 wrote:

    The behaviour of these two is outrageous, and the processes by which their disgraceful messages were allowed to be broadcast shockingly deficient. Junior employees would rightly be sacked for such behaviour, and the high salaries and popularities of these individuals should not protect them from this. If the BBC does not take firm action in response to this abysmal event its credibility as upholder of standards and decency is likely to be seriously and permanmently damaged.

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  • 127. At 5:58pm on 27 Oct 2008, David_McNickle wrote:

    crimsonblog 74, You are wrong!! That Jo Brand is about as offensive as a person can get. Oh, Russell Brand.....

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  • 128. At 5:59pm on 27 Oct 2008, afourbore wrote:

    Surely these two fools will be sacked for such stupid behaviour.
    How can the BBC justify employing the ( expensive ) services of two men who clearly have no respect or regard for their audience or an older gentleman?

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  • 129. At 6:00pm on 27 Oct 2008, pmmolly wrote:

    Who is Russel Brand?
    Unfortunately, I have to admit, because of his 'track record', I do know.

    jonathan Ross does, at times, have a way with words which can be very funny.

    But how on earth can anyone be worth the salaries reportedly paid to these mediocre media darlings.

    Could my lisence fee be diverted to pay the real talent within th BBC?


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  • 130. At 6:00pm on 27 Oct 2008, David_McNickle wrote:

    Yep, It's OK for Brand and Ross to use foul language on the BBC, but I can't say toots on the blog.

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  • 131. At 6:02pm on 27 Oct 2008, Big Sister wrote:

    Can we please find a way to pass on to Mr. Sachs these comments? I'm sure I'm not the only person here who would like him to know the degree of support he has from the public and the level of offence we feel on his behalf.

    Is this possible, Eddie?

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  • 132. At 6:02pm on 27 Oct 2008, cosmicphilcath wrote:

    In addition to the complaints we have seen with which we would wholeheartedly agree, we would like to add.
    At a time when there is great concern regarding the mores of some of our society the fact that this material was allowed to be broadcast normalises this type of behaviour.
    In other areas of employment this would result in dismissal and therefore I would hope that, at the least, there should be some severe sanctions against both these "broadcasters" and whoever gave the go ahead.

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  • 133. At 6:03pm on 27 Oct 2008, Fifi wrote:

    I've never been able to make up my mind about Russell Brand before. He can be so gentle, engaging, intelligent, well-read, observant, humorous, thoughtful, self-deprecating ... and he can also be an irritating berk who fancies his own image far too much to be appealing. What to make of him?

    Similarly Jonathan Ross. His film criticisms I find knowledgeable and articulate, his chat show (when the guests know what to expect and are up for it) can be both entertaining and revealing ... yet he can also be a foul-mouthed preening sad-sack when the mood takes him or perhaps when he's feeling lazy.

    Events like this certainly help to claritfy whether the Pros or the Cons side wins the day. On balance I agree with those calling for fines and a withdrawal of BBC contracts.

    As for the Producer/Editor who let it be broadcast - I would like to hear his or her reasons for doing so, before condemning him/her.

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  • 134. At 6:04pm on 27 Oct 2008, jackal504 wrote:

    These two preening ninnies are hugely overrated. Take this (admittedly thin) excuse to terminate their very expensive contracts. I shudder to think how many licenses it costs to maintain their self-promoting careers. Let them float - or not - on the open market.

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  • 135. At 6:05pm on 27 Oct 2008, Martinsy wrote:

    Is it not inevitable that Mr. Ross becomes more offensive as he is allowed to continue being rude & crude? It is hoped that both Mr Ross & Mr Brand offer an apology on air & in writing to Mr Sachs, & to their employers, before being asked to.
    If the BBC are serious & concerned about their use of public money & the content of Radio Programmes, as I presume huge numbers of the general public are, then it is hoped that Mr. Ross's contracts are terminated immediately, and Mr. Brand is at least for a long season no longer heard on the BBC.
    Thank you.

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  • 136. At 6:05pm on 27 Oct 2008, grifflegriff wrote:

    At a salary of £18 million a year, you would imagine that Mr Ross would have the intelligence to realise that his behaviour has an effect not only on adults that can articulate a complaint, but also on impressionable children that can adopt this oh-so-mature behaviour; presumably including his own.

    I, on a teacher's salary (and as a tax payer I may add), have to deal with consequences of his and his colleague's pathetic behaviour everyday in the classroom. With influences like that in the media, are we surprised if children are growing up thinking that it is clever and appropriate to behave like this towards other people?

    I may add that most of my children have the intelligence and sensitivity to behave in a more mature way than these two 'adults'.

    BBC, bring back re-runs of 'Fawlty Towers' and axe the 'comedy' of those two immature 'role models'!

    PS - Who on earth authorised that show to go out on air?!

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  • 137. At 6:06pm on 27 Oct 2008, Susieblogger wrote:

    An afterthought- after hearing that the BBC's had "only had 2 complaints", I actually made a formal complaint myself- first ever.
    So, now the number must have swelled to 3, anyway- how about making the total number astronomical? They might actually have to do something, like getting rid of this sick duo.

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  • 138. At 6:07pm on 27 Oct 2008, brosville wrote:

    I'm with the "sack them both" faction - Ross is talentless, and has long caused me to use the "off" switch anyway - I'm rendered speechless as to the ludicrous amount of licence money paid to this unfunny egomaniac anyway! I think they should all be fired forthwith, including whoever it was who allowed it to be broadcast!
    We can do without barrel-scrapers like these two!

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  • 139. At 6:08pm on 27 Oct 2008, ivadenuff2 wrote:

    Russell Brand's so-called apology just adds salt to the wounds. Please, please, please sack this offensive jerk. Let this be an end to his undeserved career.

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  • 140. At 6:08pm on 27 Oct 2008, Penny wrote:

    I am so angry that these two idiots have made me feel like 'disgusted of Tunbridge Wells'! What they have done, and the distress they have caused is unforgiveable - and in most walks of life would result in dismissal - for bringing the company into disrepute, if for nothing else.

    But, honestly, how could ANYONE think that leaving abusive messages on the ansaphone of an elderly person (ANY elderly person) could be acceptable in any way whatsoever.

    Suitable action should be taken - and frankly I would not weep so see them both sacked.

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  • 141. At 6:09pm on 27 Oct 2008, Mr J G Taylor wrote:

    The BBC has lost its way. I would have said punish the two 'lads' who are responsible but they sought and gained approval for their broadcast.

    So its OK by the BBC!

    However I see no reason for the police not to prosecute.

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  • 142. At 6:09pm on 27 Oct 2008, scoblog wrote:

    I gave up listening to or watching Ross a long time ago and I have never heard Brand until your piece today. As a gesture of apology could I suggest that they each send a gross weeks pay to a charity of Andrew Sachs' choice. Also it is no wonder the touth of today speaks to badly. I expect you have had lo's of le'e'es to this effect before.
    Tony Scofield.

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  • 143. At 6:09pm on 27 Oct 2008, Thokar wrote:

    Clean up or shut up! Both should be sacked and so should the editor who released the programme for broadcasting.

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  • 144. At 6:10pm on 27 Oct 2008, zebadie1010 wrote:

    What ever happens, BBC, do not sack Russell Brand or Jonathan Ross. They will still have lucrative contracts and demand substantial compensation if these are cancelled.
    Just let them dig deeper holes in their declining credability until they realise that the honorable thing is to resign - with no cost to the general public.
    May be then they will just disappear and do us all a favour.

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  • 145. At 6:10pm on 27 Oct 2008, grifflegriff wrote:

    Gentlemen? I don't think so.

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  • 146. At 6:11pm on 27 Oct 2008, Sotonjack wrote:

    We should not be too surprised by these antics. It is just another example of the continuing dumming down of the BBC's output.
    It is a very sad reflection on society that the BBC feels it has to descend into the gutter to appeal to a younger audience.
    The time has come to give up the license as the source of funding for the BBC. Let it compete in the free market with the other channels. It won't last long with its current offerings.
    The fault here lies not with the presenters;we can't expect more from people who's raison d'etre is self-promotion. The fault lies with the editorial executive who thought that this level of banality was suitable to be broadcast. He should be dismissed.

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  • 147. At 6:11pm on 27 Oct 2008, onlytillymint wrote:

    I wonder if the BBC will show real commitment to decency here and actually sack these two men. It seems that anything goes these days, and these two get away with far too much on a regular basis. I heard what was said on pm today about this appealing to 16 and 17 year olds but they don't actually pay the tv licence. How much more do standards have to drop before changes are made, I wonder.

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  • 148. At 6:11pm on 27 Oct 2008, geographer52 wrote:

    it should be possible for the BBC to fine these cretins if not any future contract should allow for this.

    I can not believe this behavior, if the comments made were false it is slander if true merely exceedingly offensive.

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  • 149. At 6:12pm on 27 Oct 2008, Digger41 wrote:

    The remarks made by these individuals are disgraceful, and the processes by which they were broadcast abysmally deficient. Junior staff behaving in this way would be dismissed. The high salaries and popularity of these two should not protect them from this. Failure to take approriate actiion will seriously and permanently damage the BBC as upholder of standards and decency in broadcasting.

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  • 150. At 6:13pm on 27 Oct 2008, steveg001 wrote:

    I hope the BBC sacks the pair of overpaid egomaniacs for gross professional misconduct.

    I hope that Mr Sachs makes a complaint to the police against them for the abusive phone call.

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  • 151. At 6:13pm on 27 Oct 2008, bellybigmama wrote:

    I was very very cross to hear the duo ,j.ross and that ghastly friend of his talking to andrew sachs answer phone,a disgrace and my kids agree.Even little kids saw what idiots they are.We reckon it is illegal to phone people and leave such revolting and frightening messages on an answer phone

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  • 152. At 6:14pm on 27 Oct 2008, tobykin wrote:

    I feel that Ross and Brand should lose their contracts with BBC. What sort of role models are they for our young listeners? They are foul mouthed and base. Apology is just not enough. Has BBC really sunk this low?

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  • 153. At 6:14pm on 27 Oct 2008, normanmugabe wrote:

    I haven't laughed so much since the sick bay attendant on HMS Eagle said to me it wasn't a sore throat after all - just diptheria.

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  • 154. At 6:15pm on 27 Oct 2008, johnarro wrote:

    I don't usually ever post a blog to the BBC but the Brand / Ross incident has changed that.

    Sack them both, and severely discipline the director and / or producer who thought the Sachs "stunt" was (1) worth doing and (2) broadcastable material.

    And, BBC - stop thinking that puerility and illegality are in some way worth doing. Apologies to Andrew Sachs from all 3 of you are hardly enough, are they.

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  • 155. At 6:15pm on 27 Oct 2008, TRIKSIKLIST wrote:

    I am appalled at the behaviour of these two idiots. However I am not surprised, the BBC does nothing but encourage this kind of behaviour, just look at various radio 1 over-payed idiots who have made bad behaviour acceptable. These idiots are all vastly over-payed with the result that they believe they are God and therefore can behave in any way they please. The only thing worse than this behaviour will be the arrogant reaction from the management of the BBC who also believe that they are God and therefore can also do as they please and therefore that they can ignore the reaction of the general public who pay their considerable salaries.
    In the UK in 2008, arrogance rules!
    Ken Baker

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  • 156. At 6:15pm on 27 Oct 2008, beamerbeamer wrote:

    I thought the comments made were not just childish, and bordering on obscene, they directly referred to issues of race and the holocaust. In Germany this is illegal, whilst I am pleased to live in a more liberal society, I cannot see that they should be allowed to be abusive in this manner. You refer to this kind of humour as possibly appealing to younger people- I have spent a large part of my life as a teacher teaching young people that certain' jokes' are offensive, and that racial abuse is unacceptable. These two guys are part of that generation, and know better. They also have an influence on younger people and for this reason must either state publicly that they do not support the nazi's or else go. I am surprised that the bbc actually allowed these messages -

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  • 157. At 6:15pm on 27 Oct 2008, philmollon wrote:

    This behaviour is not acceptable - the substantial license fee should not be used to fund such oafish antics.

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  • 158. At 6:15pm on 27 Oct 2008, LALASOCKS wrote:

    Jonathan Ross should remember;
    "people in glass houses' shouldn't throw stones"
    He has a daughter himself and he is always telling us about his family and the wonderful funny times they have together. I am sure he wouldn't think it so funny if his daughter had been targeted in this way.
    As for Russell Brand, words fail me. Why is he so popular? I can't stand him. He isn't even funny.

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  • 159. At 6:16pm on 27 Oct 2008, Cymru1908 wrote:

    Both Brand and Ross should be charged and sacked from the BBC for the calls they made to Mr Sachs. I bitterly resent paying a licence fee to fund these two very objectional people. Also, the BBC executive who passed this broadcast should lose his/her job. It is about time that the BBC returned to a reasonable standard of broadcasting instead of trying to compete in the gutter.

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  • 160. At 6:16pm on 27 Oct 2008, dualterryco wrote:

    We were really shocked and offended by what Mr Ross and Mr Brand did to a great old actor and his grand daughter live on air.
    Using our license fee to do it was the pits they should be sacked,along with the ones that allowed it. (If they get away with it bring back Simon Dee.)It's not just getting worse it already is, will the BBC oplogise to us?

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  • 161. At 6:16pm on 27 Oct 2008, nbottom wrote:

    It would be as morally defunct of the BBC top brass NOT to sack these two as it was of Ross and Brand to do what they did.
    Nobody, particularly ludicrously highly paid presenters, should be above common decency - ever! Sack them and the country will applaud.

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  • 162. At 6:16pm on 27 Oct 2008, Maltha wrote:

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

  • 163. At 6:16pm on 27 Oct 2008, abubbler wrote:

    This is pathetic and juvenile behaviour that reflects the pathetic and juvenile character of the perpetrators. They should be sacked. Both Ross and Brand seem to have a prima donna attitude, presumably underpinned by their overinflated remuneration. I for one do not want my licence money spent on such supposed "entertainers". As they clearly cannot behave at a level above that of illiterate yobs they should be removed from the schedules. Whether the director should keep his job should also be given serious thought.

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  • 164. At 6:18pm on 27 Oct 2008, johnaerial wrote:

    Crimsonblog (74).

    Ross and Brand, 'very very funny'....Leave it out. Now Peter Cooke, he was funny.

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  • 165. At 6:18pm on 27 Oct 2008, smartBaldrick wrote:

    I would like to complain about the behaviour of Mr Brand and Mr Ross on their programme and on all of their recent shows.
    The language, the innuendos, is not at all funny.
    They should both be sacked along with the producers for breach of contract terms and breach of broadcasting standards.
    The more the licence payers pay them the more obscene and unfunny they have become.

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  • 166. At 6:18pm on 27 Oct 2008, pmmolly wrote:

    David McN (130)

    What does it mean?


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  • 167. At 6:18pm on 27 Oct 2008, genieCblog wrote:

    I am appalled at the behaviour of these two presenters and of the team who approved their actions. I would not like to see either of them presenting Children In Need, as I feel they are a bad influence to young people with their antics.I hope all involved will be suitably disciplined, not ruling out dismissal of them all and action which may be taken due to it being an illegal act.If they are to keep their jobs, they should be made to rethink how they behave in future, if we are to be expected to pay large salaries out of the licence fee. I expect to be entertained not hear such nasty comments being made to a most loved actor and respected gentleman.

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  • 168. At 6:18pm on 27 Oct 2008, Derynda wrote:

    These guys are totally unacceptible, a lousy example to our kids, and this sickening stupidity should get them the boot, followed by therapy which they so obviously need.
    They really are the poo in puerile.
    Sack them, Aunty, and put somone who is funny and decent in their place.

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  • 169. At 6:19pm on 27 Oct 2008, chickensid wrote:

    If this is the new entertainment - forget it. We have no choice but to pay the Licence Fee, but I fear that nothing will be done about this incident; it will be lost in the ether like so many insults before. Andrew Sachs deserves more than an apology - both broadcasters should be sacked.
    Andrew Sachs gave us true, lasting, memorable entertainment and warrants more respect. A cynical shadow is creeping up on me which tells me I'm wasting my breath.

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  • 170. At 6:19pm on 27 Oct 2008, sweetflummoxed wrote:

    I have always enjoyed listening to Jonathon Ross, but am left feeling let down by his willinness to join in with the yobbish cruelty devised by Russell Brand. I sincerely hope that no one takes the opportunity of leaving disgusting comments about his children on his relative's answerphones. Russell Brand isn't even worth discussion.

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  • 171. At 6:20pm on 27 Oct 2008, mulberry49 wrote:

    I've never posted to a blog before, but I feel really strongly that Brand and Ross must be far more puerile than I had ever imagined. I find it totally extraordinary that they think anyone of any age could find their comments funny.

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  • 172. At 6:20pm on 27 Oct 2008, Andrew wrote:

    I must say, I wish I was paid a tenth of their salary!

    Comments like this are surely unacceptable, full stop. How do they think that this nearly 80-year-old felt to get these messages on his private answerphone.

    Presumably it was meant to be funny. It wasn't, though delinquent adolescents may have found it so!

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  • 173. At 6:20pm on 27 Oct 2008, The Stainless Steel Cat wrote:

    Just to play devil's advocate, the overlap between the audiences of Radio 4's PM, and Radio 2's Russell Brand show is not likely to be great.

    I have little doubt that the target audience for this puerile rubbish was delighted by it and wouldn't be able to see anything wrong with insulting and taunting an elderly man in this cowardly and arrogant manner, even if you explained it to them patiently, at length, and using only very small words.

    I will be very surprised (but gratified) if the BBC sacked these two; they won't risk their ratings, nor the baying mob of their fans' monosyllabic complaints.

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  • 174. At 6:20pm on 27 Oct 2008, Seton911 wrote:

    I am deeply offended that the BBC, which is funded in part by my licence fee and has always stood, or puported to stand, for responsible broadcasting and is regarded around the world as representing all that is best about Britain, can allow people who are clearly extremely unpleasant and irresponsible, to use the airwaves to be grossly insulting to decent people, let alone pay both of them obscenely large amounts of money to do so.

    Brand's apology, broadcast just now on the 6 o'clock news, is obviously insincere and he should never be allowed to work for the BBC again - he has forefeited his right to his job. The same goes for Ross. And for the idiot who allowed them to do this, whoever he is - his judgement is clearly lacking.

    When will someone at the BBC stand up and say that this sort of behaviour will not be tolerated?

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  • 175. At 6:21pm on 27 Oct 2008, skylosophous wrote:

    Come on, somebody, start an on-line petition calling on Ross and his producer to be sacked, and Brand banned from the airwaves. Brand's apology wasn't funny -it was a joke (of an apology).

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  • 176. At 6:22pm on 27 Oct 2008, AnthonyCB wrote:

    Any talent these two have is completely diminished by poor judgement. The moths have flown too close to the flame and lost their wings. Any apology will be completely insincere and another poor joke. Let everyone judge them with ears and eyes and never hear or watch them again on any programme they will be involved with, perhaps the BBC will get the message.

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  • 177. At 6:23pm on 27 Oct 2008, helleborine wrote:

    Kenny Everett was sacked by the BBC just because he referred to it as the Beeb, even though this has now become common usage. The antics of Brand and Ross illustrate how low standards have fallen. The BBC should get rid of them both immediately.

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  • 178. At 6:24pm on 27 Oct 2008, ddriven wrote:

    The comments so far are too polite. Ross and Brand are despicable scum and not funny enough or talented enough to warrant being given any kind of public platform. The world is full of people better than these two and the judgement of whoever employed them is clearly not good enough to warrant them having that power. The only acceptable action from the BBC is the permanent dismissal from the schedules of both these reckless obscene insulting fools, together with whoever permitted the outrage to be broadcast - and the public naming of the latter. We viewers and licence payers deserve far better than this from the BBC.

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  • 179. At 6:24pm on 27 Oct 2008, charmingMadsandy wrote:

    Why are Ross and Brand still working for the BBC? In any previous incarnation of mine, comments like that would be rated as abuse of power and industrial misconduct leading to instant dismissal.

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  • 180. At 6:24pm on 27 Oct 2008, mogilev wrote:

    I have complained in the past about Jonathan Ross when I thought that he had abused his position as a famous and older man interviewing a young girl (a footballer I believe)on TV. He asked her a sexually explicit question which she didn't have the experience or maturity to refuse to answer.
    Of course I received a bland and dismissive reply from the producer.
    Ross is an egotistical bully who often allows his obsession with sex to go beyond amusement and cross the line into filth and abuse.
    In any field of employment this telephone message offence would lead to instant dismissal, so why is the BBC hesitating?
    I know nothing of Russell Brand but from your photo I imagine he comes out of the same drawer as Ross.
    The world of TV and Radio would be a much better place without these two and young people would be able to see that there are limits which must be observed.
    I hope that Andrew Sachs knows how appalled listeners are and takes some comfort from this. I can't think how devastated I would be if it had happened to me.

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  • 181. At 6:25pm on 27 Oct 2008, cancellaresca wrote:

    It's important that the BBC maintains high standards. This isn't about using rude words, it's about reasonable behaviour and responsibility. This wasn't satire, it wasn't wit, and it wasn't acceptable. If Ross and Brand were professionals, they would already have resigned. They should be sacked and, if their contracts do not allow this without compensation, they the BBC lawyers who drew up the contracts should also be sacked.

    The senior editor who passed the programme for broadcast should resign.

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  • 182. At 6:26pm on 27 Oct 2008, Colin McAuley wrote:

    I daresay that Mr.Sachs has more humour in the nail of his small toe than the likes of Brand possess. Indeed it seems that crass is now cool! I have Fawlty Towers on DVD, and run them from time to time to remind myself that comedy can be actually funny! The problem here would appear to lie with the person, at the BBC, decided to air this garbage.

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  • 183. At 6:26pm on 27 Oct 2008, firasali wrote:

    From the very first JR programme on channel 4, I alwys found the man unfunny, offensive, and very shalow (which explains his popularity). I am not surprised that he stooped to this low in this recent episode of offensive and vulgar behaviour; it should have been always expected. However, to bring this to the BBC and for him to be one ofthe most highly paid out of our licence fees - well - it's nothing short of criminal on behalf of the BBC. As for the other so called entertainer, I did not think that any comments are needed!!!!

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  • 184. At 6:27pm on 27 Oct 2008, sensibleBeaver wrote:

    Couldn't agree more with the comments against these two men. I have no complaint against their high salaries - if you can get it, well done - but I do object to the fact that they are just not funny or entertaining.

    Like the England footbal team, they are rubbish at the job they are paid so much to carry out!

    Ross in particular is just a very poor copy of David Letterman.

    As for Brand - can any one tell me why he is famous?

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  • 185. At 6:27pm on 27 Oct 2008, rhmlistener wrote:

    I have always supported the BBC and the idea of an independent (commercially) public service broadcaster. Comments have already been aired about the salacious and misleading way in which Robert Peston has talked up the financial situation, and claiming that he follows news rather than having any effect on it is disingenuous and irresponsible.
    Similarly, these episodes involving Brand and Ross (I include the broadcast where Brand seems to find the idea of Adolf Hitler utterly hilarious - doubtless inspired by Mr Sachs' Jewish background) bring into question how much service the current lack of responsibility from the BBC is actually doing the public.
    Ross and Brand must go, at once. They are expensive, and so-called "stars"; sacking them would take a great deal of courage, but would begin to re-establish the BBC's credentials, and show that they are worthy of our licence fees.
    In addition, if criminal acts have been carried out, let the police be involved - or is it one law for the famous, another for the rest of us?

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  • 186. At 6:30pm on 27 Oct 2008, dafranmo wrote:

    To use national radio to abuse in this way someone who cannot defend himself is cowardly and illegal.

