Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross both have separate Saturday shows on BBC Radio 2.
The BBC is coming under increased pressure to sack Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross following their prank calls to actor Andrew Sachs.
His granddaughter Georgina Baillie told the Sun the pair "should at least pay for what they've done with their jobs".
Tory media spokesman Jeremy Hunt will say in a speech that Radio 2 was wrong to approve the material.
The BBC has apologised, and it and the regulator Ofcom are investigating following 10,000 complaints.
Brand and Ross made a series of prank calls to Sachs, 78, famous for his part in Fawlty Towers. The calls were broadcast on Radio 2 as part of a pre-recorded show on 18 October.
During the calls, Ross revealed Brand had slept with Sachs' granddaughter.
Shadow culture secretary Mr Hunt will say it is "wrong for broadcasters to produce programmes that legitimise negative social behaviour".
"That is why the BBC was quite wrong to take the decision to broadcast the offensive phone calls", he will say in the speech at the London School of Economics.
Someone high up at the BBC must have decided it was funny and suitable for national radio. Ms Baillie, 23, said she felt "betrayed" and "embarrassed" the relationship had been publicly revealed to her grandfather.
She said he was "really upset, and says he wants the whole situation to end".
She added of Brand and Ross: "They are beyond contempt. They are warped for what they have put me and my grandfather through.
"It was bad enough that they recorded these things on my grandfather's answer machine but astonishing the BBC saw fit to broadcast it when they could have stopped it.
"Someone high up at the BBC must have decided it was funny and suitable for national radio. They've shown an appalling lack of judgement."

Prime Minister Gordon Brown has also criticised the pair for their "inappropriate and unacceptable behaviour" on Brand's radio show.
But Comedian Helen Zaltzman, who ran a comedy club where Brand performed before he became famous, told BBC Radio Five Live it was well-known Brand and Ross "toe a particularly risky line" and said that was why millions of people listened to their Radio 2 shows.
"I'm sure they regret this trouble. But, I think the reason why Russell Brand is popular is because... he is a liability.
"He was sacked from MTV, he was sacked from XFM.
"This is why people are interested in him as a broadcaster - and why, presumably, he got employed and has a very popular show - about which the majority of people didn't complain."



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