Ofcom probing Brand and Ross

Ooh err matron.

Right, everyone will have heard about this by now. But for those who haven’t:

Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross are in trouble for leaving ‘offensive’ answer phone messages for Fawlty Towers star Andrew Sachs (Manuel) during their BBC Radio 2 programme. These messages featured Brand claiming to have slept with Sachs’ granddaughter (who is 23 by the way) and general silliness. That’s her in the middle of the banner pic too. It wasn’t just a picture-of-girl-for-the-sake-of-it moment.

Sachs was a bit peeved at this as he hadn’t been asked if these messages could be broadcast and the BBC received several thousand complaints from various people around the country saying that it was disgusting.

Brand and Ross, probably not expecting quite this reaction, have apologised. End of story? Well, no.

Ofcom are now investigating them both amidst calls from angry complainers for Brand and Ross to either resign from the BBC or be sacked. So potentially we could be without Friday Night With Jonathan Ross and Brand would remain in E4/Channel 4 land.

Personally I think this has gone beyond silliness. What started out as a joke, albeit a childish one, has turned into this massive media frenzy for virtually no reason. I sympathise with Andrew Sachs a little because I wonder how much of this indignation is his own, and how much is concocted by the tabloids.

In a rare poignant/interesting moment ITV lunchtime news effectively summed this up for me as presenters Katie Derham and Alastair Stewart seemed to lurch between raised-eyebrow disbelief and suppressed giggles during this story.

What do we think? Childish joke taken too far by the ultra PC British public? Or should Ross and Brand get their P45′s? Some people seem to think this is a PR stunt. It seems plausible. I wonder…