    While some of Ross's output can be interesting and entertaining, a lot of they both do is trivial, seemingly targeting the immature 'back of the classroom' gigglers, and essentially self-seeking. Their removal from the BBC on grounds of gross misconduct would seem appropriate.

    Wouldn't it be nice if they could also be prosecuted?

    By the way, a friend of mine once traveled first class from London to Manchester and found himself sharing a table with Ross. He moved to another part of the train after tiring of Ross loudly massaging his ego into his mobile.

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  • 187. At 6:30pm on 27 Oct 2008, KarenfromOxford wrote:

    I can only add my voice to others calling for serious action against these 2 so called comedians and the editors of the programme - who are paid to do what exactly?? Let's leave the BBC to the genuinely funny, like Sachs as Manuel - ingenious, irreverent comedy at its very best. In fact I like that idea... Pull Brand and Ross's upcoming TV shows and replace them with re-runs of Fawlty Towers. Give us a comedy master class and leave those two in the moral gutter where they belong.

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  • 188. At 6:30pm on 27 Oct 2008, rushhoursoul wrote:

    I do agree that Russell and Jonathan may have overstepped the mark this time, and that an official apology to Mr Sachs was certainly necessary, but could I just add a plea to the BBC - please don't sack them both! Just imagine how dull and grey our airwaves and TV screens would be without them! Russell Brand in particular is known for pushing the boundaries of entertainment; they are both articulate, colourful and interesting people, who at times make challenging TV and radio. This may not be to everyone's taste, but there are enough traditional presenters around to satisfy a wider audience. I think the BBC's policy of searching out and employing the best and most talented presenters in the UK sometimes involves taking risks with the content of programmes. This whole story is (as usual) being over-publicised and over-hyped. So although I don't support what they did, I really don't want to see them disappear from the BBC. Please!

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  • 189. At 6:31pm on 27 Oct 2008, Mistralequipe wrote:

    I have felt for some time that neither Ross or Brand are suitable for BBC2. Ross in particular is grossly overpaid. Neither are as witty as they seem to consider themselves.
    I can only echo what other bloggers say about the inappropriatness of their phone call to Andrew Sachs.
    Have the police considered if a criminal offence has been commited here?

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  • 190. At 6:31pm on 27 Oct 2008, minijax wrote:

    I'd like to add my agreement to the statements expressed by the majority here, who have covered all the points I would have made.

    I would hate to think that these two people are regarded as so popular (however misguidedly) that they cannot be disciplined. Please BBC stop treating them as sacred cows.

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  • 191. At 6:32pm on 27 Oct 2008, cherryplonk wrote:

    I am not a fan of either of these men - when they are on, I reach for the off switch - but if other people think them funny, so be it - However when I heard the content of the phonecall on PM, I just had to pass on my comment.
    Shame on both of them.
    It was suggested that younger people might find the content amusing. I think not. Most young people would be dismayed if their loved and respected grandparent were the recipient of the stupid and nasty remarks that were aimed at Andrew Sachs.
    As for Brand's "apology". The way he mocked the press and compared their reaction to his behaviour and that of the holocaust and Hitler goes beyond satire and straight into anti semitism. Does the man have a learning difficulty? Does he know nothing about
    Andrew Sach's past? Jonathan Ross should know better and if he doesn't, I suggest he learns very quickly.
    Russell Brand had the ignorance and arrogance to tell an American audience who to vote in for their president - what a cheek - now he thinks he has the right to browbeat an elderly man.
    If the BBC ever listened to the people who pay them - they would do a poll and take a vote on if these 2 men should be banned from performing on BBC radio or tv.

    I know where my vote would be.

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  • 192. At 6:32pm on 27 Oct 2008, ddriven wrote:

    At least one blogger has commented that Ross and Brand have some talents which they express at times - what is the evidence for this? - they each have writers and other supporters giving them ideas and help in presentation - their own ability and contribution is masked by these things - its not clear that they deserve the prominence they are given - so the BBC should get rid of them and give a chance to someone else. Even if they appeal to some audience out there it does not warrant the BBC using licence payer's money to pander to them.

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  • 193. At 6:34pm on 27 Oct 2008, belovedChiefWeasel wrote:

    As a supposedly liberal-minded listener/viewer I find it difficult to feel offended by what I hear or see on the BBC, but the behaviour of Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand appears to have been cruel rather than merely foolish. I think that the BBC ought to have the courage to sack them both. But will it be too afraid of losing listeners or the threat of possible litigation? Let's see.

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  • 194. At 6:34pm on 27 Oct 2008, ReggieJTrickpuss wrote:

    Opinions on the worth of the ‘talents’ of Brand and Ross aside, surely the following Law Lords ruling in 2006 is pertinent...
    ' Under the Communications Act 2003, it is an offence to send over a public electronic communications network a message that is "grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character".
    The BBC’s own network coverage seems quite content to refer to the remarks as ‘obscene’...
    Lord Bingham stated "The test is whether a message is couched in terms liable to cause gross offence to those to whom it relates." '

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  • 195. At 6:34pm on 27 Oct 2008, daves12 wrote:

    With reference to the Russell Brand/Jonathan Ross fiasco, it was stated that intially only 2 complaints had been made. This is probably due to the fact that only a handful of people listen to this foul-mouthed rubbish. It has just been stated that they are both "talented", I find this hard to believe. Brand in particular is a childish, talentless idiot. Both of them should be removed from the BBC immediately.

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  • 196. At 6:34pm on 27 Oct 2008, furiousgranddad wrote:

    Sack them and the executive who allowed the broadcast
    - they are in breach of their BBC contracts and on the face of it may have committed a criminal offense. If not the BBC will have plumbed the depths of bad taste and given the go ahead to similar behaviour by others. By failing to sack them the BBC will be endorsing such bad behaviour and set them up as role models for children

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  • 197. At 6:34pm on 27 Oct 2008, zeberdytring wrote:

    Please do NOT use my licence fee to pay Jonothan Ross! Get rid of him, there are plenty of people to replace him. He is so offensive I can't even watch him with the sound down.
    Thank you

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  • 198. At 6:35pm on 27 Oct 2008, bellybigmama wrote:

    NO.166 AND 130 HE MEANS TITS,Russell and Jonathan are allowed to say whatever they want

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  • 199. At 6:35pm on 27 Oct 2008, lordBeddGelert wrote:

    I heard some of Russell Brand's show [prinicipally the interview with Oliver Stone about the 'W.' film] and enjoyed it.

    However I didn't hear the item in question, but in the words of 'Mitchell and Webb', I don't see that as being a barrier to me 'reckoning' something...

    I'm not a big fan of 'Wossie', although he can do a good interview when the mood takes him.

    I do like Russell Brand. But mixing the two together on Radio 2 is a bit of a recipe for disaster.. Like two brothers who are nice as pie separately, but put together will egg each other on remorselessly, it is an accident waiting to happen.

    Don't chuck them off the air, but for goodness sake keep them apart, and maybe get Russell to ask a 'grown-up' bill payer's permission before using the phone again...

    p.s. I do feel slightly guilty as I did email the show, albeit late on, asking if they could give Bob Harries an early night so that Stone and Brand could continue their banter until the morn...

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  • 200. At 6:35pm on 27 Oct 2008, royalcoloradokid wrote:

    This is just the latest unacceptable behaviour by Jonathon Ross.
    It shows only too clearly that high pay is often not reflected in a quality product.
    I now choose to avoid most of his outputwhich is sadly representative of much of todays mind set by the fashionable 'younger' breed of manager, programme maker and presenter: and in this case very much by the over paid over exposed guest

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  • 201. At 6:35pm on 27 Oct 2008, neutronix wrote:

    Peter Fincham must live on another planet if he thinks Jonathan Ross is "a uniquely talented broadcaster". The consensus on this blog - with which I entirely agree - is clearly that he's a disgrace to broadcasting, and so is Russell Brand. I hope their appalling behaviour towards Andrew Sachs makes the Beeb management see sense at last and sack the pair of them.

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  • 202. At 6:36pm on 27 Oct 2008, awelford wrote:

    Has no-one here actually listened to the show before??? This guy is a comic genius and I think that you need to understand Russell and his humor and banter before you can really comment on this issue.

    Russell was so obviously upset by this comment when Jonathon Ross blurted it out. Ross himself realised very quickly that he made a mistake here.

    They then went on to apologies to Mr Sachs in a series of follow-on phone calls which, in the heat of a radio show, were perhaps not the best ideas.

    However as a broadcaster myself I do understand the pressures of radio and cannot see that, in context of Russel's shows, neither Russell nor Mr Ross did anything wrong.

    I can say that any action taken against them would be ill advised as they have both apologised for this event and it must also be noted that there was immediate remorse shown from both Mr Ross and Mr Brand.

    Ultimately the lion share of any blame must lie with Mr Ross as he made the comment that started the whole issue after Russel Brand had asked him not to mention the event.

    Russell Brand cannot be held responsible for what Mr Ross says and it is also important to remember that this show was pre-recorded.

    It would seem that there are many issues with the production team for Russell's Show as his most recent show contained music with very foul language.

    I don't think that this had been spotted before broadcast, I do feel it was in context though cannot imagine the BBC allowing such content to be broadcast.

    I cannot agree with the comment that we should perhaps consider Mr Ross's suitability for Children In Need as that is just ludicrous.

    Mr Ross was, as we all do, acting in accordance with his surroundings. He felt this would be funny at the time and as soon as he said it realised that was a mistake.

    I belive every effort was made by both Jonathon and Russell to appologise to Andrew Sachs though they did so in there own unique way.

    Russell said on his most recent show that the average age of a radio2 listener is 72 and perhaps it is that generation gap in understanding that is the issue here.

    I don't think that we can ever allow ourselves to tell anyone what is funny and what is not.

    My personal view is that Russell Brand is a comic genius and his show is by far the best thing on radio 2 EVER.


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  • 203. At 6:36pm on 27 Oct 2008, conkerone1 wrote:

    Much has been said about his issue so I will be brief.
    I wholeheartedly agree with the bloggers who have expressed outrage at this example of unacceptable behaviour from 2 people who ought to know better, but who are probably basking in the increased publicity this has brought them.
    That their antics might appeal to young listeners reinforces the need to make an example of them. How are young people to learn what is OK and what is not?
    Brand and Ross should be sacked by the BBC immediately without financial reward.

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  • 204. At 6:36pm on 27 Oct 2008, mackintoshgirl wrote:

    Its about time that Mr Ross and Mr Brand were both assigned to the place were they belong - the unemployment queue. We have been paying far too much money for Mr Ross for what he calls an entertainment programme when in fact it is an absolute disgrace. The other week he had Michael Parkinson his TV show and Mr Ross showed himself up against one of the greatest presenters in all time. When I heard this story I found it hard to believe that a producer would put out such a slanderous untruth that they must have realised would cause hurt to anyone- and what has our 'manuel' done to deserve such a horrid thing to be said about him and his family. I hope that Mr Sach's grandaughter sues the pants off not only the BBC but Mr Ross and Mr Brand. Then they may think twice next time. Whether it be radio or Tv Ross is hopeless, perhaps we should all send emails to his agent, he will think that a half hearted apology will do... I hope that the british public show him by switching him OFF!

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  • 205. At 6:37pm on 27 Oct 2008, monkeySchnitzel wrote:

    This is my first ever blog of any kind on any programme or any website. I was goaded into writing by my fury about this news item.
    Brand's and Ross's remarks were gross, rude and illmannered and totally unacceptable even in these liberal times.
    I hope both Andrew Sachs and his grand-daughter will write to name and shame these uncouth creatures and demand damages.
    The BBC have only one course of action to maintain standards and put matters to rights - they must immediately sack both presenters for gross misbehaviour. Suspension or reprimanding or fining is not enough.

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  • 206. At 6:37pm on 27 Oct 2008, ddriven wrote:

    I just heard the pathetic pseudo apology by Brand - it was disgusting and an extension to the offence he has already caused - its not enough - he has to go - into obscurity preferably.

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  • 207. At 6:37pm on 27 Oct 2008, majorboss wrote:

    The behaviour of Ross and Brand was completely disgusting and any apology from them will sound utterly insincere.
    Total egotists don't do apology.
    They and the BBC have finally lost the plot regarding what is decent or even funny.
    If the organisation cannot see that this pair require sacking for the way they treated Andrew Sachs and his family then I will with regret join the lobby campaigning for the abolition of the licence fee.
    I refuse to fund this crass pair and do not want to see or hear them in my home.

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  • 208. At 6:37pm on 27 Oct 2008, Ortolani wrote:

    Of course Brand became famous in the first place for being sacked from MTV, so he's probably loving all this - his on-air apology-of-sorts only proves it.

    I'm surprised at Ross joining in with this sort of bullying, since he's probably smart enough to know his head is way above the parapet already owing to the size of his wage packet, and he might have considered how he'd feel if someone made similar comments about his teenage daughters. But sadly no, he chooses to come across as just a nasty little bully as well.

    It feels like there's little the audience can do - especially as the BBC seems to love these two unconditionally. But, having thought about doing so for some time, I will not now be renewing my licence fee, as the thought of giving any money at all to these mean-spirited and arrogant men or the people who employ them is nauseating and unconscionable.


    (Phew, I've never had to struggle so hard to avoid using the word 't****r' in a post)

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  • 209. At 6:38pm on 27 Oct 2008, lordBeddGelert wrote:

    SSC above - I think you might be wrong - there are more people who like Humphrys, Mair, Naughtie, Quinn et al who like Brand's humour than you might think..

    It is not for nothing that he's asked to do a 'football' column in the Saturday edition of the Guardian...

    And check out his appearance on the Craig Ferguson show via YouTube to see that he can be 'relatively harmless' as the old 'Hitch Hikers' guide would have it...

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  • 210. At 6:38pm on 27 Oct 2008, thebear66 wrote:

    If all these two ego maniacs can produce as funny, is this grossly, inane behaviour, then someone should have the bottle to sack them, for all our sakes both young and old.

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  • 211. At 6:38pm on 27 Oct 2008, illustriouschrisl48 wrote:

    Wait for the usual, BBC whitewash on this issue. As usual whilst they pursue others relentlessly when it comes to BBC staff who have screwed up BBC "reviews" take weeks/months i.e enough time to let people forget the issue and the miscreants remain in their jobs.

    As far as Ross/Brand are concerned like others I just don't get it. I accept that my licence money may not always be spent on things I like - fair enough - but these two talentless people have nothing to commend them other than their sheer arrogance.

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  • 212. At 6:38pm on 27 Oct 2008, Si Trew wrote:

    Supergrammer I have not heard the original cos the BBC have not broadcast it again (for obvious reasons) though on R4 6pm news they did have a small excerpt. But it would be libel not slander; the medium is not important there it is whether the communication is capable of redistribution. Because I don't know what they actually said I can't comment on whether it was libellous, can't wait till I get my Private Eye on Wednesday they will have a field day.

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  • 213. At 6:38pm on 27 Oct 2008, auntmuttley wrote:

    Jonathan Ross is a vulgar, overpaid mediocrity. Most of his “material” involves masturbation jokes. Russell Brand is ethically offensive, tedious and seemingly talentless. Neither are stupid, both are “streetwise” and have the gift of the gab. In accordance with our time they are celebrities. It is too much to hope that they will lose their jobs as the rest of us would if we were to behave so badly. Brand is employed to appeal to a young audience. There must be some intelligent sixteen year olds out there who find him as ethically and intellectually offensive as I do.

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  • 214. At 6:40pm on 27 Oct 2008, bionicbossyshopper wrote:

    apologies seem too easy for Brand and Ross

    why Mr. Sachs?
    full explanation and
    translation of opaque phrases
    which seemed to be
    a sort of private code

    an interview by John Humphries
    is what we need
    to really find out
    what all this was about
    - on blistering form tomorrow please

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  • 215. At 6:40pm on 27 Oct 2008, pete1942 wrote:

    I have joined thw blog just to comment on this dispicable affair. I do not like Ross and I do not know Brand. Apparently thy are liked by many and the BBC is free to employ them. This "prank" is something quite different. I am normally not emotional but I am incandescent at tis behaviour carried out at my expense by my BBC. They should be instantly sacked together with woever approved the broadcast. There must be someway that my voice, together with millions who must surely agree, can be heard and acted upon. GET rID NOW!!!

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  • 216. At 6:40pm on 27 Oct 2008, aquastreaky wrote:

    What a pity Brand and Ross's comments were not post moderated!
    They should be censured and disciplined .
    Personally Ross has not been welcome listening/viewing in my car or house for a number of years now and Brand will not be either from now on.
    If the BBC will not do anything perhaps we could speed their departure by not watching or listening to a word they utter!

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  • 217. At 6:40pm on 27 Oct 2008, andrew booton wrote:

    Whilst this matter is in itself appalling, I fear it is yet another example of 'celebrities' getting too big for their boots. Overexposed and invariably lacking longevity, such people are spurred on by weak, sycophantic and unimaginative 'executives' and editorial staff who are seduced by so-called talent. They then allow the 'star' to run wild until they go too far and self destruct. Remember Chris Evans going the same way? The BBC's Board needs to take unequivocal action. Sack the 2 men in question. Sack the show's editor. Demonstrate some moral courage and start leading your organisation instead of chasing it.

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  • 218. At 6:41pm on 27 Oct 2008, sugartongs wrote:

    I think that this could be a seminal moment when we reawaken a searching, national, debate on the role of the BBC. Is it the function of a public service broadcaster to reflect the tastes of everyone in the adult population? If so then these Radio 2 presenters, albeit juvenile and foul-mouthed, are comparatively restrained. A populist BBC should emulate the red-top tabloids: promoting the sexual exploitation of women; xenophobia; gossip; innuendo; vacuous celebrity; titillation masquerading as moral outrage. It sells tabloids: it would sell the BBC.

    However, if the BBC role is to promote reflective intellectual debate and, dare I say it, education, then it needs some serious rescheduling and changes in personnel.

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  • 219. At 6:41pm on 27 Oct 2008, rvonaway wrote:

    Along with most other people here I am appauled by the lack of reaction on the part of the BBC to the actions of these two so called funny men. I would like to join the vast majority of people here who feel that dismissal is the only option for what is not a one off occurrence it would seem. Get rid of them aand don't re-employ them!

    I think that the BBC should do something more positive towards Mr Sacks and his daughter, by way of restitution. I suggest giving them the salary of these two idiots for the time period before they are hopefully fired.

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  • 220. At 6:41pm on 27 Oct 2008, gaybubble wrote:

    I've never done anything like this before. But then again, I've never heard anything like this before. The collosal presumption of the two perpetrators - their arrogance and rudeness. Everything has already been said. There is no excuse, no justification. Of course the 'talented' Brand and 'edgy' Ross should go, and the editors who colluded with it.
    You cannot let the wonderful medium of radio be dragged down the way Murdoch dragged down the press and TV.

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  • 221. At 6:41pm on 27 Oct 2008, daddysatch wrote:

    I am amazed at the cheap and offensive antics which have arisen and seem to have been considered acceptable to the producer of the programme.

    If I behaved in such a manner to any of my employer's customers I would be sacked without further ado.

    Ross and Brand are paid very substantial sums by the BBC out of license payers funds. They have the sense of humour and mentality of 13 year olds.

    Surely it is time for them to go.

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  • 222. At 6:42pm on 27 Oct 2008, littleyorkshirepud wrote:

    Thank you for giving me the opportunity to register my utter disgust at the behaviour of Jonathan Ross & Russell Brand. They should be fired immediately along with whoever thought it was right to broadcast their untalented, unprofessional & incorrect outpourings.
    My support goes to Andrew Sachs, I hope he sues them to the hilt.

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  • 223. At 6:43pm on 27 Oct 2008, Si Trew wrote:

    Ornamery that was extremely good. And I know the tune etc. We must have to do that some time.

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  • 224. At 6:43pm on 27 Oct 2008, Gouldme wrote:

    I am absolutely astounded by the crass stupidity of these 2 highly paid "entertainers".Over the years I have seen standards slipping "to fit in with the modern way of life".I find this latest stunt to be totally irresponsible and disrespectful but I am sure these 2 sad apologies for men will remain at the B.B.C.I really object to my licence fee going to pay for these idiots!
    A further thought.Contrast their behaviour to our troops who arrived home yesterday.Whether or not I agree with the war is immaterial.Their dignity and respect is to be applauded.Jonathan and Russell, I will now switch off whenever you appear on radio or T.V.

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  • 225. At 6:44pm on 27 Oct 2008, A Bowman wrote:

    These two despicable, untalented slobs should be prosecuted for the criminal offences they have committed and sacked from the BBC.

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  • 226. At 6:44pm on 27 Oct 2008, chapelwarf wrote:

    I have not watched or listened to any programme involving Jonathan Ross for quite some time now as I regard him as arrogant, offensive, supremely conceited and, indeed, thoroughly obnoxious.
    Ross's deplorable conduct seems to be deliberate, no doubt part of the great talent his apologists claim he has. I am in some difficulty with the other fellow though. His incessant squealing and giggling, often bordering on incoherence, makes me wonder if all is well with him.
    Obviously the BBC regards both of them as major assets. I disagree, and consider their 'talents' as totally unsuitable for a publicly funded national broadcasting service.
    Limp and insincere apologies as made by Brand will not suffice in a case as bad as this. The BBC itself should take some decisive action to prevent any repetition of this disgraceful behaviour.

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  • 227. At 6:44pm on 27 Oct 2008, germaniumdiode wrote:

    I just had to register to make this point after listening as always to Eddie Mair on Radio 4 PM. My wife and I are absolutely appalled that there should be any debate about what to do regarding this affair.
    1. Even after his “apology” Brand thought that it was “funny”.
    2. It is a criminal offence to leave such messages.
    3. Both Brand and Ross have broken the law – summary dismissal is the least that is required.
    4. Summary dismissal means without normal compensation i.e. no more overinflated money.
    5. This programme was recorded, which means the BBC decided to broadcast it anyway. This means that the producer, presumably, is complicit in this offence. Summary dismissal again seems appropriate.
    6. Perhaps Messrs. Ross and Brand would find it “funny” to spend some time at Her Majesty’s pleasure.
    The BBC as an organisation makes much of the fact that it has to seek “best value” for the licence payer’s money – this argument was used to stop the recently launched Scottish Gaelic channel (BBC Alba) from being broadcast on freeview. (By the way channels such as “Dave” and various shopping channels hardly seem to meet this criterion.) I have a suggestion for the BBC - from the money saved from future payments to Brand and Ross, make BBC Alba available on freeview, as both Irish Gaelic and Welsh are.
    The BBC has certainly created news – this is a far worse situation than the Andrew Gilligan debacle, where the BBC “cleaned house” over what turned out to be substantially accurate reporting.
    What price editorial guidelines now?

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  • 228. At 6:45pm on 27 Oct 2008, JC wrote:

    Thank heavens that the majority feel as I do about these two cretins. IF (IF) the BBC wish to retain any credibility concerning this sad affair, then both Ross and Brand should be sacked on the spot for gross misconduct. There's nothing more to be said!


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  • 229. At 6:45pm on 27 Oct 2008, AndrewAdamson wrote:

    not so funny now is it? What a pair of idiots.

    Both overpaid by the BBC/us.

    BBC please make your mark and show your teeth. Smart arse comedians are for 5th form classrooms not our beloved BBC.

    DO IT!

    ....... PLEASE

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  • 230. At 6:45pm on 27 Oct 2008, colinB wrote:

    Brand and Ross should be sent to bed without tea.

    That's how naughty toddlers used to be treated, although it seems that most toddlers do have far more sense than either of these two overpaid wasters.

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  • 231. At 6:47pm on 27 Oct 2008, lordBeddGelert wrote:

    Another thought has occurred to me.

