Russell Brand takes his bawdy sense of humor a step too far this time

Russell Brand has finally crossed the line. Brand and TV presenter Jonathan Ross made four phone calls to Fawlty Towers’ star Andrew Sachs’ answering machine on a Radio 2 broadcast that got more and more offensive as they progressed. It began with Ross blurting out that Brand had slept with Sachs’ granddaughter, Satanic Sluts’ performer Georgina Baillie, 23, and continued with repeated calls to apologize that went in completely the opposite direction. Ofcom, the watchdog of British broadcasting, has received over 10,000 complaints, which is an extraordinary number for a radio show.

The BBC, which produces the show, is in danger of being fined £250,000 for allowing the show to air. There’s been a public demand for the firing of Jonathan Ross, who earns £6million a year from the BBC for his various hosting duties.

I’ve listened to the entire broadcast, which can be found below, and even as a Brand fan there were a number of times I cringed. My first inclination was to think that Jonathan Ross was peer pressured into this lapse in judgement, but after hearing it out, it simply appears that these two dumbasses shouldn’t be anywhere near a mic, or other people for that matter, when they’re together. It was like listening to high school boys egg each other on.

So, it was offensive, they more than crossed the line many times, and they embarrassed and humiliated a gentleman and his not so genteel granddaughter, and disciplinary action should be taken by the BBC, Ofcom, the listening public, whomever. But seriously, doesn’t the Prime Minister have more important things to do?

Mr Brown startled observers by breaking into an emergency economic meeting with French president Nicolas Sarkozy to comment on the BBC scandal.

He said in a statement: ‘This is clearly inappropriate and unacceptable behaviour, as is now widely recognised.’

Tory leader David Cameron asked how the BBC had ever allowed the programme to be broadcast. In the Commons, Tory MP Nigel Evans and Labour’s Andrew Mackinlay tabled an early-day motion condemning the abusive calls as ‘base, vulgar’ and likely to diminish the reputation of the BBC.

Mr Evans suggested that the police should launch an investigation. ‘I would sack both comedians,’ he said. ‘Who do they have to offend, and in what manner do they have to offend people, before the BBC takes action?’

Scotland Yard said later it could not act unless it received a complaint from an injured party.
In an act of belated contrition, both Ross and Brand sent flowers to Mr Sachs’s house. Ross was said to have delivered them personally.

[From Daily Mail]

It’s hard for me to imagine President Bush, or any President, stopping an economic meeting of all things, at this worldwide financially threatening time, to comment on the shenanigans of a couple of morons on the radio! And a motion in the Commons condemning the pair and calling on Scotland Yard? The silliest part of this political inclusion is that Gordon Brown is making them both even more famous, across the globe, than they ever were before. Jonathan Ross is thanking all of you in his head, and Russell Brand, well, he probably still doesn’t see the problem.

Andrew Sachs has been quietly dignified through this, saying that he only wanted an apology from the duo for his granddaughter. His granndaughter, Georgina Baillie, also know as Voluptua of the burlesque group the Satanic Sluts, had admitted to a sexual relationship, but has rightly asked for an apology for the disrespect shown to both her and her grandfather.

Here’s the video, which is definitely not for work.

Header image thanks to

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35 Responses to “Russell Brand takes his bawdy sense of humor a step too far this time”

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  1. Shay says:

    I can’t hardly understand what they’re saying. Brands look scares me he reminds me of Chewie Chewbaca.

  2. Megan says:

    I hate both of them, neither of them are funny and they’re both paid too much. Don’t compare Gordon Brown to President Bush though, I can imagine Bush doing a lot of things that Brown wouldn’t *coughrandomlybombingcountriescough* so saying ‘Bush wouldn’t do that’ is irrelevant.

  3. geronimo says:

    Re Gordon Brown getting involved, the BBC is funded by Gov approved licence fee, therefore it belongs, has a responsibility and is accountable to the public. This crossed the line big time. Not condemning it would mean he endorses random private individuals paying for the pleasure of being ridiculed, insulted and defamed on the air by BBC employees. This was surprisingly f*ked up, even for Brand, but it’s Jonathan Ross’s involvement that really shocked.

    And I agree, Megan, bit of a poor attempt there to show Bush in a more serious light than GB…

  4. Kelly says:

    Oh My God…Thats awful that was SO bad they really are like two high school boys egging each other on

  5. RAN says:

    Maybe it wouldn’t have been so bad if they hadn’t continued to call back and become more obnoxious each time. Talking about his granddaughter’s menstrual business? That whole situation borders on harassment, if you ask me. Did they think this man would appreciate the joke? Just dumb

  6. Simon says:

    As I understand it, Messrs Ross and Brand are employed by the BBC as cutting-edge commentators on this Modern Society we are bound to live in, using their cutting-edge humour and erudite asides as the mirror they hold up to reflect the risible mores of this Society in a cutting-edge, erudite kind of way. Although the renumeration they receive for these skills is very substantial indeed, I defy anyone to gainsay their considerable acumen in leaving obscene phone messages for a (now) obscure actor, who let’s face it, has done nothing of note since “Fawlty Towers” ended.

