Jonathan Ross, Russell Brand and THAT phone call

OK, so these are the lengths I will go to, to keep abreast of meeja issues while I am a) unofficially on holiday (ie taking calls and juggling freelance commitments, but essentially just listening to the radio all day) and b) redecorating my dead mother’s house in a bid to buck the plummeting housing market. Like a bit of natural hessian paint is going to make a difference and like this is actually a holiday.

I have just listened to a bad YouTube recording of Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross’s now world-famous prank call to Andrew Sachs’ answer phone, which featured in Brand’s Saturday night Radio 2 show on 18 October. As I write it is Tuesday 29 October and today the number of complaints to the BBC over this incident has risen from around 4,500 (about the number of complaints the Beeb had about Jerry Springer, the Opera – and that was an orchestrated campaign) to more than 10,000. The day started with ex-BBC chairman Sir Christopher Bland and comedian Alexander Armstrong commenting on the story and ended with prime minister Gordon Brown referring to Ross, Brand and Sachs by name. What has the world come to?

Most noteworthy, for me, was the means by which I tracked down the actual broadcast. I am almost in media limbo with only the wind-up radio and dial-up internet via a mobile phone for company. So listening to the extract from Brand’s show involved buffering literally every 3 seconds. Yet I persisted, for the duration of the 4 minute 48 second clip I chose on YouTube. All I got for my pains was Jonathan Ross shrieking “He fucked yer grand-daughter” during the duo’s first answer phone message.

Granted, the words grand-daughter and fuck aren’t often combined in the same sentence, but I doubt whether it was an out and out first on either the part of Jonathan Ross or the BBC. Yet it was on this basis that Sachs took offence, complained to the BBC and an astonishing 10,400 have so far done the same. Surely someone is orchestrating this as a campaign? There were just 67 complaints on Monday, before the MediaGuardian and others went big on the story.

All those mitherers should just leave Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand alone and get a sense of perspective. Far worse things are said every week on Have I Got News for You and on Jonathan Ross’ other shows – not to mention Brand’s, which naturally I don’t listen to having something of a life on Saturday nights. If these entertainers weren’t allowed to push the boundaries of taste they wouldn’t be worth listening to. Just look at Graham Norton since he moved to the BBC – no surfing the internet for glove fetishists who will flick themselves off as Joan Collins removes a pair of elbow-length black numbers. It just isn’t the same and, as a result, Norton doesn’t get the critical attention or, dare I say it, the ratings he used to at C4. We don’t want the same fate to befall Ross or Brand.

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2 thoughts on “Jonathan Ross, Russell Brand and THAT phone call

  1. Lucy….I am so appalled and utterly incensed by this story I simply have to stand on my soap box and be heard! ( but it has to be quick as a chilli is on the stove and two children alone in the lounge….arguing about a sodding teacup)
    Are we so P.C in this country that we cannot have a sense of humor?
    Have we all gone mad?
    Brand in particular is always taking things further and is more often than not crude and vulgar…..THAT’S WHY WE BLOODY LOVE HIM!!!!
    And yes Ross is paid too much, but does this mean he should have to rein himself in, otherwise we have this big Hoo ha by many – like Piers ( green eyed monster ) Morgan who would just love a slice of the attention Ross and Brand get….lets not get catty…..
    Basically, just don’t listen/watch these types of entertaining types if you don’t like them….( stating the obvious I know )
    I am stepping off my box……..
    ………………….think I can smell the chilli burning.

  2. Hi Natalie – sorry, slightly crap administrator here. Hungover (a tad) from last night’s TV Awards so your comments about chilli on simmer are now woefully out of date. A bit like my comments about Brand who resigned from the Beeb yesterday afternoon and wasn’t, needless to say, at the National TV Awards. Nor was Ross, nor was Ross mentioned when I’m pretty sure earlier in the month he was a contender for best TV entertainer or whichever category Ant and Dec won for the eighth time in a row.
    ANYWAY…. glad you agree with me about this being a storm in a teacup. You can have your gaily painted soapbox on here any day.
    By the way, worry not about Brand. Apparently he was going to resign from his Radio 2 show anyway next year as he has FIVE movie deals lined up. So someone from the Daily Mirror told me last night.
    Toodle pip. Must find aspirin. xxx

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