    Maybe the wonderful Ruth Jones ['Nessa'] who is currently doing a Sunday morning show on Radio Wales, could 'babysit' Russell Brand on his show to keep his show on the road, but possibly without going quite so 'off-piste' ?


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  • 232. At 6:47pm on 27 Oct 2008, ArrowJim wrote:

    I think that it is a very sad state of affairs when the BBC has to resort to scrapping the bottom of the barrel to "employ" such self praising and ignorant buffoons as Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand. That they are actually paid such phenominal salaries, out of the my BBC Licence Fee is only adding insult to injury. The sooner that the BBC wakes up, takes it's responsibility to the UK community as a whole, more seriously, the better. Unfortunately I fully expect the BBC to provide some clever word-smith in order to avoid taking responsibility and thus continue to devalue English and the United Kingdom's so called values.

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  • 233. At 6:48pm on 27 Oct 2008, mikebernacca wrote:

    The comments that Russel Brand and Jonathon Ross made about Andrew Sachs and his granddaughter are typical of bullies who feel that they are not constrained by the norms of our society. As with all bullies they need to learn that they are not untouchable and are answerable for their actions. If this happened in a school the minimum action that would be taken would be suspension. As they were behaving like children perhaps they should be treated as such and removed from the BBC.

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  • 234. At 6:49pm on 27 Oct 2008, seamike20 wrote:

    These two misfits should be sacked as in many other occupations.I am a teacher and would be sacked if I sent such a call in public .
    My salary is £37000 p a with a BSc and MA[Ed].Why should I pay my licence fee for this drivel.
    What qualications have these two got to warrant the £10,000,000 joint salary?
    Sack them and have them do a proper job-asshould the producer responsible.

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  • 235. At 6:49pm on 27 Oct 2008, maisiebuddy wrote:

    Just heard the BBC apology on behalf of Ross and Brand, sorry not good enough. As for Brand's "apology song" please, please don't insult us. These two space wasters need to be made an example of, so that the BBC will finally realise that we the public are not "Pond Life"as they seem to think, by imposing the likes of these sub standard people on us. I must admit that listening to the recording of them leaving a message on Mr Sach's phone I did wonder if they were under the influence of something. I wonder what any tourists to this country thought of our great BBC if they were unfortunate enough to hear the original programme.
    Anyone in their right mind would not employ Brand, Ross has ability, but continually lets himself down, and for a man with a young family of girls he has let himself down just about to the bottom this time.

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  • 236. At 6:49pm on 27 Oct 2008, bronzecatnip wrote:

    I have sought out the PM blog for first time ever, to add my voice to those asking the BBC directors to take the firmest action against Ross and Brand ie sack them for their arrogant and loutish behaviour to a respected 78 year old actor, and indeed for the example they set to young people. How can teachers or parents hope to teach courtesy and respect for others with the BBC promoting this sort of coarse and bullying behaviour?

    PS I do have a sense of humour (even quite like Ross's prog) and am not a Daily Express/Mail reader.

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  • 237. At 6:50pm on 27 Oct 2008, akasowerbicci wrote:

    Ive got to agree with Fifi - I think that Brand does show an intelligence that sets him apart from people like Chris Evans. But he seems to like doing the I slept with your daughter/grandaughter thing - he also did this with Rod Stewart. I don't recall any outrage then. This was in a public arena though, there does seem to be something different in leaving a messge on someone's phone, not sure why.

    We could see it as a joke at the expense of some men's possessiveness around females in the family - but is David Sachs known for this trait - not that I know?

    But - think that Sachs's age is pretty irrelevant to the debate. Think he might feel a bit offended that it's such an issue for pm bloggers.

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  • 238. At 6:51pm on 27 Oct 2008, yusername wrote:

    Those insipid fools, sending obscene phone calls is a criminal offence. They have been getting away with it for far too long. They both probably suffer from neutermoron disease and definately a sad indictment of "Care in the Community". No one in their right minds would mourn their demise. So get on with it Auntie and put us all out of our misery
    Thanks for use of the soap box.

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  • 239. At 6:51pm on 27 Oct 2008, cumbrianpieter wrote:

    I don't listen to Radio 2, but have heard the extracts and comments on Radio 4.
    I am appalled by the level of so-called 'entertainment' and the language used. Yes, I am a fuddy-duddy, and, yes, I am sure those two over-paid men are 'popular' and will help the Beeb's ratings. But is that what the BBC is for? Reith may have been dour, but he spoke a lot of sense.

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  • 240. At 6:52pm on 27 Oct 2008, MaidenheadGirlz wrote:

    I have always been a big fan of Friday Night with Jonathan Ross and used to be happy watching it with my 15 year old on the occasions he was still up. We have however decided that we can no longer tolerate Ross's continual reference to intimate parts of the body and the constant innuendo to bedroom activity. I feel that as he was not reined in with this behaviour he wrongly believes that he can behave in any way he see's fit. Let me tell you this is just not acceptable. I am not a stuffy old woman that has no life and get upset by the slightest remark, quite the opposite.

    Come on the BBC sort out Ross and Brand and stop this outrages behaviour!

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  • 241. At 6:52pm on 27 Oct 2008, heathmann wrote:

    I have never seen any discernible talent in either Ross or Brand. This latest dreadful behaviour should come as no surprise. Ross's chat show is dreadful in the quality of his interviewing is appalling - often talking over guests, asking them puerile questions and wanting only to get in his own smutty comments and promote himself. Of course the incident should not have been broadcast but some discipline against Ross and Brand should be taken. They are not indispensable and need to be shown so. I'd love to see Ross off the air for a while.

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  • 242. At 6:54pm on 27 Oct 2008, Freersoul wrote:

    These two ? human beings, from that which I have seen, rely on crude humour and innuendo that is so blatant that it is effrontery.

    How the BBC which was once the 'accepted' arbiter and promoter of 'taste' can be allowed to let them continue is beyond my ken. Their visual and vocal crudity is beyond belief.
    Let the BBC justify it's stance, publicly.
    No 'we regret', or 'it shouldn't have happened'. ACTION.
    And Russell B's apology was a spoken smirk at how 'clever' they had been, knowing Auntie is now a toothless poodle, begging for sympathy and money. If these two were not paid what, as I recall, most people saw as 'cash for cr*p'; then we may get clever humour, not just belly, or lower, laughs.

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  • 243. At 6:54pm on 27 Oct 2008, Griff1954 wrote:

    If somebody left that sort of message on my Dad's phone (and he is the same age as Brand and Ross's victim) and caused him such upset, I would feel obliged to send round my son and other nephews to have (as Arthur Daley might say) "a word in their shell like."

    As Terry Wogan keeps telling me "its my BBC." I wish to give the pair of them the Alan Sugar message "your fired". I'd also include the editor that allowed the recorded program to be broadcast in the firing line for a distinct lack of judgement.

    In fact I don't think you can justify keeping the licence fee if you don't sack the lot of 'em.

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  • 244. At 6:54pm on 27 Oct 2008, thehousewineplease wrote:

    those 2 should be axed by the BBC , they are outragous to stoop to this level , personally i dont find either of them remotely funny and that Ross character well my blood boils each time i see his arrogant gob on my tv screen, and the salary he gets , the BBC must be easily pleased to think he is worth it

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  • 245. At 6:55pm on 27 Oct 2008, vicvol wrote:

    I have just listened to the phone calls in question, (I wouldn't have heard them without the publicilty) and found the whole thing very funny. I've never rated Russell Brand much before but he's gone up in my estimation. Not so Andrew Sachs, where is his sense of humour?

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  • 246. At 6:55pm on 27 Oct 2008, Derynda wrote:

    Mmmmm. I think you'll find that as a supporter of filth you are in the minority, thank goodness.

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  • 247. At 6:55pm on 27 Oct 2008, tantejennie wrote:

    I care about free speech, but have been appalled by the conduct of Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand. In the past I have found them both witty and well informed, if a little close to the knuckle. But, after their completely unacceptable and offensive schoolboy prank, my opinion of them has sunk to an all time low. Furthermore Brand’s so-called apology was tasteless and insincere.

    In spite of the popularity of Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand, the BBC should still have the courage to fire them rather than waste unbelievable amounts of license payers’ money continuing to employ them. I feel it is shameful if the BBC is not seen to act immediately and terminate their contracts, before it loses all credibility.

    The behaviour of Brand and Ross is a sad reflection of the decline in British moral standards. No wonder so many young people behave badly.

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  • 248. At 6:55pm on 27 Oct 2008, shimmysamara wrote:

    I wholeheartedly agree with many other comments that Messers Brand and Ross should be sacked. Their humour resembles little boys at school who have just discoverd what parts of their bodies can do in the toilets in other words "tiolet humour". There is nothing clever or sophisicated about this. When children misbehave and they receive lots of attention then there is a tendency for them to misbehave further so I suggest that these little boys are sacked they are sacked and then forgotten about!

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  • 249. At 6:58pm on 27 Oct 2008, mindmegola wrote:

    I object strongly to our licence money being used to pay people like this with a puerile sense of humour. My husband and I used to enjoy the film programme prior to Jonathan Ross taking over. Wenow never watch it and certainly would not consider watching his chat show where bad language and taking the 'mick ' out of guests is considered the norm. I cannot understand why celebrities wish to appear on a programme where the presenter is so arrogant and self-centered and so lacking in interest in anyone else but himself.

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  • 250. At 6:58pm on 27 Oct 2008, invisibleMelanieJane wrote:

    Perhaps this is the BBC's chance to, at last, let us be rid of Jonathon Ross whose ego is larger than the vast sum of money he is, for some unknown reason, paid. The pair of them have brought shame to the BBC for their conduct. Will the BBC now show its teeth and do something?

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  • 251. At 6:58pm on 27 Oct 2008, Gustas6 wrote:

    80% of show business out of work. Go and search for replacements who will happily work for a fraction of the amount you pays those two cancer heads, Ross and Brand. (Bet they find this funny)

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  • 252. At 6:59pm on 27 Oct 2008, victorm2 wrote:

    I caught the item about Ross/Brand and their antics regarding Andrew Sachs on Monday's PM.

    In my view, Jonathan Ross has come to see himself as indestructible and is certainly his own greatest fan. He has come to the point where he needs some time in the wilderness to learn some humility and respect for others. Offensiveness for the sake of it is simply not funny. I was coming to the point where I was watching his show less and less for the reasons given above, but the Sachs affair has turned me off him completely. Jonathan, if your continued employment in broadcasting relies on my vote, go to the nearest Jobcentre now, do not pass GO and definitely don't collect any money!

    As to that streak of meaningless trivia Russell Brand, I may be in the minority but I find him very boring, very predictable and very childish. As soon as he appears on my TV or on the radio, the off button is quickly depressed. His track record alone should keep him off any self-respecting media. Let's not confuse being overtly objectionable with being clever and talented.

    Come on Beeb - listen to the people who keep you in business, show some courage, and get this trash of our TV screens. You can and have done so much better!

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  • 253. At 6:59pm on 27 Oct 2008, gigantichahagogle wrote:

    If you heard the phone messages they where not in any way insulting, you can't help but feel that Mr Sachs has blown the whole thing out of proportion it was obviously just joke and I feel neither the BBC or Russell Brand has anything to apologize for.

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  • 254. At 7:00pm on 27 Oct 2008, Si Trew wrote:

    I think the BBC are desperately keen to protect themselves after the Hutton enquiry. That being said, it seems we do still have free speech cos we actually can talk on here with relatively free speech.

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  • 255. At 7:00pm on 27 Oct 2008, lizziebeanblue wrote:

    I am also absolutely appalled at the comments from Jonathan Ross and Russel Brand. Its just not good enought to make them apologise - they should be disciplined severely. With the amount of money they are paid, they should bear some responsibility and accountability to the public who pay their salaries out of the TV licenses.

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  • 256. At 7:01pm on 27 Oct 2008, garlandspanda wrote:

    I am appalled at this. There is no wit or humour involved, just crass schoolboy lewdness. Both presenters have brought the BBC into disrepute, which any employment contract should have as a cause for dismissal. The other person who should be fired for the same reason is the producer who not only did not stop this nonsense when it was happening, but then allowed it to be broadcast. There are a lot of wonderful things done by the BBC with the licence fee - paying these three people is not one of them

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  • 257. At 7:02pm on 27 Oct 2008, josephinedixie wrote:

    Ive never contributed to a blog before, even though I use the Internet every day.
    Im doing so now because I'm appalled at the effects that celebrity culture has had on everyone involved in this affair :
    performers who have been persuaded to be so in love with themselves that they are dehumanised, producers who are either so in awe or so bullied, that they lose awareness, courage, sensitivity and principle, and finally processes which are so flawed that this could actually be broadcast.
    How can we be sure that other even more offensive and inflammatory material will not be broadcast?
    Signing on to my first ever blog I'm told that Im now a member of the BBC, so here are my first Member's Questions:
    what possible reasons can be given to justify these two men continuing to be contracted by our BBC?
    Are there no conditions or sanctions which can ensure that contracts are drawn up and managed in a way which is professional, responsible and respectful?
    What disciplinary procedures can be applied to those who've clearly disappeared up their own fundaments?

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  • 258. At 7:02pm on 27 Oct 2008, peterandwendyjones wrote:

    Jonathan Ross is paid an obscene salary and therefore presumably regarded as some sort of role model. This recent tasteless and insulting behaviour is a disgrace. Many people in poorly paid employment would rightly be sacked for a similar exhibition: why does Jonathan Ross apparently get away with a simple apology?

    Jonathan Ross should be removed forthwith from all contracts with the BBC. If some other network chooses to employ him, so be it, at least the BBC licence payers will not have to support these stupid publicity-seeking antics.

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  • 259. At 7:02pm on 27 Oct 2008, biojoesoap wrote:

    The way in which Ross and Brand have treated an elderly man is utterly despicable. Their contracts with the BBC should be terminated immediately along with that of the producer who sanctioned the broadcast and those of the managers who failed to ensure that a genuine apology was made promptly and publicly. Each minute that passes without the BBC taking this action undermines its standing and credibility. If BBC management won't act then the Governors should do so.

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  • 260. At 7:03pm on 27 Oct 2008, LLEGS11 wrote:

    I have never posted a comment on any blog before but I feel so strongly about this issue that I wish to add my voice to all those who are calling for the sacking of Brand and Ross.
    They are both over valued and overpaid and it would be of very little loss to the BBC if they were removed.

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  • 261. At 7:05pm on 27 Oct 2008, lordordinarychap wrote:

    I strongly object to my licence fee being used to produce and broadcast this sort of drivel.

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  • 262. At 7:06pm on 27 Oct 2008, marmottan wrote:

    The main problem here is one of the dominant aspects of our media and our 'celebrity' culture and that is that the ability of these two 'men' to talk is infinitely better than their ability to think. Neither of them have ever really grown up and they do not have the ability to consider the effects of their actions and words -a very childlike characteristic. Their main concern in life is self-promotion which masks their lack of wit and talent. I wonder if in thirty years' time when they are no longer in the media spotlight ( and we would all benefit from that moment being as soon as possible) anyone will remember them. Yet I suspect future generations will still be watching Fawlty Towers and watching reruns of Michael Parkinson. It is sad that the BBC has sunk so low as to employ these rebrobates and I find it intensely irritating that I, as a licence payer, contribute to their lavish and vastly undeserved lifestyle.

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  • 263. At 7:06pm on 27 Oct 2008, yreen63 wrote:

    My husband and I are not surprised that Ross and Grant have behaved in this appalling way. We stopped watching Ross a long time ago, having become tired of listening to his foul language and cruel humour. It appears to us that the only talent Ross has is to try to make himself look big by attempting to belittle other people who are far more talented than he is.
    We remember vividly, how Ross humiliated Rod Hull by making a cheap joke about his waning popularity just after he had welcomed him on stage to present a 'gong' to someone at an award ceremony.
    How Ross loves to kick people when they are down! Well.. maybe at long last, he has shot himself in the foot.
    News footage on both radio and t.v. today, make it clear that Grant is equally obnoxious and has the intellectual capacity of an amoeba!. He also unfortunately seems to be a Jonathan Ross toady.
    Not only have both of these 'men' been highly offensive to a much loved actor, but they have also grossly miligned a young woman - and all for the sake of a cheap laugh.
    Sacking is not sufficient a punishment. they should also be prosecuted for making sexually offensive phone calls,
    as would happen with anybody else.

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  • 264. At 7:07pm on 27 Oct 2008, cleverpeterpan12345 wrote:

    I can only echo so many other people's remarks. Very disappointing. These kinds of pranks are simply not funny and should have no place in broadcasting. I expect more than an apology from both presenters. Perhaps a resignation?

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  • 265. At 7:11pm on 27 Oct 2008, thehousewineplease wrote:

    as a newcomer on the block i am unfamilar with the set up but it has come to my notice that comments as far back 6.05pm. are still awaiting moderation , is this the way things go , personally i think this is a bit long to wait and some people might get fed-up waiting to see their comment on the board .

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  • 266. At 7:12pm on 27 Oct 2008, Theoblogger wrote:

    I am disgusted with both these overpaid drivel-pedlars. Not only are they an insult to listeners' intelligence. It is high time they were sacked, along with the person(s) at the BBC who sanctioned their recording of this prank insulting Mr Sachs. If the Beeb yet again makes excuses for doing nothing or exudes the usual complacent and ubiquitous mantra one hears nowadays that "lessons have been learned", why should we continue to pay our license fees? It is clear the fees are being wasted on these two.

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  • 267. At 7:15pm on 27 Oct 2008, ladyonthechaise wrote:

    I've always rather liked Jonathan Ross but recently he seems to have become just that little bit too big for his boots. He continually interrupts those he interviews, he swears too much, and now it seems that he believes he's too important to sack.

    This sleazy little stunt that he and Brand pulled has brought a lot of people up short and made them realise just what a waste of our licence fee these idiots are.

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  • 268. At 7:15pm on 27 Oct 2008, Agriffo wrote:

    Is the BBC now run by irresponsible 12 year old rating seekers? The Beeb was once admired as being a bench mark throughout the world, for quality entertainment, information and news. It seems that Aunty has lost her way. £18m for a talentless lout, you must be joking. I dont know what Brand is being paid, but it's too much. I would not pay 3 of the current presenters in washers and that trio is Ross, Brand and Evans.Oh for the days of John Dunn,Johny Walker and people like them with genuine tallent. I would like my licence money back please. Ross, Brand and the "senior executive" should be sacked and prosecuted,without delay. By the way has anyone thought about the poor girl who has been smeared in this debacle. She and Andrew Sachs deserve a verbal public apology, and quick. The Beeb still has many things to aplaud but it's on the slide. Please get some responsible people back into management soon, only then are we likly to see quality return to the aiwaves.

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  • 269. At 7:16pm on 27 Oct 2008, killary45 wrote:

    Ross, Brand and their producers should all be sacked.

    Why does the BBC think that it has to descend into the gutter in order to attract listeners?

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  • 270. At 7:19pm on 27 Oct 2008, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    It would be silly for us to think that our outraged comments here are likely to make one jot, tittle or iota of difference; the BBC won't get rid of these people just because some time after the event offence has been noticed, even if there are thousands of complaints now. They said earlier that they had had only two complaints about the programme at the time it was broadcast, I think? So 'no need to do anything about it' seems likely to be the BBC stance.

    The best way to deal with it isn't in the BBC's hands or ours, anyway. If all these not-terribly-famous people Brand and Ross prey on simply declined to be interviewed by someone who clearly has the sort of mentality that finds it amusing to pull the wings off flies, and refused to appear on these goons' programmes, they would stop being such a 'draw' and soon vanish into well-earned oblivion.

    'pee, po, belly, bum, drawers' just about sums up their level of humour, and hey, Flanders and Swan probably got to that before either of these jokers was born.

    And whoever it was up there, no, I didn't really find Brand's defence that 'It wasn't as bad as supporting the Holocaust' either funny or relevant.

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  • 271. At 7:21pm on 27 Oct 2008, bobward wrote:

    What shall we do with them? Well a flogging is too lenient. To have idiots like those two on television spouting their views, then thinking that an apology absolves them of blame. NO. Sack Ross. No severance pay. Boot him. THere are much better people to entertain us without stooping to schoolboy humour.

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  • 272. At 7:24pm on 27 Oct 2008, SpiceDoubt wrote:

    "Kenny Everett was sacked by the BBC just because he referred to it as the Beeb" - he was also sacked on another occasion, presumably without any right of appeal, for suggesting that the wife of the Minister of Transport might've had a little help in passing her driving test. Utterly trivial compared to what these two overpaid, overgrown teenagers have just done. But will we see the same summary justice in this case? I thought not.

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  • 273. At 7:25pm on 27 Oct 2008, Susieblogger wrote:

    Judging by the numbers of comments "awaiting moderation" there must be loads of people who, like me, have been so incensed by the matter that they have bothered to sign up and comment. Listen up, BBC- sack this deeply unlovely duo.

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  • 274. At 7:27pm on 27 Oct 2008, electronicNigela wrote:

    I have been away from radio all day, have just picked this up on the Web. I have thought for a good while that neither of these broadcasters is worthy of the responsibility they have and certainly not being paid! Their failure to resign or offer resignation demonstates their misplaced self-belief and arrogance. Come on BBC, give some real talent a chance.

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  • 275. At 7:28pm on 27 Oct 2008, bobward wrote:

    You suggest that bloggers complain about what people have said. I concur with all of them. You should use the phrase- Any comment on this.

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  • 276. At 7:30pm on 27 Oct 2008, turnyourradioon wrote:

    I heard this programme live (sorry, recorded but pretending to be live) and couldn't believe what I was hearing.
    The BBC has only one option: to discipline (surely dismissal or contract termination is appropriate in these circumstances) Brand, Ross and the show's producer. The initial misdemeanour was bad enough, but the fact that none of them intervened to prevent the recording actually being broadcast is even worse.

    If the Beeb pussyfoots around on this one, it will set the standard for every single one of their TV and radio stations.

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  • 277. At 7:30pm on 27 Oct 2008, lordBeddGelert wrote:

    "And whoever it was up there, no, I didn't really find Brand's defence that 'It wasn't as bad as supporting the Holocaust' either funny or relevant."

    A fair point, but I think it is worth looking at the Daily Mail to see their astonishing, breathtaking hypocrisy here, on the one hand castigating these two miscreants.

    While on the other publishing a transcript of the incident, and publishing saucy pics of the lady subject of the allegations [which she has refuted, but which didn't stop her pictures being published..]

    Whatever one thinks of Brand, his point about the hypocrisy at the Daily Mail does at least have some mileage..


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  • 278. At 7:31pm on 27 Oct 2008, secondfiddler wrote:

    Throughout this country hard working people are faced with the imminent threat of unemployment through no fault of their own.
    I hope that the cosy management culture at the BBC will realise these two, and the producer who let it go on air as "entertainment", have been guilty of gross misconduct, and must be dismissed without compensation. It will be unforgiveable if the police do not also prosecute them.
    Why should they be protected from the consequences of such nauseating behaviour just because they are paid out of the public purse? - surely that's even more reason why they should be held to account.
    And no, a fine is NOT sufficient. These people are rolling in money.

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  • 279. At 7:33pm on 27 Oct 2008, mikegun wrote:

    Having read comments from others I still think both should be sacked along with the executive who authorised this rubbish

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  • 280. At 7:33pm on 27 Oct 2008, KayakPedro wrote:

    The comments made by Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross are totally unacceptable. They should both be totally banned from any further BBC employment. The editor who judged this suitable for broadcasting should also go.

    My sympathy goes to Andrew Sachs and his family.

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  • 281. At 7:33pm on 27 Oct 2008, secondfiddler wrote:

    Strangely no debate on this subject on the R2 messageboards.
    What price freedom of speech in the most appropriate forum.

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  • 282. At 7:33pm on 27 Oct 2008, Witzend wrote:

    What a couple of puffed-up, spiteful boors!

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  • 283. At 7:35pm on 27 Oct 2008, geoBiker wrote:

    Oh dear - yet another unbelievable gaff by the BBC. I was shocked when I heard on PM tonight whilst driving home
    that not only had the highly paid Johnathan Ross, I do hope that is how you spell his name - I would hate to offend him, and his infantile sidekick Russell Brand gone far beyond the pale of simple human respect but that a "senior editorial manager" had vetted and passed for production such childish
    behaviour and offensive material.
    If I were Andrew Sachs I would be bearing heavily down a legal route to
    sue for extensive damages - I hope he does. If I were in senior management in the BBC I would expect to be firing someone pretty damn quick for this ineptitude. What a pity it couldn't be both the culprits from whose minds and mouths issued this unnecessary abuse.
    I have always been a staunch advocate of the BBC and it's licence fee but that
    does not mean it is give licence to broadcast this sort of detritus.
    Surely the public deserve better than this. I am sure Andrew Sachs does!

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  • 284. At 7:35pm on 27 Oct 2008, octavia12 wrote:

    Yet again Jonathan Ross makes offensive remarks on radio this time joined by Russell Brand. Apologising to Mr Sachs is quite inadequate and listeners do not need to have phoney "apologies" - usually with the implication that complainers are rather old and don't "get" the joke.

    As a licence payer I do want - and from the pm blog many others agree - the BBC to realise the licence payer does not want to be associated with or pay for such behaviour. Please do not hide behind referring to them as "talented" and "popular" and discipline them in the way the rest of us would be in the workplace if we behaved in such a manner i.e. sacked. The farce of paying such enormous amounts of money to such mediocre talent is unacceptable especially in such difficult economic times. Have the courage to forget ratings, set an example and get rid of them.

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  • 285. At 7:36pm on 27 Oct 2008, Geoff wrote:

    Ross and Brand are not sorry for what they did, make no mistake about it - they hold us all in contempt for allowing the BBC to place them on expensive pedestals as "celebrities". Maybe, just maybe, light will dawn on the BBC management muppets that what they have created in Ross and Brand is unacceptable, obscene and un-British.
    Yours hopefully..............

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  • 286. At 7:37pm on 27 Oct 2008, lordBeddGelert wrote:

    As I've said before, I'm not a big fan of Wossie, but some of the comments above are of the tedious and tiresome 'Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells' variety. I agree he can be vulgar, and is often just not very funny.

    But have a look at the opinion of someone else about his interviewing skills, just to give a bit of balance to the apopleptic fury of a load of pensioners who may well have been tucked up in bed when this show was on...


    By all means condemn this incident, but knee-jerk requests for sackings are just fatuous nonsense in my opinion.

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  • 287. At 7:39pm on 27 Oct 2008, annettesays wrote:

    I found the behaviour of Messrs Ross and Brand to be neither funny or entertaining. I would seriously object to any of my licence fee money contributing to any kind of renumeration to either of these individuals. My sympathies to Andrew Sachs and his family.

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  • 288. At 7:39pm on 27 Oct 2008, corrieb wrote:

    It's an overused cliche (and sometimes an excuse for poor comedy) that "comedy is subjective", but I am both a lover of both Radio 4 and Russell Brand.

    As someone who has, to my own cost, occasionally said things I have later regretted, I have a small amount of sympathy for Ross and Brand. Putting them together was an accident waiting to happen. I don't defend what they did or the editorial decision to broadcast it. I agree that it was immature and offensive. However, anyone who listened to the whole show will know that they wound themselves up into a frenzy in which something like this was probably bound to happen. I believe that they are probably both feeling pretty sheepish and are almost certainly regretting the incident.

    Sadly, Russell's on-air persona makes it almost impossible for him to sound sincere about anything - any attempt at sincerity usually comes across as disingenuous at best. This is something he needs to work on. However, quoting his comedy show verbatim is almost guaranteed to miss the point... which is that virtually everything is said within an irreverent context which is completely lost in quotation.

    So I stand by Brand. He is extrememely talented, he is definitely not to everyone's tastes and he should continue his Radio 2 show because I, for one, love it. However, he needs to learn the value of genuine sincerity.

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  • 289. At 7:40pm on 27 Oct 2008, neonhazelg wrote:

    So, Ross and and Brand made ignorant and offensive comments over the phone and broadcast them, it is not surprising knowing what we do of these two people.
    It was a wicked and evil thing to do, to offend a respected man, and to make foul remarks about his grand-daughter.
    Another appalling aspect of this case is that these two are highly rated by many people in this country as entertainers, when they continually make remarks and perform antics on the TV which would be unacceptable in a society more of a sense of decency.
    Don't blame Ross and Brand. They, in their ignorance, reflect the way things are for many people: they just pander to the degraded tastes of the time, and profit from them.
    The BBC should sack them immediately, and the police should look into the business to see if the law has been broken.

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  • 290. At 7:42pm on 27 Oct 2008, 1974PhilS wrote:

    "Watch Russell and fellow Radio 2 presenter and co-host Jonathan Ross as they arm wrestle, sing and blow off together.”

    The BBC really does deliver top notch entertainment doesn’t it?

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  • 291. At 7:42pm on 27 Oct 2008, Hembarty wrote:

    I am so glad to read all the responses on this particular issue and I'll tell you why. Simply because I thought I was alone in disliking both these "broadcasters" so vehemently. And it pains me to call them broadcasters because I was one myself - with the BBC and on Radio 2 for a while. Anyone remember "Nightride" ? in the 70s ? Beyond any measure of doubt both Ross and Brand should be sacked. Personally, I remember Kenny Everett with affection and then there was Ray Moore. They were GENTLEmen. How tragic that Radio 2 has degenerated so and thank God for Steve Wright !!!

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  • 292. At 7:43pm on 27 Oct 2008, knottyblogger wrote:

    The BBC should sack them both. They are the only presenters who ensure that I switch off or move to another channel.

    There have been so many offensive remarks from both of them that this should be the last straw.

    If no serious ation is taken, then licence payers should unite to ensure justice for Andrew Sachs and his Granddaughter.

    Apologies are not enough.

    Indeed Brand's apology sounds more like a further offensive remark than contrition.

    Please get rid of them ASAP.

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  • 293. At 7:44pm on 27 Oct 2008, greenpaula wrote:

    I have often felt like posting to the blog but have never done anything about it until this news broke. I agree totally with the vast majority of the posts here.
    As an HR manager in the private sector, if these two were on our staff they would have been suspended pending a disciplinary hearing for gross misconduct.
    Unless there were strong mitigating circumstances dismissal would almost certainly be the outcome. Most of our staff based in the office are late teens to mid-30's and having carried out a mini survey today I have not found one member of staff amongst about 30 questioned who thought the messages left were even mildly amusing, all believed they were insulting, pathetic and crass.
    Fining them a couple of months salary is equivalent to most of us being fined a tenner. Come on BBC, if you only had two complaints immediately after the show read these blogs - we trust you to behave accordingly.

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  • 294. At 7:45pm on 27 Oct 2008, scrabblecrazy wrote:

    Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand should be sacked immediately. Their puerile behaviour is unacceptable to any generation and does not fall within anyone's definition of humour or taste. I am amazed that the BBC is so slow to react appropriately.

    In addition, these two men should personally compensate Andrew Sachs in whatever way he chooses.

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  • 295. At 7:47pm on 27 Oct 2008, brosville wrote:

    Woss has only ever conducted highly superficial sycophantic "interviews" and seems totally bereft of any talent whatsoever - making jokes about a 78 year-old man dying are not funny, and making any reference to the holocaust whatsoever when the hurt party is jewish, unforgiveable! Tumbril time for Woss, Brand and whoever else was responsible for it's airing!

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  • 296. At 7:47pm on 27 Oct 2008, mils_hills wrote:

    I cannot believe that this (rather old) story has made top item on PM and generated such amazing venom from correspondents.
    I'm distinctly not a teenage boy, but I find Brand more than hilarious.
    That's a matter of personal taste: I like Austin Powers, too, and I don't know anyone else who does.
    I think we have to place responsibility for the presumed upset with Sachs and his agent.
    Remember: his contact number was apparently provided to the Russell Brand Show by his agent in order for an interview to take place.
    Was his agent and Sachs himself unaware of the type of programme that Brand hosts? Had they not listened to recent editions (available on iTunes and the BBC Radio 2 site / iPlayer)?
    If they had, they would have learned about Brand's involvement with Sachs' granddaughter (a member of a gothic dance troupe called the Satanic Sluts, I understand).
    If Sachs had only done the interview instead of diverting to voicemail, one assumes that the outcome would have been entirely different.
    If Brand had called a random elderly person and abused them, that would be very different. And I don't think they (presenters + producers) would have done it.
    Don't make dates with lions if you are a lamb.

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  • 297. At 7:53pm on 27 Oct 2008, smartHighfield wrote:

    Judging by the sentiments expressed by the vast majority of right minded folk over this shamful episode, is it not now time for those in authority at the BBC to take some positive action and give both these idiots and the person who allowed the programme to be broadcast in the first place their marching orders? As well as causing deep distress to such a much loved, talented actor and his family, they have clearly committed a criminal offence. An apology on this occasion is simply not enough and the BBC should apply the same principles that any responsible employer does and tear up their contracts. I daresay hyprocracy will rule at the BBC and the pair of them will live to carry on with their odious insults!

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  • 298. At 7:55pm on 27 Oct 2008, cawthornebaldy wrote:

    Both of these entertainers are known for pushing the limits, but there are limits. This wasn't a prank it was abuse. I once thought Ross was the natural heir to Wogan- now I seriously wonder if he should be allowed near a mike at all.

    Both of these men are living an an overpaid bubble of self adulation. If any other public servant behaved in this way they'd be sacked.

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  • 299. At 7:55pm on 27 Oct 2008, ordinaryjenny wrote:

    I did not hear the programme, and admit I am no fan of Ross or Brand and their puerile "humour". But what is reported goes very much further, and is deeply nasty, and perhaps criminal.

    It beggars belief that these two privileged men would say what they thought would most distress an elderly grandfather, and publicise it all -then discuss whether it would drive him to suicide. (It must also be ghastly for the grand-daughter.)

    The reported studio laughter may well have been a nervous reaction by people anxious to look cool, but that does not excuse the BBC editor who okayed the programme.

    I really think that they deserve to be punished in a way that they would mind, and also to minimise their influence as role models.

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  • 300. At 7:56pm on 27 Oct 2008, 9thColumn wrote:

    Two totally disrespectful childish idiots who do not deserve their salaries.

    Along with anyone who thinks repeated use of the F word (on tv) is big and clever, they should be disallowed on air.

    We live in troubled, aggressive times and the sooner the connection is made between the examples of these idiots and the way people behave, the better.

    If you think I'm a fuddy-duddy, read what the Army Rumour service has to say.....check out the entries on the ARRSE website!

    I couldn't put it better than they do, and they are fighting and dying for our country!

    BBC, make examples of them.....Sack them NOW!

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  • 301. At 7:56pm on 27 Oct 2008, Jameswb3 wrote:

    What is happening with standards in this country ? And the BBC ?

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  • 302. At 7:57pm on 27 Oct 2008, suearkell wrote:

    ITV News described these two as sophisticated comedians this evening.
    Hardly sophisticated! What they have done is committed a case of gross misconduct towards Mr Sachs and his family. This should be treated with at least a public rebuke, but better than that, the sack. This would happen anywhere else.
    S Arkell

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  • 303. At 7:59pm on 27 Oct 2008, nikki noodle wrote:

    This must rival all other feedback: over 300 responses within 3 hours of the programme - will we have someone on the programme mentioning the amount of correspondence on the blog about this single issue?

    But will this count for something with the powers that be?!!

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  • 304. At 7:59pm on 27 Oct 2008, civildavidm wrote:

    It is indeed pathetic that two overgrown schoolboys posing as men sink to such depths in order to fill air time. Ross is overpaid, unfunny and unwatchable. he also seems to be obsessed with smut, we could all do it but it is just not funny. I am not sure what the point of Brand is. In most organisations they would be sacked and deservedly so. I resent paying taxes to support them.

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  • 305. At 8:02pm on 27 Oct 2008, lordBeddGelert wrote:

    "News footage on both radio and t.v. today, make it clear that Grant is equally obnoxious and has the intellectual capacity of an amoeba!. He also unfortunately seems to be a Jonathan Ross toady."

    Grant ? Clearly someone with their 'finger on the pulse' of this incident then..

    This does remind one of the fuss over the Chris Morris 'Brass Eye' programme where Government Ministers were condemning a programme they freely admitted to not having seen. If these two guys are for the high jump, who is next to get kicked off ?

    Sacha Baron Cohen ?

    Armando Iannucci ?

    Or maybe we should avoid bringing back 'I'm sorry I haven't a clue' in case it is going to offend someone in Shropshire?

    I repeat that having now listened to this I didn't find it very funny, and it did go over the top. But before we go down the road of pandering to 'Daily Mail' readers, let us stop and think what that might lead to. Little Britain might have been turfed off the air.

    And before Radio 4 gets hypocritical and sanctimonious, let us not forget that the award-winning 'Down the Line' was the subject of many complaints, as no doubt is the 'News Quiz' and 'The Now Show'.

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  • 306. At 8:03pm on 27 Oct 2008, gossipmistress wrote:

    The majority of us would be sacked for doing this but I wouldn't mind betting they won't be.
    The rich and famous usually get away with it. And what were the Producers thinking, letting that be broadcast?

    Sack them both and those responsible for letting it on air. In fact Brand should be sacked just for that 'apology' which was, frankly, insulting.

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  • 307. At 8:04pm on 27 Oct 2008, Forcedintoblogging wrote:

    The thing I found most offensive was Russell Brand's 'apology'. It wasn't an apology at all and simply added enormous (and shockingly tasteless) insult to the original injury.

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  • 308. At 8:04pm on 27 Oct 2008, madfor4 wrote:

    How seriously does the BBC ACTUALLY take this matter? On PM this evening Eddie Mair took the moral high ground and a couple of minutes later made a joke, with Niels Blythe, about leaving a message on someone's answering machine.

    The Corporation and it's employees seem to consider that they are 'above' the mores which govern the rest of us.

    This whole issue will be, if the BBC has anything to do with it, swept under the 'proverbial' carpet and some junior programme administrator will be the fall-guy. Ross and Brand should have their contracts revoked for 'conduct unbecoming' and let us see them, in court, trying to claim unfair dismissal. The saving on Ross's obscene salary alone should justify such sacking. They both have a history of such behavior and perhaps, its time they learned that they are not above censure.

    It is time for a 'root and branch' investigation into the running of this, our, BBC. Those in positions of power must be held accountable and, as would be the case in any other organisation 'Heads should Roll'. Of course they won't but "Hope springs eternal".

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  • 309. At 8:04pm on 27 Oct 2008, johnaerial wrote:

    Well done everyone! It's about time the BBC awoke to the fact that a lot of its 'humour' is pretty puerile. Brand and Ross are just arse holes (can I say that!) and should be booted out ASAP. BBC, PLEASE read No. 174 Seton911,

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  • 310. At 8:05pm on 27 Oct 2008, DartmoorJilly wrote:

    Not one member of our family, over 3 generations rates Jonathan Ross, so why the BBC think we want him, on radio or television, and at such an overblown fee is a real mystery to me. We need people we can look up to not look down on. Please 'powers at the BBC' - don't waste any more of my hard earned licence fee. It's time for him to go, along with his fellow mega ego Russel Brand. Jill Pendleton, Devon

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  • 311. At 8:05pm on 27 Oct 2008, U13643995 wrote:

    lordBeddGelert (277 and 286) - What arrogance and misplaced conceit you display to typify the majority voice here as ". . the apopleptic fury of a load of pensioners . . " What do you know of the age and background of the, as I write, near 300 people who have taken the trouble to visit and express their thoughts?

    I wouldn't dispute the fact that Ros and Brand have some talent. It's just a shame that they couldn't make more of an effort to display it rather than act like delinquents on national radio. And, as they say, they both have form for this sort of stunt.

    And you or Brand having a go at the equally awful Daily Mail and its hypocrisy doesn't alter the fact that the two broadcasters deserve the severest sanction for their vile and possibly criminal messages to that answering machine. Humorous and entertaining, it wasn't.

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  • 312. At 8:09pm on 27 Oct 2008, digifunkyfan wrote:

    From the way the BBC are delaying dealing with this issue it looks as though they are waiting to see how many complaints they actually get before they decide what to do about it!

    Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand are in the wrong. If they were teenage boys ringing up a man of 78 to make the comments they did they could be prosecuted. Surely as presenters they have a code of conduct they must abide by - this should be adhered to.

    Jonathan has been going downhill for a long time now. His humour is old and tired.

    As for his misogyny, this has increased so much it is comparable to the worst of the 50's and 60's.

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  • 313. At 8:11pm on 27 Oct 2008, TOOSEYPETE wrote:

    Ref Brand and Ross.
    It really is time that these Overpaid, Hyped Up so-called stars ‘Primadonnas’
    are brought to book. Their behaviour is inexcusable. Any normal person
    would have been ‘Fired’ on the spot. I hope these two face the same fate.
    Do we really need them? Real stars like Andrew Sachs are sorely missed

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  • 314. At 8:14pm on 27 Oct 2008, meldrewlives wrote:

    Perhaps the reason for the lack of complaints at the time of the broadcast was because there was no one listening.
    Both Brand and Ross have a highly inflated opinion of themselves and seemingly no understanding of family love. Would Ross think it funny if the same remarks were made about his own
    Yes, sometimes they are funny.
    I would love to see them in a remake of ' It's a Knockout ', not as presenters
    but in giant rubber suits being laughed at by Stuart Hall. Perhaps Andrew Sachs could be wielding a giant club.

    Great broadcasting!!!!!

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  • 315. At 8:14pm on 27 Oct 2008, terrastarlight wrote:

    Isn't it a criminal offense to send such unpleasant matter onto someone's phone? To make the excuse that it was meant as a joke just emphasises what puerile minds concocted this escapade. That it was filmed, reviewed, and then approved as "entertainment" beggars belief. All those involved should be sacked, as they would have been days ago in any other job.

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  • 316. At 8:15pm on 27 Oct 2008, foxyski wrote:

    I do wonder if in spite of so many comments any of them will be taken into consideration. But, just in case there is someone out there listening, my view is that this shocking incident is just part of the moral slackness and fear that permeates our society. NO ONE IS IN CONTROL! No one has been controlling the banking sector - the young men who, on a daily basis gambled on the stock exchange with the money of people who had worked for many year to fund a pension to enable themselves to live comfortably and independently in their retirement. No one controlled the bankers who gave obscene bonuses to COEs who should have been dismissed empty handed.

    The same goes for the people now running the BBC - shock, horror, sensation is what seems to count. Where is the experienced, intelligent, moral CONTROL that will benefit society.

    I do watch Jonathan Ross - but often have to turn his show off out of embarrassment. He goes TOO FAR! Someone out there should have the guts to control him.

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  • 317. At 8:17pm on 27 Oct 2008, Wigwam55 wrote:

    J R; £6M per year for a foul mouthed insensitive individual! I wish I could claim some of my licence fee back!
    Wake up BBC You can't kow tow to the lowest common denominator all the time. you have a responsibility to us decent members of society. Let's try to keep some standards.
    If the BBC allows this kind of behavour, it is itself as guilty as the perpetrators.
    Let them earn their money in the strip clubs and other dens of eniquity where they belong.
    If the BBC sent them packing, they would soon learn to keep their lavatorial humour for more suitable audiances

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  • 318. At 8:18pm on 27 Oct 2008, TheApril23rd wrote:

    I do realise that this might be interpreted as discrimination against someone with a speech defect, but I can see no possible excuse for the appalling behaviour of these two young layabouts, no matter what their disabilities (an inability to use the English language being, apparently, foremost).

    The Beeb has already deeply offended a large proportion of its licence fee-paying followers by paying ridiculous amounts of money to a "celebrity" whose vocal skills would shame a barrowboy. Now even bankers cannot get away with such handouts, I cannot see why the BBC does not use this episode as a good excuse to rid itself of an expensive incumbrance (and you could ditch that fool Brant too, while you're at it. They are NOT funny)

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  • 319. At 8:18pm on 27 Oct 2008, merlinna wrote:

    The BBC is playing by the cult celebrity rules - it doesn't matter about quality, or values - it's more about effective self-marketing. And the most effective way to market yourself is the easiest - be as shocking as possible. It doesn't make any demands of the intellect and certainly doesn't show any respect for the feelings of others. It's hardly surprising that people complain about the manners of the young when they immitate such poor role models. Money is everything these days and because they have both money and celebrity status Ross and Brand think they have immunity.
    Why not have a nation-wide petition where all licence holders can vote on whether their contracts should be terminated immediately or whether they should still be paid for by the BBC? Maybe they'd prove not to be that popular after all.

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  • 320. At 8:18pm on 27 Oct 2008, lordBeddGelert wrote:

    "What do you know of the age and background of the, as I write, near 300 people who have taken the trouble to visit and express their thoughts?"

    You are quite correct, and I wouldn't in any way characterise your own views in that way - but some of the people who are commenting without even knowing the names of the protagonists, which does make me question how conversant they are with this issue.

    I am in no way trying to condone the nature of the messages - but I will leave it to others to decide whether they are 'criminal' as I don't think that is for us to decide.

    You mention the 'severest sanction' for what you describe as 'vile' messages. You are entirely entitled to form that view from what I've heard of the calls.

    But what concerns me is that such a reaction could easily be whipped up against shows like 'The Thick of It'. I am not a fan of swearing in public, but I don't see how the fact that people might not enjoy a show with swearing should force those of us who did enjoy this show to enjoy a 'toned-down' one.

    Of course, we are comparing apples and pears here - but I would be very wary indeed of people calling for shows to be 'banned' or presenters 'sacked'.

    As for the Daily Mail [Mail on Sunday paper and DM website], well I'm sorry but I do think it is relevant that they are making such a big song-and-dance of this when they are clearly just as guilty of wanting to use innuendo and swearing to 'drive up the ratings' in the very way that they condemn.

    The idea that Paul Dacre, who is quite able to deliver a foul-mouthed monologue of his own, should be the one best placed to pass judgement on what breaches 'public decency' is as laughable as it is ironic...

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  • 321. At 8:19pm on 27 Oct 2008, tommat2 wrote:

    I agree with many of the other comments posted. Ross and Brand's behaviour was totally inappropriate and arrogant. In many other organisations their behaviour would have led to dismissal for gross misconduct. Why we continue to pay them excessive salaries via our licence fees is beyond me. I was also concerned at how the issue was reported on the BBC. Apparently nobody from the BBC would comment this morning. If this had been any other organisation John Humphries and co would have had a field day. It's a shame the Beeb can't practice what it preaches (and so smugly on occasion). My thoughts go out to Andrew Sachs and his family who clearly didn't deserve the upset and attention this incident has caused.

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  • 322. At 8:22pm on 27 Oct 2008, Magubane1 wrote:

    I was appalled to hear the comments on the PM programme. As i have never heard of Russel Brand before apart from reading of him in the press, I had not realised that such rubbish was commonplace. I once wathced Ross for about ten minutes before switching off.

    I think the comments and behaviour of Brand and Ross were disgusting, should certainly have never been broadcast. One commentator said they were like two teenage bopys giggling in a teleohone box. This is exactly what they were like. Do we pay large amounts of our taxes to listen to teenagers giggling in a telephone box. I think not.

    Please request the BBC governors to take this as a complaint and take the appropriate action.

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  • 323. At 8:25pm on 27 Oct 2008, twotan wrote:

    The "About Your Posts" section of the requirements to join the blog sums what was done and what needs to be done.
    It says that " there should be no unlawful or objectionable content : ....., harassing, ...., abusive, ....., harmful, obscene, ...., sexually orientated, .... or otherwise objectionable material is not acceptable."
    The authorities in the BBC should refer the matter to the police to see whether an unlawful act has taken place.
    The BBC should also have an internal disciplinary enquiry.
    Pending the results of these enquiries those involved should be taken off the air.

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  • 324. At 8:27pm on 27 Oct 2008, lordBeddGelert wrote:

    I feel it is only a matter of time before we discover that we have been 'had' as this was engineered by Peter Mandelson to air while he was 'away from the crime scene' in Russia, to take the heat off his Sunday newspaper coverage...

    Definitely got his fingerprints on it, if you ask me...

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  • 325. At 8:28pm on 27 Oct 2008, Travis_Mcgee wrote:

    Whilst i dont condone the use of bad language, particularly on someones answering machine, most of last weeks show was very funny. I was suprised when the F word came out though and it made me think that the Beeb has allowed the use of this word to permeate into a number of shows. Ross's friday night show, used to have the bleep whenever someone, mainly him, used bad language. Now it's used all the time. The recent show with Ricky Gervais on it wsa littered with swearing. I think it shows a decline in the BBC's standards and it might be time to consider going back to a more swearing free era.

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  • 326. At 8:33pm on 27 Oct 2008, tecmike69 wrote:

    If the Directors of the BBC do not have time to read the hundreds of comments, please scan this
    précis for their guidance.......

    I wonder what you have to do to get the sack at the BBC?

    pee, po, belly, bum, drawers, just about sums up their level of humour

    Brand's apology, is obviously insincere

    stooped to this low

    I object most strongly to my licence fee being used to pay these louts.

    In what sense are they talented?

    I see no reason for the police not to prosecute

    isn't clever, and it certainly isn't funny

    makes teenage boys laugh in the toilet

    preening ninnies

    I can't see any argument for not sacking Brand, terminating the contract of Ross, and disciplining the producer

    they are just not funny or entertaining

    This wasn't satire, it wasn't wit, and it wasn't acceptable

    sacked for their behaviour

    overpaid, arrogant idiot (Ross)

    grossly insulting to decent people

    they won't tolerate abuse,

    Contrast their behaviour to our troops who arrived home yesterday

    Brand - can any one tell me why he is famous?

    vastly over-rated

    they would be sacked in any other area of life

    crass stupidity of these 2 highly paid "entertainers"

    fine both broadcasters a significant amount

    What possible minute importance do these charlatans add to any form of life on this planet?

    BBC has degenerated into an organisation that allows public money to be wasted

    considered acceptable to the producer of the programme

    Cut them loose

    start an on-line petition calling on Ross and his producer to be sacked, and Brand banned from the airwaves

    are not talented, not funny, definitely not worth whatever obscene sum they are being paid

    I find him as entertaining as a bout of cholera

    how could ANYONE think that leaving abusive messages on the ansaphone of an elderly person
    (ANY elderly person) could be acceptable in any way whatsoever.

    Fire the both of them.

    Got the message BBC?
    Got the message Brand, Ross?

    Please do the decent thing........

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  • 327. At 8:36pm on 27 Oct 2008, Bloofs wrote:

    The content of what Ross and Brand said is one thing, but surely ringing someone up in the privacy of their home, with no prior warning, then leaving this message is utterly incomprehensible and offensive. What had Sachs done to deserve this? It almost, (and I hate to use the word) seemed like they were bullying the poor man.
    Because Ross and Brand represent such a high investment by the BBC (Ross supposedly gets a ridiculous £18 million) then they will likely escape any real censure and an underling will take the fall.
    Time to invest in new talent, BBC.....

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  • 328. At 8:38pm on 27 Oct 2008, mwafulton wrote:

    If what I have read in today's edition of The Times is correct, BOTH Ross and Brand should be sacked immediately. I am not a prude, but to leave messages of that sort on the voicemail of a 78 year-old man shows a dreadful lack of judgement and taste.

    BBC get rid of these people NOW !

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  • 329. At 8:39pm on 27 Oct 2008, contemplativeAndy wrote:

    Like a number of other contributors this is my first blog, prompted by the BBC's failure to recognise the implications of their failure to respond appropriately to what Brand and Ross have done. The fact that their actions are outrageeous is a given, but to fail to take prompt action, proportionate to the 'crime' is undefensible. As a Headteacher, if I knew that two of my staff had committed a serious act or criminal offence it would not be appropriate for me merely to proffer an apology to an injured party. I should be obliged to discipline the offenders, including the threat or use of dismissal.
    The BBC really must face up to their responsibilities as a public broadcasting institution and not kowtow to these individuals simply because they perceive them to be popular. To do so would be to pander to the lowest common denominator of public taste and decency. Lord Reith must be turning in his grave!

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  • 330. At 8:44pm on 27 Oct 2008, funnyjohnrichardson wrote:

    I think Ross and Brandt are brilliant,and accept they push the boundaries,sometimes it works,other times not,but this is nature of the beast etc.minutes after saying goodbye to my granddaughter and I Teard on radio 4 the message left about a.s. and his granddaughter.To say this was not funny would be a serious understatement. Commendable for A.S to accept an apology, however if I was him,and had some clout, I would chase them and their editor who gave permission to broadcast the tapes to the ends of the earth financially and make them make a serious apology,on national t.v. I intend to boycot both Johnathan's and Russel's programmes in the future

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  • 331. At 8:44pm on 27 Oct 2008, Kinghitter wrote:

    What else would you expect when two people like this get together.
    Neither have any ability as presenters and I bject strongly to my licence fee going towards their salaries. I have heard Brands appology, if that is what you call it. Laughing and joking with no sincerity.
    Both should be asked to leave the BBC as they have a history of this kind of behaviour and it will only get worse.

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  • 332. At 8:49pm on 27 Oct 2008, RxKaren wrote:

    I'm with LBG (320) on this re: sacking. The content was inexcusable for the context. This was not a scripted Blackadder picking on Baldrick - this was pre-recorded and something which Mr Sachs had apparently not agreed could be broadcast. Whilst the clip broadcast on PM was obviously out of context it is not clear whether it was made clear to the Radio 2 audience at the time of broadcast that it was pre-recorded and that Mr Sachs was not happy with it.

    The danger with sacking the presenters is that they will pitch up elsewhere in "Celebrity" shows or making money from selling the story of their "career changing misjudgement" to the media. Their wealth is such that it would be hard to hit them in the pocket. I think this is one to chalk up to experience. It was offensive to many and hard to justify but the most that is likely to happen is a mild wrist slap to the presenters, insincere apologies all round and the dismissal of someone behind the scenes.

    They said what they did. Someone else was apparently blind to the fact that it was inappropriate to broadcast. There was a time lag for taste and reality to kick in. At least three people lacked the guidance and insight to realise it would cause a problem to anyone but only one of the team is likely to suffer any real consequences. Sad really.

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  • 333. At 8:51pm on 27 Oct 2008, andrewh888 wrote:

    russell brand is a genius. admittedly he can sail close to the wind on some occasions but this latest hullabaloo is nothing to get excited about. sachs's granddaughter is no angel either. i have to admit i found the answer phone message hilarious but the fact it offended so many people is even more satisfying. keep up the good work rusty brandstein. ross was the one who used the foul language but too be fair that was was funny too. i pay my license fee too - please keep brand and ross on the radio.

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  • 334. At 8:52pm on 27 Oct 2008, lesclefscroisees wrote:

    I was quite shocked to hear this evening, the disgraceful, irreverent antics of Brand and Ross with their telephone call to Andrew Sachs.
    Two very highly paid putative celebrities, acting like some immature yobs; and to think that I am contributing a license fee for this sort of obscene rubbish is very disappointing.
    They should be sacked immediately.
    But, I suppose the obsequious hierarchy controlling such things will take no action. Dumbing down or what ?.
    It's a pity the 'Moderators' didn't do their job on that broadcast.

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  • 335. At 8:59pm on 27 Oct 2008, strokecitydave wrote:

    I haven't read this thread, so apologies if what I write repeats what others have written. I have recently retired as a trade union official and represented many, many people at disciplinary hearings. I have seen people sacked for doing less than these two did. I'm not offended by the swearing on air, but it seems to me (and I don't know or care if there is celeb gossip about Andrew Sachs' grand-daughter's behaviour ) that what these two did, during their employer's time and using the employer's resources, was possibly illegal, and certainly constituted bullying and harassment. I didn't realise that Andrew Sachs is as old as that (in my mind, he's frozen in time as Manuel). At 78, he's potentially vulnerable. These two are neither clever nor funny - they're not 14 year olds recording something on mobile phones and posting it on YouTube. ALL their contracts with BBC should be terminated forthwith - let them rot in the sewer of the commercial market, and the BBC should be prepared to take the financial hit for any breach of contract case. Defending it and possibly paying compensation to them foe the unexpired part of their contracts would be a much better use of my licence fee than continuing to fund this offensive drivel.

    David Murray
    Derry City

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  • 336. At 9:02pm on 27 Oct 2008, U13643995 wrote:

    lordBeddGelert (320) - Nah, I think you are missing the point completely. I couldn't care less about what swear words they used. It was the overall content of the piece and their lack of judgment that I find offensive. I have no idea how they or any producer could think that it was fit for broadcast never mind their thinking that it was acceptable to make such calls in the first place.

    The awful Mail's role in covering this is absolutely and totally irrelevant to the debate. The fact that you think the paper is hypocritical and "just as guilty of wanting to use innuendo and swearing" doesn't make Brand and Ross behaviour any less appalling.

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  • 337. At 9:03pm on 27 Oct 2008, smilyshark wrote:

    Anyone who knows Brand's style of "entertainment" would expect such poor taste from him. What makes this so much worse is the pathetic on-air "apology" that he made later. It was obvious that he didn't mean a single word, which makes it worse than no apology at all. Words are cheap, and in this case utterly worthless.

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  • 338. At 9:03pm on 27 Oct 2008, Rooooosta Sings....Cecil wrote:

    I regularly use most of all the well known swearwords and I am an irreverent sort of person generally speaking....but I know when and where to do this.

    Cut loose RB and JR....they should have been instantly dismissed, they will DEFINITELY have compromised their contracts....if they are not dismissed within a few days we will know just where the BBC stand as regards morality and responsibility.... children and adults regularly get a visit from the police for such mis-use of the telephone....

    The Producer or staff that were in charge of the programme should go too.

    What were they on booze....cocaine....???? Analysing a few strands of their hair will surely tell us.


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  • 339. At 9:04pm on 27 Oct 2008, Colin Cheesman wrote:

    Two grown me insulting and upsetting an old man........and this is entertainment?
    Certainly not, but its a sad measure of how low standards have become at the Beeb.
    They should be sacked. But they won't be because that would mean the BBC having some moral standards.

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  • 340. At 9:05pm on 27 Oct 2008, 3Dots wrote:

    Parkinson was right when he said Ross *could* be a good interviewer. I rarely watch his show these days but when I do I have to check to see whether it's a repeat as his script never changes.

    He is not worth £4.5m a year for what he does. I would expect him to be curing cancer for the money I giving him by way of the licence fee.

    And Brand. Having sent a hoax call to the police he should have been arrested and sacked. Anyone else would have been.

    If the BBC want to keep Ross I suggest they give him an early evening chat show where he *has* to interview people properly because he can do and I would watch if he was more serious.

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  • 341. At 9:07pm on 27 Oct 2008, DavidMac1946 wrote:

    It's sad really. Andrew Sachs is an actor with more talent in his little finger than Brand has in his entire body. As for Ross, I used to find him quite amusing, but his show has degenerated into a self-promotion exercise in which he surprises and shocks many of his guests. Now I know most are there to do a bit of promotion for their latest book, film, show, but the sexual innuendo that Ross manages to 'contrive' into his witty (!) banter is inappropriate and frequently rather embarrassing (to his guests).

    Frankly Ross is now so far up his own backside - well I don't need to describe the rather unpleasant odour we all suffer as a result!

    As to Brand, I have had the great fortune to see him but infrequently. I hope my good fortune continues.

    So what of their little escapade? Not once, not twice, but 4 times did they make vile comments during what they will describe as 'getting carried away'. What in God's name had Andrew Sachs (or his grand daughter who presumably has better taste than to get involved with either of these specimens) ever done to deserve this.

    Strangely why didn't the producer stop it? How did it come to be recorded? Ross can't even have the decency to own up and apologise. I heard Brand's grotesque "apology". It wasn't. He said what he said - and what he actually felt, with the insincerity ouzing from every syllable - was so obvious, that he had to admit "it was quite funny, though".

    No it was NOT.

    Both of them know exactly what they are doing. If they did not, they should not be broadcasting. Either way there is now no room for them on the BBC. I would like to see them both gone, and this, dear Chairman of Governors, is a formal complaint. Please pass it on, moderator.

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  • 342. At 9:13pm on 27 Oct 2008, Jerry-Row wrote:

    If I, or any other contributor, used their language on this blog the BBC wouldn't show it. Therefore the BBC shouldn't show us any more of these two puerile gobsh***s either. Get rid of them now and spend the money on some quality programming for which the BBC used to have a reputation.

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  • 343. At 9:14pm on 27 Oct 2008, illustriousFrisby wrote:

    Hi, my comment is that to my mind the BBC could do without people like Russell Brand - it was about his mark when all this surfaced, but surely we expect better things of Jonathan who is really a good presenter; but Russell Brand has no idea how to behave and sets out to shock and after a while it becomes boring - I have ceased to listen to his Saturday evening programme. But if the BBC at least show that they will not put up with this type of behaviour on a regular basis we may be getting somewhere. I stopped listening to Russell Brand long ago.


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  • 344. At 9:16pm on 27 Oct 2008, ddriven wrote:

    Can you take the pictures of the two twerps from your website thus denying them that particular bit of exposure - and can the BBC take similar action in regard to their exposure in other media under its control - such measures will represent sanctions well within their powers - and will other bloggers support me in this request please - and if it happens please fellow bloggers give the BBC feedback to show you support what they have done by sending another blog entry.

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  • 345. At 9:20pm on 27 Oct 2008, Susieblogger wrote:

    Dear Andrew Sachs
    I really hope you sue them- then perhaps BBC would have to sack them, & we could have a (mercifully) Grant & Brand-free zone at BBC. Please do, for all our sakes, especially for yours- we love you!

    PS re 332: if they were sacked & pitched up somewhere else as "celebrities", at least my licence-fee wouldn't be paying them. Please put them on "I'm a celebrity, get me out of here" and forget them.

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  • 346. At 9:21pm on 27 Oct 2008, turnyourradioon wrote:

    The first step should be for the BBC to take the programme off the air forthwith. Then it can set about repairing the considerable damage to its reputation - this story is hitting the headlines all round the world, and dragging the BBC into the gutter with it.

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  • 347. At 9:25pm on 27 Oct 2008, thelovelyandysj wrote:

    I am appalled by this story. I dont believe highly paid BBC presenters should be allowed to do this and not face consequences themselves. Clearly those who sanctioned this going out bear responsibility too but Ross and Brand are surely, given the salaries they command, supposedly "professionals" and they have overstepped the mark.

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  • 348. At 9:25pm on 27 Oct 2008, Bloofs wrote:

    I doubt very much Brand or (especially) Ross will be sacked, the BBC has forked out too much cash to dispense with their services. Besides, who's going to come up with content in their absence? I suppose you could get Simon Amstell or someone to take over Ross' chatshow (for a fraction of the fee), but it ain't gonna happen.
    Sadly these 'stars' can get away with almost anything now because the BBC will be too scared to lose them and therefore having nothing to show for the money already spent on them.
    What should happen, is some sort of fine being levied against Ross and Brand. I doubt this is possible, but if in future the BBC could introduce in its contracts the right to fine presenters it would be a step forward. Would such stars be so quick to make such monumental mess-ups if they could lose half a million from their fee? I doubt it's going to happen. What *will* happen is that some apologies will be made, (sarcastic ones as we have seen in the case of Brand), and possibly a producer or two will be suspended. What should happen is that the presenters have to take responsibility, not just the production staff.
    Presenters should have the right to be creative and free, but when they cross the line, the BBC should act against them, and them as individuals. And it's widely agreed the line has been crossed in this case. Does anyone with any brains at all think it's a good idea to ring the (presumably private) phone number of 78 year-old man to boast about having intercourse with his grandchild, on national radio? Especially when the man has had no warning and has done nothing to expect it?
    The line was clearly crossed. In fact the line has been crossed so far that the line is now in another dimension. A dimension of idiocy. What will happen to the presenters? My guess is that not much will happen to our 'favourite' edgy comedians: Brand and Ross. Maybe the best we can hope for is that the BBC plays a little more hardball with the matter of the fee when Brand and Ross's contract is up for re-negotiation. But the contract *will* be renewed, my friends, you can be certain of that.

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  • 349. At 9:30pm on 27 Oct 2008, ed_reardons_grandad wrote:

    I just hope that someone out there in "cyberland" has the persistence to ensure that all of J.R and his lick-spittle mate's (and quite a few other deserving "chav slebs"' ) phone numbers and e-mail addresses are for ever in the public domain, thus enabling everyone to share, at their whim, their own jokes and crudeness with these lovable pranksters, I'm sure they couldn't get enough of it !
    How about...............www.I knowJ(wubbuwya)R'sphonenumber.com....... where bang up to date contact details are available, complete with a selection of prepared calls for the more lazy amongst us?
    What they did is illegal, full stop. What the BBC ( you'll have to imagine the ever present deafening dumbf@(£ backing jingle ) did in broadcasting it is unforgivable, numpty-pandering, ratings-chasing of the crassest order.
    Sorry just isn't good enough from the unrepentant.
    Why don't we throw these grade b telephone sanitisers on the bonfire when we run out of investment bankers to burn ?
    In short, it's time to grow up.

    Ed Reardon's Grandad

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  • 350. At 9:33pm on 27 Oct 2008, famousunacceptable wrote:

    j ross and r brand are both cheap,unthinking motor mouths. they always go for the easy,scatalogical route
    when it comes to comedy.in my opinion they are both suffering from some sort of gender confusion.this becomes obvious if you spend a few minutes listening to either of them.together you get the sort of low rubbish that they inflicted upon mr Sachs .unfunny,crude,obscene and hurtful. is this what justifies their high pay and employment with the bbc?is that what the bbc is now become?
    i think that sorry is not enough of an apology.the only real way to make up for their cruelty is to remove them from the bbc pay roll.
    let them crawl off to a a phone box in King's Cross and continue their little festival of filth and cheap,cruel jibes.
    maybe the bosses at the bbc should phone up mr. ross's answerphone and tell his wife that they have been buggering him. that would be just hilarious,wouldn't it?maybe mr russel brand would like to make THAT call.

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  • 351. At 9:34pm on 27 Oct 2008, rosswire wrote:

    The BBC has no other course of action other than to sack these two foul-mouthed, foul-minded, over-paid leeches.

    The "senior" BBC people who authorised the transmission should also be looking for other employment opportunities.

    It grieves me to see trash like this being broadcast on what was once a world-beating network, and being paid for by a captive fee-paying listening nation.

    Ross deserved to have been fired over the interview of David Cameron.

    They should be "made available" to other broadcasters, we would then see if, as the BBC would say, they are being paid the "market rate".

    Disgusted, Ross-On-Wye.

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  • 352. At 9:36pm on 27 Oct 2008, mittfh wrote:

    I've already mentioned my feelings with regards to these two...

    Some commenters have stated they'd quite like 1/10th the salary of JR and RB.

    Since JR earns 4.5m a year, I'd easily make do with 1/100th what he earns (i.e. 45,000 pounds). Actually, 1/200th wouldn't go amiss (22,500 pounds)...

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  • 353. At 9:37pm on 27 Oct 2008, governor1930 wrote:

    Ross and Brands action is truly bullying and if used against children would be univesally condemned. This attack on an elderly citizen should not go unpunished and no laughing apology should be accepted. These louts encourage others to follow their example and persecute the older generation who have paid for their "education" and presumably employment.

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  • 354. At 9:39pm on 27 Oct 2008, DavidSwarb wrote:

    Just in case the BBC hasn't worked ot out yet, they can save a huge amount of money by getting rid of these two now.

    I assume that their contracts allw this for such applaiing beghaviour.

    Brand could not even apologise without making light of it.
    They have been found out for who they are. they should be gone.

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  • 355. At 9:40pm on 27 Oct 2008, pauljeary wrote:

    Having seen the overwhelming number of comments calling for the dismissal of these two mediocre and highly paid presenters, how can the BBC justify continuing to spend (tax) licence payers money on them?

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  • 356. At 9:41pm on 27 Oct 2008, famousunacceptable wrote:

    i hope you publish what i just wrote.it was nowhere near as offensive as ross and brand were

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  • 357. At 9:41pm on 27 Oct 2008, lordBeddGelert wrote:

    Perhaps we should invite John Cleese to decide what punishment should be meted out ? After all, he has never offended anyone, and he knows Mr Sachs personally.

    I think the comment from Mils at 296 is apposite..
    "Don't make dates with lions if you are a lamb.

    Again, I am not defending the nature of these calls, but the rather patronising 'old man' description of Sachs, when John McCain would be reaching a similar age if a two-term president, is a little bit ageist.

    Someone else on this blog said words to the effect that they'd stopped watching Ross, 'but had never heard of Brand'. If that is the case, one suspects you are not really in the target market for their show.

    Whilst I personally prefer 'Dead Ringers' to 'Little Britain', who am I to impose my taste on other people ? If the boys have done wrong, they should be soundly spanked and sent to bed with out any supper.

    They've done the 'crime', and when they've done their 'time' they should be allowed to get on with their shows and we can decide for ourselves, as adults, whether to tune in or not. If no one is tuning in, they'll soon be bumped off the airwaves for someone else.

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  • 358. At 9:43pm on 27 Oct 2008, minijax wrote:

    I have, very occasionally, watched Ross on a Saturday night. As DavidMac says, authors want to promote their work, and as the unknown writer of a couple of novels, I know how valuable radio and TV publicity can be. I squirm as I watch these authors with -probably - forced smiles on their faces, having to put up with the Ross innuendo, in order to get their work to the attention of the public.

    There is plenty of bad taste on radio and TV. But when that bad taste is directed to an individual, as in this case, the whole situation is changed.

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  • 359. At 9:45pm on 27 Oct 2008, Mattnames wrote:

    Jonathon Ross and Russell Brand. Two smug, bullying scallywags, who believed that it was delightfully witty, to humiliate, abuse and taunt, a 78 year old man - albeit a fondly remembered actor - via Ansafone, with sexual taunts, regarding his much adored grand-daughter.

    Question? Why not do it to his face? Johnny?...Russ? Hello?

    One wonders if they would be quite so hilariously brave, if the girl in question was say, the beloved grand-daughter of, a renowned Rugby Prop Forward, or an East End, Cage Fighter, or a large, extremely well-connected, Heavy Weight Boxer with numerous 'friends and associates!'.

    Bullies, from my experience, are only bullies, up until the point where they are bought down to earth with a resounding bump!

    One wonders why the BBC are still associating themselves with such inept cowards. Is there money involved?


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  • 360. At 9:49pm on 27 Oct 2008, Deepak Chawla wrote:

    Simple, sack both of them.

    This will get do two things
    1) Tell the BBC the right value of both of them is not the market value but what overpayment from the BBC.

    2) Get sense into both of them.
    When people start believing there hype that is when their time is up.

    When you are destined to fail, brain is the first thing that gives up.

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  • 361. At 9:51pm on 27 Oct 2008, needsanewnickname wrote:

    Anyone else see the trail for Brand's new TV show on (I think) C5 tonight?

    I nearly fell off the sofa.

    Tonight of all nights! Good Lord, they should have pulled the trailer, if not the show.

    What is going on in meeja land?

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  • 362. At 9:52pm on 27 Oct 2008, androcles_en wrote:

    These two should be sacked immediately. If this involves legal and contractual issues then so be it, let's see how committed the BBC is to upholding any sort of standard of decent behaviour.

    Of course, it's likely that Brand's pathetic "apology" will be fully accepted at face value and the pair will be given a wrist slapping - probably also given a nice pay rise at contract renewal time as well.

    Meanwhile the BBC becomes the Bully Boy's Charter.

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  • 363. At 9:52pm on 27 Oct 2008, Ron wrote:

    Brand and Ross are a pair of infantile jerks. This is on a par with the notorious "Big Brother" racism row on Channel 4. What makes this one slightly worse is that the BBC are using our licence money to pay vast sums to these mindless idiots.
    Highly unlikely , given the spineless response of Beeb bosses to date , but a fair way to deal with this would be an utimatum to Ross and Brand telling them to pay £1 million each to a charity of Andrew Sachs choice or face the sack for gross industrial misconduct.
    Better still just sack them!!

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  • 364. At 9:57pm on 27 Oct 2008, Charlie wrote:

    363 respondents so far...

    Only marginally less than those who voted in favour of "Tinkerbell" as the voice of the talking clock.

    Ah well, give it time...

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  • 365. At 9:59pm on 27 Oct 2008, Bloofs wrote:

    #296 and 357: "Don't make dates with lions if you are a lamb. Mils."

    So presumably if you agree to appear on a show by Ross or Brand you must expect and take any kind of abuse they feel is appropriate? This is nonsense.

    Besides, the word 'lion' doesn't really come to my mind when thinking of R and B: Clive Anderson was well known for being quite cutting with his guests, I doubt he would have done this sort of thing, though. I don't think tearing the guests to pieces is usually Ross and Brand's intention as your aphorism implies, anyway.

    Also, abusing a guest on air at least gives the guest the chance to answer back. Leaving abuse on a personal voicemail or answering machine is another matter.

    So Sachs agreed to an interview, is that carte blanche? I don't think anyone really thinks it is, not even the BBC.

    We don't know why Sachs didn't answer the call. Maybe he was on the toilet? Maybe this angered Brand and his team. Who knows?

    Brand and Ross, if they wanted to be offensive because Sachs didn't answer their call, could have at least waited until Sachs was available to abuse on air. It's the decent thing to do....

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  • 366. At 10:00pm on 27 Oct 2008, docdibley wrote:

    That this behaviour is indefensible seems obvious. What the BBC also needs to remember (indeed is constantly reminding us) is that we are entering a period of increasing unemployment. We are going to be even less likely, therefore, to tolerate high salaries being paid to narcissists who get cheap laughs from demeaning others. Andrew Sachs is a national gem and the strength of feeling this episode has aroused, in part, reflects this. However, the BBC needs to ensure that its employees treat noone – well-known or unknown- with the contempt demonstrated by these 2 presenters. Licence-payers can choose not to listen to their output but we can’t choose whether or not to pay them; only Auntie can do that.

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  • 367. At 10:04pm on 27 Oct 2008, bumblebeebat wrote:

    I agree with most of what’s been stated here, though surely teenagers would be ashamed to lay claim to this so called prank..perhaps eleven and twelve year olds might be briefly amused! I am sick and tired of J Ross's assumption that being over paid and revoltingly over indulged gives him the right to say whatever he thinks is funny for a cheap, pathetic little laugh at anyone’s expense. I've become more and more aware that what little boyish charm he once had has now become somewhat jaded and truly tired. What do his editorial or production teams fear, has this untalented creature got them cringing so that not one of them has the guts to say NO, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH? He used to be a small puff of fresh air, but sadly those days are long gone. He toadies up to anyone giving him a freebee, however tacky. In one, often ill judged, breath he’ll dismiss a film until faced with one of its stars; when he performs a complete about turn as he sidles into their good books by some singularly cringe worthy sycophancy. Russell Brand must have been employed in the knowledge that he’s likely to utter statements that may cause offence, that’s his style. He’s erudite and highly observant; his wit depends upon a rapieresque response to a situation. In this particular instance I’m astonished that a wit of his calibre (however unpalatable some may find it) stooped so low as to consider an aired form of bullying appropriate; especially considering his own painful experiences and personal knowledge of falling victim to bullies.
    Ross should be told to leave the BBC; let’s have some talented young people take over all his programmes thus saving the licence payer huge a amount of wasted money…very pertinent in these times of financial crisis. Give that silly young whipper snapper R Brand a quick verbal rap on the knuckles; reminding him not to be thoughtlessly spiteful, not something of which I would ever have accused him of before. Let’s cast off that no talent and oh too ubiquitous cretin Ross; and nurture the talent still being forged and harnessed that is R Brand.
    Apologies are all too simple a solution when one feels one’s gone too far, but in their case it’s been done to salvage jobs with no real remorse. Mr Brand let your unique turn of phrase and observation flourish, not be diminished by shoddy, cheap shots. Ross try to explain to your children why your behaviour is unacceptable and why their daddy’s such a nasty piece of work.

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  • 368. At 10:06pm on 27 Oct 2008, sharroneh wrote:

    OK Mr Brand first - I seriously don't understand why he is employed by the BBC. He offers nothing which is either entertaining or radical. He just strikes me as being a crude individual.

    Now Mr Ross - certainly a good film critic and his chat show on BBC is good entertainment. He radio 2 program isn't bad but he is prone to unnecessary ill considered comments. he seems to engage mouth before brain.

    As a licence payer - i object to good money being spent on these essentially talentless individuals.

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  • 369. At 10:12pm on 27 Oct 2008, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    lordBeddGelert @ 277 (and elsewhere), the Mail link appears to be 'unavailable' at the moment, but I don't really need to look, do I? I know that paper already...

    but Brand saying that the Mail was nasty, or Hitler was nasty, may be true but does not excuse his being nasty himself. If we start to look at that instead of him, we have fallen for his feeble excuse for apology, and I don't think that we should do that.

    (Hey, there is a really nasty cat up my road! That doesn't excuse Brand either.)

    I agree with you that this could easily turn into a witch-hunt, and I dislike any appearance of jumping onto a red-top bandwagon, but in this case I feel that the world has caught up with me, for once: I have been saying for some time that this pair of clowns are not worth the money we (if we pay a licence-fee: I don't, no telly, I get forced to watch other people's) have no option about paying them.

    And yes, some of the comments here have been a bit 'disgusted of Cheltenham'ish. For instance, they didn't ring him up out of the blue only in order to assault him, as some posters seem to think: they had his number to ring because an interview had been set up with him -- and then he wasn't there to answer the phone. This offended them, because they are so important in their own eyes that not making them his only priority was unforgiveable -- but they then went on to be gratuitously offensive, where someone more clever (Paul Merton springs to mind) could have made him look an idiot without making himself look far, far stupider.

    What, though, is the point of pre-recording? Surely it is to avoid just such nastiness as the BBC has now pulled down about its own head. The person who failed to stop that section from being broadcast certainly ought to be answering difficult questions just prior to a desk-clearing exercise, I feel, because if that's not what pre-recording is for, what *is* it about?

    My call for them to be sacked would be on the grounds of value, or lack of it, for money. I seriously do not feel that Ross is 'worth' six million pounds per year, which was reported as being what the BBC paid him. *Whatever* he did, he is not worth that sort of money.

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  • 370. At 10:15pm on 27 Oct 2008, Somesportplease wrote:

    So Jonathan Ross is a defining face of the BBC well in my view that just about says it all about the BBC. Ross and Brand will be revelling in the publicity whilst the BBC if it does not take strong action will destroy a bit more of its reputation.
    Why don't we have done with it and scrap the licence fee and make the Beeb go commercial then at least the licence payers won't be compelled to be 'complicit' in the erosion of common manners and decency.

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  • 371. At 10:18pm on 27 Oct 2008, zippotheant wrote:

    well as Im forced to fund this duo of unfunny ,untalented presenters , I say
    sack them both now ( and also the person who authorised the broadcast)

    If they think they have a case after that , as employees they can take it to court for unfair dismissal , though they wouldnt win.

    In Industry , these people would of gone , kicked out for gross misconduct

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  • 372. At 10:20pm on 27 Oct 2008, Bloofs wrote:

    "And yes, some of the comments here have been a bit 'disgusted of Cheltenham'ish. For instance, they didn't ring him up out of the blue only in order to assault him, as some posters seem to think: they had his number to ring because an interview had been set up with him -- and then he wasn't there to answer the phone."

    - I hold my hands up and confess I initially thought they'd just rung him up because of Brand's possible 'friendship' with his granddaughter. I make a full 'Bloofs' apology to Brand and Ross. I'm sure they will appreciate it.

    I do reiterate that leaving such a message on Sachs' voicemail wasn't a good idea (to say the least) and that if they wanted to take it out on him why not wait until he is on air, or even ring his agent and make fun of her?

    Or better yet, why bother at all?

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  • 373. At 10:27pm on 27 Oct 2008, auntlizzybe wrote:

    How crude, vulgar and in such bad taste. I can't imagine anyone receiving such a phone call and finding it remotely funny - In what universe are these 2 idiots funny? Oh yes the BBC universe- of course I forgot. Apologies are meaningless coming from them so lets start with the people who approved the show - they should be fired for appalling judgement . Then we can find the madman who signed them up in the first place and offered them millions of our money to pay this talentless pair. They can go too. As for JR please, please get him off the air. What more does he have to do? And is it true he is going to be on Children In Need? I dispair .
    The BBC has to be accountble.They have to have some kind of standards after all we the public are paying them!! How could they be allowed to get away with such appalling behaviour? Just who do they think they are?

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  • 374. At 10:27pm on 27 Oct 2008, Mattnames wrote:

    About 8 million years ago, when television was still powered by gas...there was this presenter, a cocky young buck named Simon Dee [Google: Simon Dee Downfall.].

    Now Simon was a young, fast talking, slightly louche, ever-so witty, chat show host who could do no wrong...or so he thought!! Then one day, he said something very abusive about a much loved personality...and oh, how they all laughed!!

    Sadly, for Simon, the much loved personality, was just that, a much loved personality, with a flanx of quietly, powerful and hugely influencial friends...movers and shakers, as they would be known today.

    POP!! Simon vanished from our screens (David Nixon would have been proud. [Google: David Nixon]) never to be seen again. Over the years there have been the odd lurid newspaper stories of downfall and personal mayhem, but you're not interested about all that!

    Simon Dee is now largely forgotten. Current 'personalities' could do worse than study Simon's story.

    [Google: David Frost. A hugely influencial person in the world of broadcasting]


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  • 375. At 10:28pm on 27 Oct 2008, scorpioradioham wrote:

    Well I never thought I would live to see the day I agree with Kelvin McKenzie but i think hes right about firing those 2 clowns

    I like both Jonathon Ross and Russell but they both think they are beyond any control by the BBC.

    To carry out this childish and disrespectful prank on Mr Sacks and to malign his grand daughter requires them both to be fired.

    I doubt the BBC will have the guts to do that - as they chase the 'yoof' audience to the detriment of everything else.

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  • 376. At 10:30pm on 27 Oct 2008, marbleLol_P wrote:

    Brand and Ross must go. All this publicity will be worn as a badge of honour for them and the moronic masses who find this sick stunt hilarious.
    I work very hard for modest pay and if I showed anything other than the utmost courtesy and respect to our clients, guests or managers I could be dismissed.

    No doubt they felt deeply insulted at the fact that Mr Sachs did not participate in the show as planned and set about getting their revenge. Like so many modern day celebrities who manage to combine fame with an absence of talent, their over-inflated egos make them think they are untouchable and previous incidents met with inaction from the BBC would server to reinforce that. How they fawn and grovel in the presence of youth-culture "idols" but an old-timer like Andrew Sachs they thought was fair game.

    Don't worry Mr Sachs, I know you are an old pro who worked your way to the top through hard work and determination. An utter gent, you have more talent in your little finger than these sad individuals put together.

    Fining them won't make any difference; they thrive off controversy and must be dismissed. You did it to Kenny Everett in the 70s for something far less serious. Wasn't poor old Pete Murray dropped for subtly expressing his political views before the 83 election?

    Come on BBC! show some backbone for once in your lives and set an example of these degenerates for the sake of the younger impressionable generation and other presenters who need to learn that this behaviour carries severe consequences.

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  • 377. At 10:31pm on 27 Oct 2008, mils_hills wrote:

    We have to remember that Mr Sachs' grandaughter is also an entertainer in a risque / explicity capacity and - one assumes - that her grandfather was aware of that.
    If he wasn't, I'm not sure that Messrs Brand and Ross have any responsibility for having enlightened him as to his grand-daughter's antics when Mr Sachs had agreed to participate in an interview on the programme in the first place.
    And Brand / Ross are known to be 'controversial', provocative, etc..
    Comments on this blog about Brand being predictable in his humour demonstrate that such individuals just haven't listened to his material.
    I'm not sure many radio / TV broadcasters can seamlessly switch from knowing post-structuralist literary deconstruction to showbiz gossip.
    I'm personally delighted to pay my licence fee for such material.
    I regret having to fund the soaps (etc.) that others enjoy, but accept that burden with resignation.
    Leave Messrs Brand and Ross alone; let Mr Sachs sort out his own problems; and Russell and Mr Sachs' grandaughter should invite me to their wedding.

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  • 378. At 10:35pm on 27 Oct 2008, Moriconium wrote:

    If the BBC does not sack these two, then it should have it Licence priveledge revoked.

    That is the first step.

    The second is, Ross and Brand should be arrested for making obscence nuisance calls.

    I bet they are sorry.....only because they might loose their unrealistic salaries.

    Their remorse is insincere and hypocritical.

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  • 379. At 10:37pm on 27 Oct 2008, sassmann wrote:

    Humour one thing, mindless , offensive pranks that do nothing but insult and offend are totally unacceptable. It is quite clear that Ross and Brand should go...I doubt that the BBC has the courage to do the morally correct thing and sever all contracts and contact with the two . Andrew Sachs has a sense of humour...he was rightly offended...who would not be when someone makes such offensive remarks at the expense of a uninvolved and innocent young woman?. How on earth the BBC managed to allow such offensive tripe is beyond me...license payers should unite and demand the beeb to rid themselves of the distasteful pair. This extension of the decline in a moral code that the BBC should adhere to is a complete disgrace!

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  • 380. At 10:37pm on 27 Oct 2008, badabec wrote:

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

  • 381. At 10:38pm on 27 Oct 2008, aquaagua wrote:

    What is wrong with these people, Brand and Ross. This is a step far too far. They have always pushed the boundaries but this is beyond the pale. I am not someone who has led a sheltered life but these two are nothing short of disgusting. Get rid of them radio two.

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  • 382. At 10:42pm on 27 Oct 2008, Codzwollop wrote:

    I listen to R4 and enjoy it greatly. This story was highighted today. I am happy to pay my license fee for all my viewing and listening, however I am unhappy to involuntarily contribute to the salaries of presenters who act in this fashion. Dumming down is being allow to creep into the bbc corporate psyche. I agree with Cliffburn 363 above a large fine being the minimum better to fire. This reminds me of another public misdemeanour recently that made me angry. The parliamentary response to Derek Conway's regard for the public purse and his expenses. I hope the bbc do not allow Ross and Brand such an easy ride. My view of parliment has diminished. Please let the BeeB not go down the same slippery route. I hope large numbers of people feel strongly enough to respond to this behaviour.
    Please act and uphold your standards.

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  • 383. At 10:45pm on 27 Oct 2008, irthlingboroughjohn wrote:

    This prank pushes the boundary over the edge. These so called entertainers\presenters receive fabulous wages paid for by licence holders. If this had happened in a commercial company they would have faced instant dismissal. They have committed a criminal offense and been very stupid. I hope the BBC takes firm action.

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  • 384. At 10:46pm on 27 Oct 2008, Richard_SM wrote:

    I work for a large corporation.
    If I had done something like this I would have definately been suspended and placed on a disciplinary charge.
    The outcome of a hearing is less predictable - somewhere between final warning and dismissal.
    I seem to recall Radio 2 suspended Johnnie Walker for several months for taking drugs.

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  • 385. At 10:47pm on 27 Oct 2008, THEESSEXBOYS wrote:

    This is the opportunity to get rid of these 2 talentless phoneys. Why on earth should the BBC - and we the license feepayers - pay huge sums for such low ratings. This is not prime time we're talking about and the numbers are risible.

    Mark our words you BBC managers, unless you take action here you will look back on this incident and see it as a very long nail in the License Fee coffin.
    The worm has turned!

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  • 386. At 10:50pm on 27 Oct 2008, anonymouse_1969 wrote:

    I cannot really complain about Jonathan Ross’ show that included Russell Brand’s phone call, as it is long time I have stopped watching BBC, except watching Newsnight and listening Radio 4. I am only forced paying the BBC tax that is used to make this kinds of programmes.
    I agree with many others here, like Fearless Fred just before me: on its face, this is a simple stupid jokes normally made only by teenage boys. In my view, the real problem is that, this is BBC today. Channel 4 is much better than BBC for a while and by now I had to say event Five had became better than BBC. It is a same.

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  • 387. At 10:51pm on 27 Oct 2008, Lilbucket wrote:

    I agree with Fearless Fred. Could we just not fire Brand and Ross and put the licence fee to a better use.

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  • 388. At 10:55pm on 27 Oct 2008, newDuiker wrote:

    I was appalled to read the antics of the two juveniles, Brand and Ross at the expense of Andrew Sachs and his family. I thought the BBC indecently slow in apologising for their production team's lapse in broadcasting such blatantly offensive material.
    I am not attracted to the coarse 'humour' of either Jonathan Ross or Russell Brand, and for this episode they ought to be suspended for at least six months and only return to public broadcasting and television when they have proved their humility and conscience. This was the decent step taken by Peter Mandelson in Tony Blair's government and we should expect the same high standards from the public broadcasting system.

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  • 389. At 10:59pm on 27 Oct 2008, DavidWD wrote:

    The hassle registering for this blog should have cut out a few thousand complaints. The rationale for collecting age data seems less than complete.
    The overseer of the Russel Brand cruelty should try to adhere to the conditions required for comments on this blog.
    Personally I feel contempt for a decision which obviously rates the possibility of higher viewer interest and controversy over human decency.
    My opinions of the entertaining but morally autistic Brand & Ross have hardly changed. If you employ people who get some of their kicks and reputation from trying to degrade others don't be surprised if they do so.
    Ross & Brand should no longer feature on the BBC & whoever passed the programme should at least be retrained if there is any core at the BBC capable of doing so. However I suspect it is more an issue of institutional values - in this area the BBC needs some. It also implies a contempt for younger viewers in that they will mostly morally collude with attempts to humiliate an old man about his grandaughter.
    One has the impression that the programme makers regard their values as superior to us punters. They should reflect.
    Oh and well done for the photo on the blog of Brand in his underpants; another one in the eye for the fuddy-duddies it is so cool to show institutional contempt for.

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  • 390. At 11:01pm on 27 Oct 2008, Codzwollop wrote:

    Lets hope that the BeeB act to avoid the 'nail in the coffin' for the license fee as suggested by THEESSEXBOYS.

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  • 391. At 11:05pm on 27 Oct 2008, Codzwollop wrote:

    My comments have to await moderation. I fully respect this on the part of the BBC. Why was this same moderation not imposed on your employees? I am sure I would be romoved from this forum. Need I say more!

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  • 392. At 11:06pm on 27 Oct 2008, lordBeddGelert wrote:

    Some earlier posting mentioned the fact that John Dunn was a gentleman and 'thank heaven for Steve Wright'. I have no problem with that, but you also have to concede that some of the programmes can be rather dull. I don't have a problem with 'dull'. David Jacobs was never very exciting, but sounded great on the radio.

    The point is that radio would be a very dull medium if this was all that was on offer. One suspects that a slight nudge on the 'dullness' button wouldn't have lost a great deal of viewers last Saturday - but this bandwagon is in danger of becoming a witch-hunt. I am half expecting a 'lock up your daughters - Russell Brand is in town' warning to be broadcast before next week's show.

    Anyone would think that these young women Brand is alleged to be dating are something less than willing participants.


    Now chill out and enjoy Russell on 'swear-free ' American network TV..

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  • 393. At 11:07pm on 27 Oct 2008, alsordi wrote:

    Disgraceful behaviour but no more than I would expect from Brand and Ross.Dogs and fleas again.Next time the license is up for review it should be scrapped.There have been too many gross failures by the BBC. Alsordi.

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  • 394. At 11:11pm on 27 Oct 2008, docdibley wrote:

    Does lordBeddGelert (392) seriously think that humiliation and scorn are the only alternatives to dull?

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  • 395. At 11:12pm on 27 Oct 2008, takethecake wrote:

    I can't believe that the BBC have now broadcast Brand and Ross singing their utterly unconvincing apology with Brand still giggling like a naughty schoolboy.

    Ross's pathetic excuse, ' You don't realise that what you do in here has a reality outside,' says it all.

    It seems they are both disconnected from reality and incapable of being sincere or of realising the hurt they have caused. They need a reality check - do them a favour and give them the sack!

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  • 396. At 11:16pm on 27 Oct 2008, violinist1 wrote:

    The antics of Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross are totally reprehensible. Brand is NOT funny, except in his own stunted imagination, but he is extremely purile and displays the emotionally pathetic demeanor of a thirteen year. This he displayed to the full in his tirade to Andrew Sachs answerphone. The only good bit is that Andrew Sachs was not faced with having to deal with this incident whilst it was happening. An immature individual like Brand should not be allowed access to the airwaves. That the program was apparently overseen by a senior editor and given the ok for transmission should be ringing alarm bells within the BBC. This senior editor, if indeed the program was approved in this way, has clearly misjudged what the listening public will tolerate. If the program was not reviewed by a senior editor, then it begs the questions just who approved this for broadcast and under what reasons.

    However having heard the recording on the PM program I am disgusted far more by the insincere "apology" where Brand brings Hitler in it as an attempt at justifying his revolting comments. If he wishes to live in the sewer that is his choice, but he should not be paid out of licence payer money to peddle his filth to millions of others who most likely do not want to be inflicted by it.

    Brand should be sacked by BBC on Tuesday and never re-employed by the BBC under any circumstances whatever. I see no reason to continue paying my licence fee whilst this revolting man is on the books. I have no wish to hear anything further from him so please do not rebroadcast those comments of his. Any further apologies from Brand should be dismissed as being utterly insincere from the start for he clearly never had any intention of apologising in the first place.

    Ross should be severely reprimanded and his excesive salary cut. Ross at least has some worthwhile things to his credit such as children in need, whereas Brand has none, but that cannot be used to justify his part in this. Ross should have taken a much more responsible role given his broadcasting experience, but he has a track record of being offensive with many guests in the past. He is also someone I will not be watching or listening to in the future. Please don't put him on children in need this week if he has been booked for the event. I feel we all deserve better.

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  • 397. At 11:17pm on 27 Oct 2008, Brockblog wrote:

    I always turn off when Ross is on for otherwise I expect to hear vulgarity and bad language.The BBC management must take much of the blame for encouraging offensive language and behaviour by simply allowing it. The fact that the producer allowed this makes one wonder what sort of standards they uphold ? are they happy to bring their young children or grandchild up in a world where this is the way to speak and behave. The BBC ought to be able to set standards, not dum down to the lowest common denominator, they pay the high fees so should set the standards. The person who allowed this to be broadcast should be dismissed as a warning to others.

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  • 398. At 11:21pm on 27 Oct 2008, Biloxi Junction wrote:

    If Jonathan Ross or Russell Brand were remotely amusing or entertaining, or if what they'd left on Andrew Sach's answering machine had the merest grain of wit or humour about it, I suppose my lack of regard for either of them would have remained unprompted to make a comment.

    As it is, they are both relentlessly self obsessed, tiresomely narcissistic, wholly unamusing, gratingly irritating, obscenely overpaid, and seemingly devoid of any self critical faculties.

    They happen to be two of the many reasons I don't have a telly. Just bin them. It's what would happen to any other employee who pulled a stunt like that.

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  • 399. At 11:22pm on 27 Oct 2008, benelford wrote:

    I don't have anything new to add to these comments. Like so many others, I'm shocked and disgusted. Unless the BBC sacks these two presenters and everybody else responsible for recording and transmitting this material, they have all lost the entire nation's respect, for ever.

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  • 400. At 11:26pm on 27 Oct 2008, MizzLyndy_lou wrote:

    I never listen to Jonathan Ross on Radio 2, but I did hear an excerpt of it on your prog today. I have never thought much of messers J.Ross or Russell Brand. & would never go out of my way to listen to their programmes or indeed watch J Ross T.V. prog. They are an obnoxious pair & should make way for someone else who knows the correct way to behave while still able to have fun & be entertaining to your listener(s). They obviously think they can get away with blue murder. To allow J.Ross & the other twerp to carry on just means they will think they can behave however badly they deem fit & will not be reprimanded for it.
    The BBC Controller should know that if you put rubbish on the air waves then you will hear rubbish. What a disgusting way to carry on. I have seen one or two of J Ross tv progs & think he comes out with some really suggestive remarks to his guests. Just who does he think he is? I suspect he thinks he is above showing respect to his guests & his use of four letter words is frankly objectionable to me. If you choose to pussy-foot around these two it just proves that your standards are dropping faster than flies from a swatter. You must make an example of them. Perhaps Jonathan Ross thinks that because he is paid an obscene amount of money then he can behave in an obscene manner. What kind of an example is he setting to his children? He should be thoroughly ashamed of himself.
    What really gets me angry is that I am paying my licence fee for you to pay these idiots, & they are laughing all the way to the bank.

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  • 401. At 11:26pm on 27 Oct 2008, imanonymous wrote:

    Please, BBC senior managers, take this flood of public outrage SERIOUSLY. Ever since its inception, the BBC has been synonymous with quality and decency, and even prior to the Ross/Brand/Sachs phone message incident, I felt uncomfortable with much of Jonathan Ross's TV material. This now makes it clear beyond all doubt that neither of these two characters are fit to broadcast on the BBC. If an independent broadcaster with sufficiently low standards should choose to employ them, so be it - I shan't watch or listen - but what really galls me is that in order to pay for our decent TV and radio programmes, we are financing the astronomical salaries paid to these two for being tasteless and offensive. Now, BBC, this is your opportunity to begin to reassess your values. Please step back, look objectively at the material these two broadcast, and ask yourselves honestly, especially if you have children of your own, as I do: do I REALLY think this is what public service broadcasting is all about?

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  • 402. At 11:31pm on 27 Oct 2008, carregwen wrote:

    If anything demonstrates the utter contempt that so-called celebrities have for people in general, than this is surely it. Horse-whipping is far too good for them.

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  • 403. At 11:32pm on 27 Oct 2008, crimsonblog wrote:

    OMG!!!!! I've just had another look at this blog and people have gone mad. I would say to all of you who are calling for Russell and Jonathan to be sacked, or those of you who have "heard extracts" or "read extracts" of the offending item HAVE YOU EVER LISTENED TO THE RUSSELL BRAND SHOW? DID YOU ACTUALLY HERE THE ITEM IN ITS TOTALITY?

    And what's all this about Andrew Sachs being a "poor old man" (paraphrasing). For goodness sake this is a bit ageist isn't it? I'm sure he's grown up enough to deal with this. Leaving an unpleasant message on someone's answerphone is not nice regardless of how old they are. And it was he who had agreed to go on the show to plug something or other and he who failed to answer the pre-arranged phone call. Didn't his agent explain to him who he would be speaking to and what might happen if he left his answerphone on? It's not the first time Russell's left a message on a non responding guest's answerphone.

    And Mr Sachs' precious granddaughter who everyone is getting so hot under the collar about went round Russell Brand's flat with two of her mates, they call themselves "The Satanic Sluts". And did a dance for him! I'm sure Mr Sachs knows all about his granddaughter's antics.

    Get real will you all. The show went out two week ago. There were three complaints (none related to the answerphone incident). Mr Sachs then complained to the BBC and surprise, surprise, the Daily Mail publishes the story on Sunday. Good publicity for Mr Sachs I would say. Suddenly there are thousands of complaints. Well I wonder who they have come from. I bet none of them are people who actually listened to the show.

    Jonathan has written to apologise to Mr Sachs and Russell is doing the same. I am sure the BBC will give them both a little talking to and be a bit more circumspect about what they broadcast in future. That should be an end to it.

    Come on, no-one died! Even Terry Wogan joked about it this morning by saying to one of his Radio 2 show's presenters "you're not going to leave any naughty messages on anyone's answerphone are you".

    Now let's get back to some proper news. How about we all get hot under the collar about slavery in West Africa. That really is worth raising your blood pressure about.

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  • 404. At 11:32pm on 27 Oct 2008, strokecitydave wrote:

    Please put them on "I'm a celebrity, get me out of here" and forget them.

    Surely this should be "don't get me out of here" then we could turn off thecameras, come back home and leave them stranded wherever it is. OUt of sight and out of mind and off our screens.

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  • 405. At 11:48pm on 27 Oct 2008, Codzwollop wrote:

    Please let Children in Need not have jr on as a presenter. I will happily send my small donation to CiN but not if you think his behaviour is compatible with the essence of the event and allow him to appear. Mixed messages or what.

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  • 406. At 11:50pm on 27 Oct 2008, ianlomas wrote:

    The definition of success:-
    "simple disciplines practiced every day" and failure "errors of judgement made every day"

    The BBC are certainly not aiming for success by employing either Russell Brand or Jonathan Ross and to suggest that the latter individual should host Children in Need is quite sickening.

    Mary Whitehouse was correct it is easy to let standards slip away but a very difficult task to improve them. Come on BBC take the difficult path, set an example and rid the airways and television screens of those that enjoy hurting, humiliating and disrespecting others, for surely you cannot claim to do this in the name of license payer, but you certainly do it with license payers money.

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  • 407. At 11:53pm on 27 Oct 2008, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    Let's don't be cliched, people! Calls to sack or horsewhip these gentlemen are far too easy and unimaginative; we really ought to be able to come up with more appropriate treatment than that for their disease.

    Stocks and custard pies?

    Forcing them to appear in public and on prime time television wearing demob suits and ties? Oh, and a short back and sides haircut each. And Sensible Shoes.

    At least taking a thousand quid off them for the 'swear-box' each time they use any expletive and are heard to do so by more than three people?

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  • 408. At 11:54pm on 27 Oct 2008, joe_the_plumber wrote:

    Why are the those crass Yahoos still with the BBC? In any other job they would be fired on the spot for bringing the organisation into disrepute. Andrew Sachs gave me 10 times the pleasure those 2 ever did.

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  • 409. At 11:54pm on 27 Oct 2008, astutertutor wrote:

    The BBC has a responsibility to set moral standards in their programmes watched by millions of all ages. The behaviour of Ross and Bland is unpardonable and they should both be fired immediately. If the BBC has any standards left they should act immediately and get rid of these uncouth, ill mannered individuals for their gross, insensitive behaviour towards Andrew Sachs and his grand-daughter.

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  • 410. At 11:54pm on 27 Oct 2008, Si Trew wrote:

    It looks also that it could be brought to prosecution under the Broadcasting Act 1990 Section 162 but I Am Not A Lawyer

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  • 411. At 00:15am on 28 Oct 2008, taffyjohn wrote:

    Andrew Sachs has more talent in his little finger than Brand and Ross have altogether so how can the BBC have allowed such offensive material to be brodcast at the expense of Andrew Sachs and most importantly his grand-daughter.
    I am of the opinion that Jonathan Ross is sadly lacking in any talent and it annoys me greatly that he is paid so much money by licence fee payers. As for Russel Brand I think he is totally devoid of any talent and I have yet to meet anyone in my personal life who does'nt agree with that. His so called 'apology' on air was so insincere that it was as offensive as his previous ramblings.
    I hope the BBC have realised how much damage this matter has caused to their reputation. They must act now by sacking both Brand and Ross in order to regain any respect from it's many licence payers.

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  • 412. At 00:15am on 28 Oct 2008, Stewart_M wrote:

    There are issues about bullying and elder abuse because lets face it that's what this was.

    If discipline not forthcoming it would be nice to hope that one or both would "fall on their sword". Alas, I doubt they have the balls to do so.

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  • 413. At 00:16am on 28 Oct 2008, kodabar wrote:

    Apparently the BBC pays Mr Ross a fortune because it is in keeping with commercial rates and that he would get the same or more elsewhere. Okay, so cut him loose and see if he does get that fabled payscale. I bet he doesn't.

    Someone referred to a HIGNFY episode where Mr Brand allegedly unrinated in a cup. I was there and I'm afraid he didn't. He went offstage to the toilet. But I did get a chance to observe him after the show and that mockney-Dickensian schtick that he insists on using in his speech vanished as soon as the cameras were off, as indeed I rather thought it might.

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  • 414. At 00:23am on 28 Oct 2008, omegabluemarlin wrote:

    These two have been pushing the boundaries for a long time. At last people have risen up and complained. I refuse to watch Jonathon Ross because it is just a stream of bad language when he talks and I don't consider constant swearing to be entertainment. It is offensive. The latest prank has gone too far.

    Why the BBC employs them and pays them huge salaries is a mystery. Fire them both and save the license fee.

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  • 415. At 00:25am on 28 Oct 2008, Si Trew wrote:

    lordBeddGelert you are missing the point I think. Andrew Sachs can protect himself well enough, and has done, and is in a sense a public figure. His grand-daughter for all practical purposes is not, whether or not she plays in a band. The BBC I agree are probably covering their arses a bit but nevertheless be it a politician's son or an actor's gramd-daughter they are not responsible for their elders' actions and should not be subject to them.

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  • 416. At 00:40am on 28 Oct 2008, crouisk wrote:

    first time ever posted a comment simply because totally dismayed that all these pair of idiots will get is a slap on the wrist.
    IMHO they should both be taken of radio as an absolute minimum.
    how dare they abuse somebody's family like that.

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  • 417. At 01:07am on 28 Oct 2008, jonnie wrote:

    lordBeddGelert, BrokenBronko, and even Mittfh.

    You are all right.

    The worrying thing is that the material that was broadcast was not live.

    It was pre-recorded and subsequently edited - bleeped where appropriate, and prepared for transmission.

    With the demographics of Radio 2 any employee either contract or staff must be on a different planet to realise that it was not suitable for transmission

    - let alone what they actually did, ie:- the message left on Andrew Sachs voicemail.

    I'm sure many people consider both Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand to have great talent as chat show / comedian hosts, but doubts must be raised as to how all three (producer of the programme included) allowed all of this to be broadcast.

    And for me - I hope no one loses their job but a salary deduction for the hosts and retraining and demotion for the producer or whoever let the material out to air.

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  • 418. At 02:07am on 28 Oct 2008, tonylaw wrote:

    Brand and Ross are a disgrace. To phone anyone and to say what they said is a criminal offence, appart from being cowardly and disgusting.
    The BBC should not employ such people. They should be fired now, otherwise the public will judge their actions to be condoned and will behave in a similar way. Fire them.

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  • 419. At 02:15am on 28 Oct 2008, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    At the very least the show should be taken off the air and the host fired. Both should be banned from BBC. In the United States, the station would be fined and censured by the FCC and its license could be put in jeopardy. There would also likely be a lawsuit. This is where BBC takes advantage of its privilege as a government sponsored quasi monopoly. Its standards are as low as any on the public airwaves. Another example of BBC's disgrace to its once proud heritage. But sadly this example hardly stands alone. Perhaps there should be serious discussion of BBC's license being pulled and the entire network either going private or out of existance. This should be the last straw. No change since the Dr. Kelly incident, the same attitude of hubris and impunity that prevailed then prevails now. The so called apology was another insult.

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  • 420. At 02:17am on 28 Oct 2008, james743zx wrote:

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

  • 421. At 03:12am on 28 Oct 2008, pocketpoet wrote:

    My wife and I found it rather amusing. Had to go on youtube to find it, as we don't normally dabble in radio 2...

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  • 422. At 03:14am on 28 Oct 2008, james743zx wrote:

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

  • 423. At 03:38am on 28 Oct 2008, Si Trew wrote:

    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator] this is a good starting point for prosecution. I think either the Obscene Publications Act 1959 or the Broadcasting Act 1990 would be a good start. Since there seems such a public uprising to this I am quite happy to investigate this farther if I get support [Personal details removed by Moderator]

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  • 424. At 04:39am on 28 Oct 2008, carregwen wrote:

    Why are you moderating these comments, when it is quite clear that Ross and Brand can get away with saying whatever they like, without moderation?

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  • 425. At 04:50am on 28 Oct 2008, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Not only would the broadcast have been a violation of FCC rules in America, the way in which the telephone was used would probably also be a felony in the United States. At the very least, the station should lose its phone lines for a suitable period of a week or two at the least. What an example to set. And people wonder why Britain's level of civility is in decline.

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  • 426. At 06:51am on 28 Oct 2008, pumperman43 wrote:

    dear bbc,

    I listen to Radio 4 while travelling to and from work as i see you as one of the last bastions of decency, fairness and value in a world of turmoil.
    However, Mr Ross (overpaid) and Mr Brand (loutish) have collectively tarnished the reputation of the corporation by what they have done (and said).
    As mentioned already in the blogs, it was inexcusable, arrogant and inappropriate behaviour from these two broadcasting 'role models' (sic).
    In a fair and just society they should receive punishment (both criminal and corporate) and that would include the advisors and moderators who were responsible for the sanctioning of this 'comedic activity'. I'm not sure that will happen but I for one will make my own protest and change channels if either Mr Ross or Mr Brand appears on my radio or TV.

    The value of comedy is defined by the recipient and in this case the recipient was truly offended. Hence the comedy was offensive.

    My job involves public speaking for a large global organisation and I have corporate and social responsibilities in what I say in front of audiences with a set of rules (discrmination etc) to adhere to and consequences if I don't.
    Mr Ross and Mr Brand would do well to remember that as they ponder their actions today in their 'ivory towers'.

    Keep up the values, PM!

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  • 427. At 07:50am on 28 Oct 2008, roobarb1960 wrote:

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

  • 428. At 07:51am on 28 Oct 2008, JAlexW wrote:

    The issue regarding the necessity for an apology by the BBC to Andrew Sachs revolves around the editorial control of programmes and I am sure if you dig below the surface you will discover that the 'talent' such as Brand and Ross, have the final say over what is aired on their programmes. Can you really imagine a Producer or Editor saying 'no' to one of them! The only result would be that the Producer or Editor would be removed from the 'talents' show! That is the reality that needs to be addressed fast so that we do not see any repeat of such obnoxious behavior by BBC presenters or any others in the Broadcast Media business.

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  • 429. At 07:54am on 28 Oct 2008, GadeChess wrote:

    Maybe sniggering 14 year old boys after binge drinking might find it funny to harass and abuse older people. But we would normally give them as ASBO for doing it. I thought it was an offence to make abusive phone calls ?. Had I done that at work I'd've been sacked. Why should people be immune from police or other sanctions just because they are rich and famous? Unless we have zero tolerance towards anti-social behaviour, we encourage any mindless yob to behave the same way.

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  • 430. At 07:55am on 28 Oct 2008, geothethreetuns wrote:

    As a longstanding radio BBC2 and BBC4 listener I would like to complain about the offensive programme in which Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand called Andrew Sachs.
    Sadly I have been a fan of both of them but this time they have gone way too far.
    I have spoken to many people and they all agree that both should be sacked. I believe that the BBC should not be associated with these two. It would save a lot of money, some of which could go to Mr Sachs and his family.
    I heard Brand's laughing apology, it was not funny, neither was the original programme.
    The seriousness of the situation goes far beyond an apology.
    I believe that the executive(s) who approved it should be sacked too.

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  • 431. At 07:56am on 28 Oct 2008, battlingLongJohn wrote:

    Having just heard the staggering amount that Ross is paid (£18million) I fail to understand what on earth this money is for. As sure as hell it's not the 'talent' of the individual - he hasn't got £18 worth IMHO.

    As for Brand, never have I had the misfortune to watch such a witless character portrayed with such faux 'star status'.

    Their disgusting attack against an elderly person and his grand daughter is sufficient evidence of their unsuitability for further employment in public service broadcasting, paid for by the BBC tax.

    If the BBC middle management does nothing more than the gentle wrist slap they so far seem satisfied with, the Board of Governors need to step in and show the public that this loutish offensive behaviour will not be tolerated.

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  • 432. At 07:58am on 28 Oct 2008, gordonwebber wrote:

    To say when you tune in to Mr Ross you know what to expect,is like saying crossing the road you could expect to get run over. This is totlay unacceptable, Mr Ross goes too far in is broadcasting, as we pay his wage we should determain to what length he can go. He should be sacked for this and be procecuted for his remarks. No other person would be alowed to do such things and be emune from prosecution.

    Gordon webber

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  • 433. At 08:01am on 28 Oct 2008, roobarb1960 wrote:

    The funniest thing about all this, is that these two have probably just made this girls career. Before this she was just a nobody with a few glamour shots to her name. Now all the tabloids will have her picture plastered over them, and I'm sure will be queuing up to pay her money for more...

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  • 434. At 08:01am on 28 Oct 2008, ourvoice wrote:

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

  • 435. At 08:08am on 28 Oct 2008, Anne_Bath wrote:

    Sack this unpleasant pair for what many might think was 'gross misconduct'. What an example to younger listeners if this is the audience the BBC is trying to attract.

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  • 436. At 08:19am on 28 Oct 2008, lezahnavog wrote:

    It is time to remove these overpaid oversexed and unfortunately over here clowns.

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  • 437. At 08:22am on 28 Oct 2008, NattyBumppo wrote:

    I fully agree with all the comments so far, indicating that some form of reprimand and punishment is required. I hope the BBC governors and the regulator OFFCOM will take strong action. Someone should get a career affecting punishment.
    I can see no reason to employ either of the culprits. I would not employ them to stack shelves.

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  • 438. At 08:22am on 28 Oct 2008, famousunacceptable wrote:

    the bbc likes to think that it has standards ,AND STANDS FOR SOMETHING.
    if it stands behind these two very crude and very cruel men and the person who approved their illegal and disgusting behavior,then the bbc is sending out the message that it believes this type of
    public lewedness is good quality entertainment,and their stupidly high pay
    is concidered to be money well spent.
    the only way to send out the right message to we licence payers is to fire all of the low lifes involved in tormenting a 78 year old man for a ''laugh''.

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  • 439. At 08:26am on 28 Oct 2008, BrigNig wrote:

    the offence that Ross and Brand have caused was inevitable given the standards they both set for themelves. Whoever was responsible for hiring this arrogant and obscenely overpaid pair bears some responsibility as well. Their permanent removal from the airwaves can't come soon enough.

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  • 440. At 08:28am on 28 Oct 2008, TOOSEYPETE wrote:

    So another day has passed and Brand and Ross are still employed by the BBC. Come on lets have some swift action and fire the pair. Think of the saving of licence fee payers money, spend it on some serious quality programs that will entertain, educate and enlighten the population.

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  • 441. At 08:30am on 28 Oct 2008, janelavender wrote:

    Narcissistic traits are seen in many people. Sack these two to encourage them to examine their own behaviour and attitudes. I dont want to be paying a licence fee for this stuff to be able to continue unpunished.

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  • 442. At 08:47am on 28 Oct 2008, magicmapping wrote:

    Why does the the BBC continue to pay these clowns so much money for so little return?

    I am sure Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand and their producers must still be laughing at our expense all the way to the bank.

    In these tough economic times is the licence fee being well spent or am I just part of the dumbing down process?

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  • 443. At 08:48am on 28 Oct 2008, thatniceozzie wrote:

    Some years ago the editor of a national newspaper on which I worked sent round a memo saying that our new "film reviewer" Mr Ross should no longer be the butt of headline jokes about his speech impediment, presumably because he found them offensive. How times change!

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  • 444. At 08:50am on 28 Oct 2008, amywinebungalow wrote:


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  • 445. At 08:50am on 28 Oct 2008, johnaerial wrote:

    These two are so much up their own backsides that I doubt even this amount of criticism will touch them.

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  • 446. At 08:52am on 28 Oct 2008, Patchiemo wrote:

    Any contracts Ross; Brand and the producer of this show have with the BBC should be terminated immediately for gross misconduct. Surely the BBC have lawyers who can organise that today..

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  • 447. At 09:03am on 28 Oct 2008, sisleman wrote:

    A while ago comments were invited when Jonathan Ross's contract was renewed at huge expense to the BBC and so the licence payers. Back then I made the observation that I think he is an obnoxious, loud mouthed self promoter not worthy of the level of pay awarded - my comment was not published back then. Let's see if this gets published now.

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  • 448. At 09:12am on 28 Oct 2008, Tillyecl wrote:

    I have to say that I was very disappointed in some of the analysis of this news item on radio 4 yesterday. The idea that it was a “generational difference” where young people find this kind of thing amusing and the older generation do not was very offensive to me. I am 25 years old so still part of the “younger generation” (just) and I find this sort of wanton abuse completely unnecessary and not at all funny, in fact I would go so far as to say that I found the behaviour of these two broadcasters cringe worthy in the extreme. If I phoned someone up and left this sort of abuse on their answer phone I would expect a visit from the police to follow shortly after. If I abused someone at my place of work in this manner I would expect to be fired (and with good reason). As far as I can see this was just a pair of large egos thinking they can get away with bullying an innocent person because it was in the name of entertainment. In my opinion this was unacceptable and unnecessary behaviour with no real entertainment value beyond the grovelling apologies made by the pair of them as they try and save their (extremely well paid) jobs.

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  • 449. At 09:17am on 28 Oct 2008, terrywallis wrote:

    I've often thought that bits of the BBC resemble a sewer. With this particular leak of nasty material I suggest the mess should be cleaned up by sacking the two perpetrators now & who-ever was responsible for allowing it to be broadcast.
    I object to my tax money being spent by the BBC in this (& similar) ways. Come back Aunty - all is forgiven.

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  • 450. At 09:19am on 28 Oct 2008, whisky-joe wrote:


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  • 451. At 09:33am on 28 Oct 2008, smartlegaleagle wrote:

    I do not watch or listen to either JR or RB as I find them a depressing reminder of what we have come to. Talentless, over paid and over rated. As for the BBC I really do not know why people are so surprised at what has happened. Lord Reith must be turning in his grave. This once great flagship of our nation has been dumbing down for years. Biased reporting (usually in favour of the government), arrogance, lack of accountability and peurile rubbish pedalled by the likes of Ross and Brand. Says it all really.

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  • 452. At 09:33am on 28 Oct 2008, Bax-of-Delights wrote:

    As this is the Eddie Mair blog commentary, may I ask Eddie a direct question?

    Are you comfortable working for a company that supports and promotes such offensive behaviour? Do you not feel utterly ashamed that the corporation that used to be the envy of the world has been brought to this level of mediocrity with the employment of these overpaid guttersnipes?

    It is no less disturbing that the controller of Radio 2 and these broadcasters are STILL in the BBC employ. All other businesses would have terminated their employment without hesitation or any need for "investigation".

    Shameful, utterly shameful. It would restore some faith in the BBC if representations were made from WITHIN your corporation to have these people removed. But are you are all enjoying the gravy train too much?

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  • 453. At 09:38am on 28 Oct 2008, RachelG wrote:

    The offensiveness of what this pair have done does not need to be restated. But I would like to know where the BBC is in the continuing discussion of this incident. It has failed to respond in any way to what has happened. Merely announcing that it is investigating is not sufficient. This is a case of gross misconduct. Suspensions while investigations are undertaken would seem appropriate. In the meanwhile, I would expect BBC execs to be restating the Corporation's policy on acceptable behaviour.

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  • 454. At 09:43am on 28 Oct 2008, misswatershrew wrote:

    russel brand says he thinks his antics with jonathon Ross are funny,well he
    should watch Fawlty Towers ,which IS
    funny.He also seemed to be attempting to make an incoherant /crass /incomprehensible
    comparison to nazi germany which
    dazed me .Anyway ,if ,as the bbc
    apologist for the a pitiful attempt at
    being funnywas to say that there was
    some justification for it as 16-17 yr olds would relate to it,I say well they
    aught not be encouraged,take some
    responsibility .There is something
    pitifull in the 'man among boys,boy
    among men' attitude of silly spoilt
    chumps like Brand and Ross, they
    appeal to the lowest common denominator,and that is not a
    constructive route for the BBC to take. PS I dont mind swearing,this is
    not a swearing issue,I am simply
    appaled by this excruciating nastiness
    being endorsed in such a casual way
    by radio 2....yuck

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  • 455. At 09:45am on 28 Oct 2008, sassmann wrote:

    So, another day passes and the BBC has issued an " apology"....do they not see, given the number of complaints listed here that mere words are insufficient. The two obnoxious individuals should be removed (pity they do not have the personal courage to quit...but that would be asking them to subscribe to a moral code of their own!...that would not seem possible!)
    Now I hear that children in need will have Mr Ross present....perhaps he will continue with his foul mouthed antics there as well...phone a few unsuspecting folks perhaps?...why not have Brand standing in his underpants hosting childrens TV.....go on BBC ...you can always try harder to waste the viewers money and lower the tone even further!
    Has anyone in the hirearchy of the BBC got any scruples?...just dispense with the services of these two people...

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  • 456. At 09:46am on 28 Oct 2008, mike_cohen wrote:

    Cruel, witless and puerile. Ross and Brand should be sacked right away, and those who passed this rubbish fit for public consumption should be seriously disciplined. Not just because they richly deserve it, but because it might signal that the BBC will now actually do what it needs to do most urgently, which is to think seriously (rather than just blather) about its role as the provider of a public service.

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  • 457. At 09:54am on 28 Oct 2008, JPKenny wrote:

    Following the offensive remarks from Messrs Ross and Brand I have decided that I would like to cancel my subscription to the BBC. Please can you advise how to do so?

    Alternatively the Corporation could return to its brief of entertaining and informing. Re-running some of Andrew Sachs' documentaries or performances in Fawlty Towers would be a good start.

    There are definitely some slots that could (and should) be freed up at short notice.

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  • 458. At 09:59am on 28 Oct 2008, Hugh_Mosby-Joaquin wrote:

    The BBC cannot stoop so low as to defend these two childish idiots. They (allegedly) committed the crime, they must face the law.
    They may receive a little sympathy if they broadcast a proper apology, after stepping 'out of character'
    Then they can be sacked.

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  • 459. At 10:22am on 28 Oct 2008, pipsweak wrote:

    First of all I would like to say that the verbal assault on Mr Sachs and his family is abhorant. If this had happened in 'non media 'world I am sure that the perpitrators would be subject to the being investigated by the police, not to mention instant dismissal for Gross Misconduct.
    It is a sad day when people who are in a position of being able to influence our youth ..totally abuse their very well paid positions. ...I just hope that they are dealt with in the most severe manner ..again to set the example to young people that just because you feel you can hurt and upset people you can't.
    I just hope that the entertainment value brought to both television and radio and theatre goers is recognised as a greater body of work by Mr Sachs than the low gutter sweeping that the BBC allow these two and dare I say many others to perform in the name of ratings .The people who are involved should be sacked .

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  • 460. At 10:24am on 28 Oct 2008, UptheTrossachs wrote:

    I have read many (but not all) of the comments on here and I agree with very many of them.
    If the BBC is arguing that the 'pursuit of youth' is one of the reasons for broadcasting the programme in question, do they think this is a good example to set the young? As trabuch (49) and petebolt (89) both point out this prank was a form of bullying - not something the BBC should be encouraging.
    awelford (202) bravely comes to the defence of the two 'entertainers'. Even allowing some licence for the alleged talent of these two and, as awelford states, the 'pressures of radio' there can be no excuse for letting this incident be broadcast if it was (as apparently was the case) pre-recorded. If, IF, this pair of idiots had recorded their stupid message, realised their mistake, apologised privately to Mr Sachs and then not broadcast the incident, they may just have got away with it. But the fact that (as turnyouradioon (276) points out) NO ONE intervened is incredible. What on earth were the producers thinking? It's not the sort of thing that you are likely to forget happening and allow to remain in the final edit 'by mistake'.
    Calling for the sacking of Ross and Brand is not going to be sufficient punishment for them. zebadi1010 (144) points out that their contracts will no doubt contain generous compensation terms for early termination. Perhaps the BBC should impose on them the equivalent of community service for the remainder of their contract periods - some form of menial work, which will also be highly visible from time to time, thus inflicting ritual humiliation for a lengthy period. Making the tea for Eddie? Cleaning the Executive Toilets?

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  • 461. At 10:25am on 28 Oct 2008, Gatchamandave wrote:

    You know what would be "edgy" and "dangerous" - and might go some way to recovering face for these two ?

    Let's see each of them have Andrew Sachs on their shows this weekend and debate what they did with him face to face. That would be entertaining

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  • 462. At 10:28am on 28 Oct 2008, glassbriann wrote:

    They have committed a criminal offence. If my husband had done the same he would have been visited by the Police by now. Why haven't they? BBC employees are not above the law and must be treated the same as anyone else. Get them off the screens ASAP

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  • 463. At 10:29am on 28 Oct 2008, Si Trew wrote:

    S.43 Telecommunications Act 1984 makes it an offence to send by a public telecommunications system a message or other matter that is grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character. The penalty for this was increased by s.92 CJPOA to a level 5 fine and six months imprisonment but the offence remains summary.

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  • 464. At 10:29am on 28 Oct 2008, The Stainless Steel Cat wrote:

    Bax-of-delights (452):

    I would imagine that Eddie and most other BBC employees have standing orders not to comment on situations like this, beyond basic reporting.

    However, I'd like to hear the Director General's view on this particular case and on what it reflects about the BBC's current culture. He has ultimate responsibility, after all.

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  • 465. At 10:34am on 28 Oct 2008, DerbyM wrote:

    Yes, this was a bit over the top. But Messrs. Ross and Brand are both known for pushing the boundaries, and anyone who does that will occasionally go a little too far.

    An apology was in order, has been issued, and should have concluded the matter. The massive over reaction encompassed in the comments posted on here says rather more about Radio 4 listeners than it does about either of the performers in question.

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  • 466. At 10:37am on 28 Oct 2008, prettybilliebob wrote:

    I was utterly appauled by the report of these vile comments which shows the sordid depths of the minds of highly paid "entertainers" who should know better.
    Both Ross and Brand should be sacked along with whoever allowed these calls to be made and broadcast.
    Not only that but compensation should be paid by Ross and Brand to Mr Sachs and his granddaughter out of their own pockets.
    I seem to remember that Angus Dayton was sacked from Have I got News for You for his actions that were no way near as vile and disgusting as those by this pair.
    Why is it that modern entertainers appear to think that they can only be funny by being foul mouthed and obnoxious.

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  • 467. At 10:37am on 28 Oct 2008, lordBeddGelert wrote:


    "Speaking at the opening of a new £1.25 million cancer unit in Leeds, the Duchess [of York] said: "Tell him [Brand] he will have to come through me first."

    Don't encourage him !!

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  • 468. At 10:37am on 28 Oct 2008, Ally Gory wrote:

    If I might just add my expectations for anyone another than a personality, a police investigation and termination of their contract of employment. Do I think it appropriate in this case? Yes. Do I think that will be the outcome? No. Do I think Andrew Sachs will wish to have anything more to do with either of them? No.

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  • 469. At 10:39am on 28 Oct 2008, j-u-d-e wrote:

    Message for Jonathan: you were quite amusing once, at least to the gullible foreigner I once was, but your self-promoting and disparaging treatment of unwary guests, particularly if they don't understand xenophobia rules, has become the only reason I still occasionally watch your show if I'm bored. In fascinated horror. Like most other people here I'm extremely frustrated that I'm forced to pay a licence fee that contributes to your ridiculous salary. The puerile 'humour' on Mr Sachs' answer phone was predictable but completely unacceptable. You even managed to remind everyone subliminally that the Spanish and the Germans are after all Not British. Easy targets in other words.

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  • 470. At 10:43am on 28 Oct 2008, famousunacceptable wrote:

    the bbc should show it's committment to to good entertainment and cost cutting by removing these two creeps
    from their payroll.
    failing that,they might show their support to them by giving all executives at the bbc a bonus payment of £100,000 for hiring such''comic geniuses''
    what a fun loving pair of elderly bashers
    and woman degraders they are proved to be!
    maybe a few crank calls to mosques and synagogues are next on the cards.
    how we will all marvel at the wit these two display!
    come on,beeb,Do something about them
    sack them now.!

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  • 471. At 10:45am on 28 Oct 2008, colourfulcasandra wrote:

    When are the BBC going to be brave and rather than worry about audience ratings,challenge the likes of Ross and Brand?
    As a licence fee payer,Iam fedup with being bombarded with this purile and unfunny broadcasting.

    How dare they ridicule this man who has given so much pleasure to so many.He has more talent in a single skin cell than these two put together!!!

    Get them both off the screens and airwaves and get some decency back in to broadcasting.

    Come on BBC. Do what you know you should or suffer the consequences.
    Sack them both!!!

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  • 472. At 10:53am on 28 Oct 2008, shimmusmaximus wrote:

    I have never done anything like this before but I an motivated by the need to say something about the behaviour of Brand and Ross.

    I was trained as an artist. I think of myself as liberal minded etc. However, the feeling that the Brand/Ross bullying behaviour has left me with is an overwhelming feeling of shame.

    I am ashamed that I, by watching and enjoying these two in the past, have somehow colluded and condoned "edgy" behaviour which has culminated in a seeming acceptance in Brand/Ross that they can do and say exactly what they like and nobody will do a damn thing about it. A bit like two schoolboys who have "got away with too much".

    I am ashamed that this behaviour is done in the name of 'entertainment' and that we are mean to laugh at the expense of innocent others. Never mind what message they are portraying in relation to the expendability of young women.

    Is this what we have come to? Where are our morals, standards and values? I never want to see those men on television, or hear them on radio, ever again.

    I for one will no longer stand by and condone. If all of those who are angered by the behaviour do the same, ratings will do the rest for us. They will disappear and I hope will reflect and change.........

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  • 473. At 10:55am on 28 Oct 2008, David_McNickle wrote:

    kodabar 413, Amazing, I was at HIGNFY as well. OK, it was back before Deayton got fired, but I was there. As I remember, Brand made like he was going to pee in a cup, but went to the toilet instead. Of course, I'm 68 and of failing memory.

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  • 474. At 11:00am on 28 Oct 2008, tubbsy2 wrote:

    The outrage felt by the huge majority of your commentators speaks for itself. Is this dreadful incident now presenting the BBC with an opportunity to finally arrest the dumbing down many of us are concerned with? How? They have to rid themselves of both presenters. Let's not have to listen to excuses they are irreplaceable. Evan Davies, when given the chance on the Today programme has proved to be much more than adequate, he's excellent. His calming effect means that we can listen to what guests have to say without interruption. What a relief.

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  • 475. At 11:00am on 28 Oct 2008, David_McNickle wrote:

    i 401, Not to be a pedant, but you only pay to watch TV. Radio is free.

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  • 476. At 11:04am on 28 Oct 2008, imperialjoesoap wrote:

    This is the first time I have ever written a complaint ,however I feel so strongly about the behaviour of Russell Brand and Jonathon Ross. Did I hear them? No , because I stopped listening to Radio 2 in the evenings when Russell Brand started spouting all the rubbish. Also I was an avid listener/watcher of Jonathon Ross but I fear he has lost the plot. He can only be crude and rude and I think he gets paid far too much for all the rubbish. He was clever --what happened?

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  • 477. At 11:04am on 28 Oct 2008, Leancranker wrote:

    This incident highlights not just a new low point in broadcasting on Radio 2, but also a real problem with the controller Lesley Douglas.
    As R4 listeners may know she is the controller for both R2 and 6 Music. The latter has suffered greatly under her influence. On a station that is targetted at people who are genuinely interested in music, she has taken the daytime schedule and filled it with presenters who know or care little about music. One presenter in particular - George Lamb - has created a storm of protest, as can be seen from a 6400 postings thread on the Feedback section of the website. His show is banal in the extreme, has been offensive in the past and has generated many complaints to the BBC.
    Who appointed him? Lesley Douglas.
    Which agency represents him - John Noel.
    Which agency represents Russel Brand - John Noel.

    Often, stand in DJs, when somebody is on holiday, on 6 music are made up of John Noel clients.

    Is there something going on? Surely Lesley Douglas isn't in the pocket of the John Noel agency? Such a suggestion would be scurrilous...

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  • 478. At 11:05am on 28 Oct 2008, mittfh wrote:

    Latest update from BBC News: Ofcom to launch BBC Brand inquiry.

    "Ofcom says it is going to launch an investigation into Russell Brand's telephone prank to actor Andrew Sachs during his Radio 2 show."

    (Took them long enough...)

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  • 479. At 11:05am on 28 Oct 2008, ivadenuff2 wrote:

    I think the BBC when reporting this incident should make it clear that listeners can complain directly via email to the BBC through the Radio 2 website: an email sent via their Contact Us - Complaints link will be recorded as an official complaint. I am not sure whether the comments on this site are logged in the same way.

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  • 480. At 11:10am on 28 Oct 2008, powell800 wrote:

    I never heard this programme until the comments were reported but was shocked that the BBC let this "prank" go unchallenged.

    It is not clever to be offensive and both these presenters should be sacked for making this offensive call.

    As a licence payer who pays Mr Ross's rediculous salary I am disgusted that this has taken place.

    How can we expect respect in our communities when so called celebrities are allowed to get away with such a disrespectful act.

    If this isn't anti social behaviour I dont know what is. They should be issued with an ASBO at the very least.

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  • 481. At 11:11am on 28 Oct 2008, Dooglbell wrote:

    Ross and Brand set a terrible example to all let alone the young and / or impressionable. Clearly they have questionable morals, no comprehension of what is meant by "respect", warped senses of humour and over inflated egos.

    Personally I believe that both should be penalised in some way, however inconvenient it might be for programmers at the BBC. I am sure a few more repeats wouldn't be noticed.

    As Michael Parkinson commented the other day there is no longer a real conversational interview programme any more only a number of self pubicists with celebraty stooges. Its high time we had some more intelligent TV.


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  • 482. At 11:17am on 28 Oct 2008, BSerious wrote:

    Well it is just typically symptomatic of the bloated pig that is the wheatgrass socialist hypocrite BBC. Quality?!?

    Two irritating boring and incredibly self-obsessed egotistic morons - Messrs. Bland and Toss

    But like chain Starbucks everyone seems to enjoy mediocrity when it is expensive and cheap.

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  • 483. At 11:18am on 28 Oct 2008, marsmite wrote:

    Ever since the educated working class has entered mainstream entertainment in the 50s with their ‘kitchen sink drama” mentality, to mock the other classes of their respectability. Yes, society was staid in those days, it was open season to put the boot in. The concept of antiauthoritarian was born, no respect for authority and that leached down, no respect for anything else or anyone, a contributory factor to our sick society of to-day.

    I may be old fashion, it comes to most of us, however I do have a foot in previous years of comedy, its roots in the music halls. Comedy was crafted and in a lot of cases, cleaver. To-day, that link has been broken and comedy is in free fall getting cruder by the year, relying on the exponent’s quick wit and shooting from the hip. Ross may be clever, intelligent, witty, well read and all that but where is his character, respect for others and himself, none. He made a mistake by picking on Andrew Sachs, an icon of yesteryear quintessential British humour that was avidity watched at home and abroad. Our communications to-day are being welded together as one, world wide, so is comedy but without national tradition it is drifting into sameness of the lowest common denominator.

    A hefty fine is more appropriate than to band him from the BBC, that would be a feather in his cap, sorry, another feather up his bum, (that’s a cheaper laugh,) he could then tout it around for his next job, “I’ve been band by the Beeb”.

    Brand pathetic apology, it fits.

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  • 484. At 11:22am on 28 Oct 2008, Charlie wrote:


    Appears to be 484 postings as I type this.

    Is that, I wonder, a record for a PM Blog entry?

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  • 485. At 11:23am on 28 Oct 2008, old_folkie wrote:

    Never mind sacking, they should both have the decency to resign -FAT CHANCE !!

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  • 486. At 11:33am on 28 Oct 2008, BSerious wrote:

    Lowest common demoninator broadcasting system

    Bland/Toss - no wonder the internet appeals more and more

    Get some quality entertainment and education, if you can or be history

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  • 487. At 11:34am on 28 Oct 2008, Mattfromsmethwick wrote:

    I'm glad to see not too many people trying to defend these two.

    There's nothing "edgy" about what they did. It's the same old story. Men in positions of power abusing their power to degrade women. Cruelty as entertainment to make the audience feel superior instead of taking a look at themselves. Public funds diverted into the pockets of a few who are not held to account for their actions. Women treated as sex objects whether they "play along" or not. It's the same rubbish we've always had that keeps people down. And it's just rude and nasty.

    They've got to go.

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  • 488. At 11:44am on 28 Oct 2008, loudrosemary wrote:

    I'm sorry but i would hate to see ross or brand sacked. This is one of those things that someone complains followed by just a few until it gets all hyped up and then attracts thousands of otherwise people who would'nt have bothered. Yes it was offensive but through publicity it escalates out of control just like the big brother race incident with Jade goody. I am not saying any of these incidents didn't cause upset but people jump on the bandwagon.

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  • 489. At 11:45am on 28 Oct 2008, babablacksheep wrote:

    Ross and Brand obviously believed that the majority of their listeners would find the intended distress and suffering caused to Andrew Sachs entertaining and amusing. This cannot be seen as a mere error of judgement which allowed them to go too far. It shows them for what they are; vicious and cowardly thugs devoid of any pity or mercy for their victim.The public have a right to be protected from such people. If Ross and Brand, along with whoever sanctioned the program, are not dismissed the BBC will have condoned their cruel and callous behaviour and I, like a previous blogger, would like to know how to cancel my subscription.

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  • 490. At 11:50am on 28 Oct 2008, stubblestubble wrote:

    It is regretable that the BBC management appears unable to take clear and decisive action to reprimand Brand and Ross for contemptible conduct. The latter's half-hearted apology rang hollow compounding the insult. Without fullsome apologies and approporiate action, the BBC management itself risks implying it condones such conduct, it lacks clarity about acceptable standards of broadcasting, and even of the law.
    Exert some discipline please, sack Brand and Ross, and the programme editor. Ensure all who broadcast on and edit BBC programmes are informed of their responsbilities. Maintaining dignity of the BBC is possible even for witty comedians and sharp commentators.
    Clear controls are needed.
    How sad that two silly boys, and an ill-judged editor, undermine good work carried out by the BBC staff.

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  • 491. At 11:53am on 28 Oct 2008, mittfh wrote:

    Charlie (484): It's probably a record for a serious entry. The overall record is held by "Day One", which reached about 1025 posts before the blog software decided it couldn't cope and promptly deleted the first few dozen (IIRC, 64 posts)...

    And since I've sauntered off-topic...

    For the benefit of new readers / contributors, here are some other bits of the PM Blog you might like to look at - use the links in the blue bar to the right --->

    The Glass Box - comment on any other stories covered in the PM Programme (believe it or not, Eddie did talk about other issues!)

    The various Autumn threads - admire photographs taken by listeners of autumnal scenes near them. You can email your photos to pm@bbc.co.uk

    The Beach - the off-topic area, where you can relax and unwind after venting your anger at news stories.

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  • 492. At 11:55am on 28 Oct 2008, ianperfect wrote:

    The question is asked 'why did the editors let them get away with it' the answer is because Brand and, especially, Ross, are far more powerful than any editor, none dare stand against them. Both are self indulgent, immature and arrogant. But there is nothing new in being cruel, spiteful, hateful and cowardly in modern British 'humour', think back over the period Spitting Image to Ben Elton and beyond.

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  • 493. At 11:59am on 28 Oct 2008, pmfoster wrote:

    I have never read a blog before in which there was so much consensus. Scarcely anyone is stepping to defend this pair, and it looks like there is still a great deal of indignation out there wanting to air itself.
    So PLEASE, Jonathan and Russell, as we all know you won't be fired or give up a penny of your obscenely huge remuneration, could you just shave your ridiculous heads? This would show genuine humility and penitence, and give us all a real laugh for once.

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  • 494. At 12:08pm on 28 Oct 2008, jenlewsey wrote:

    I am very disappointed in Joanthan Ross and Russell brand. I do not think an apology is enought and would like to know what disiplinary action the BBC are taking.

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  • 495. At 12:09pm on 28 Oct 2008, fotinibell wrote:

    Those two overpaid and untouchable idiots will be laughing all the way to the bank! The furore they have caused will delight their puerile brains and the BBC hasn't the guts to deal with them properly. It really is a matter for the police but I doubt they will get involved

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  • 496. At 12:13pm on 28 Oct 2008, radiodays wrote:

    Horrible for Leonard Sachs and his family, but I can't help feeling that this public outpouring of disgust for Messrs Brand and Ross has as much to do with the general dislike of their type of entertainment as it does with this particular Radio 2 incident.
    Hugely rewarded by the BBC, who can blame them for piling on more crassness and vulgarity - they are only doing what they were hired to do.

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  • 497. At 12:13pm on 28 Oct 2008, cosmiclovelynana wrote:

    Whilst not condoning their actions i do
    feel that a touch of mass hysteria is taking hold of this incident.
    I also have this cynical thought that it took over a week before we heard about it from Andrew Sachs agent. How his and his grand-daughters profiles have risen!!!!

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  • 498. At 12:18pm on 28 Oct 2008, radiodays wrote:

    Sorry - should have said "Andrew" Sachs.

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  • 499. At 12:18pm on 28 Oct 2008, gossipmistress wrote:

    Loudrosemary (488) how would you feel if someone left messages like this on your answerphone about a member of your family? If they did it from work, would you not complain to their bosses? I know I would want it pursued.

    A commenter on 'Today' this morning seemed to only consider the fact that this was actually broadcast was wrong, and that only the pair's bosses should be reprimanded. This misses the whole point - the actual messages were offensive and designed to cause upset and hurt to a completely innocent individual should never have been carried out. The fact that it was broadcast just makes it much worse.

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  • 500. At 12:20pm on 28 Oct 2008, Tom_Harrop wrote:

    Memo to BBC: I think it's all Frank Gillards fault for getting rid of the Light and Third programmes. Not to mention the mighty Home Service of course. I always thought this Radio's 1 2 3 and 4 business would end up in tatters.

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