    I whole-heartedly support Wossy’s and Brand’s comedic duty to point this out by leaving what have been described as “puerile” messages on Mr Sachs’ voicemail, thus exposing the fact that although the comedic character essayed by Mr Sachs in the said sitcom will long remain in blessed memory, even unto the day when Wossy’s and Russell’s bones will have been rendered to dust on the cheating breeze, Mr Sachs should be looking for a higher profile, preferably through his more nubile female relatives.

    If that means Russell Brand must bring to bear his cutting-edge humour by making lewd and lascivious innuendos regarding Mr Sachs’s grand-daughter, then I think we should defer to his judgement as an erudite, cutting-edge commentator on this crazy world that we live in, and bumper his name up unto the rafters!

  7. Megan says:

    They’ve also said that they could be charged for harassment, so criminal charges could be involved.

    And just echoing what geronimo said, the government get involved because the BBC is paid for by a ‘television license’ aka subscription, which isn’t voluntary, by the British public. If you have a TV in the UK you HAVE to have a license, which funds the BBC. This is why the BBC have to really watch what they do/say/broadcast because the license fee issue is a big thing here, and a lot of people dislike having to pay it. So if the BBC screw up in a big way (ie. paying these two stupid men millions of £’s a year to be unfunny on public radio) then there will be a big backlash. That’s why people want them fired. They’re paid for by the license payer.

  8. geronimo says:

    @Simon – either you’re trying to channel Brand or you’re actually Brand. Which is it?

    And if Sachs is so beneath you/them, why didn’t you/they put your/their cutting edge, erudite and sophisticated comedic talents to better, more cutting-edge use by picking on a more contemporary, higher-profile, kick-the-sh*t-out of-the-pair-of-you target? Try someone like Ray Winstone for size the next time and see how it pans out. That’s if, of course, there is a next time.

  9. Mairead says:

    I’m going to assume Simon’s trying to channel or spoof Brand – unfortunately it’s sounding more like somebody’s word of the day is “erudite”, which, ironically, when used repeatedly demonstrates a distinct lack of erudition. 🙄

    But just on the off-chance the poor sod actually believes that nonsense:
    when did Jonathan Ross become a cutting-edge social commentator as opposed to a bloke in a silly suit reviewing films and asking daft questions?

    And how exactly is leaving 4 annoying prank calls because of a missed interview slot helping to hold up a mirror to Society? [sic]

  10. Hudders says:

    sorry am I the only one who found this absolutely hilarious. Fair enough its harsh on poor Manuel (ooh mister Fawlty) and his Grandaughter but if it was me i’d be more embarassed that my grandaughter was a ‘Satanic Slut’ than if she had it off with Russell Brand.

  11. WTF?!?! says:

    I didn’t think that was at the extreme end of “shock jockness”, pretty tame by previously set standards, just incredibly stupid and disrespectful. I was a news director and morning drive co-host in radio, and why the station manager didn’t come in and change their course is beyond me. A sophomoric sense humour must run in the company.

  12. Graham says:

    Simon is obviously ‘having a laugh’, because nothing he says is factual.
    The BBC seem to think they employ Messrs Brand and Ross as TV and/or Radio show hosts/presenters. Perhaps Simon has seen their contracts of employment.
    As for ‘cutting edge’ humour, I think you’ll find that irresponsible children have been playing pranks like that for years, hardly at the forefront and doesn’t put them in the leading position as far as comedy goes.
    Their ‘erudite asides’ are in fact the exact opposite, certainly not characterised by extensive reading, they were neither learned or well instructed and were not knowledgeable of what is acceptable to everyday folk.
    I for one oppose the notion that they have any keennness of judgement or insight.
    Please, before describing Andrew Sachs as an obscure actor, check on the facts, if I can find work after I’m 65 as he has, I’ll be very lucky.
    I know that the BBC will not do anything, they seemed to think it was OK for Ross and Borat to fondle each others genitals (through clothing) on TV, a silly phone call is hardly going make them act responsibly now and sack the idiots.

  13. Dub says:

    Good point, Geronimo, I’d like to see the reaction if they’d picked on someone famous and important, and more pertinantly someone who could give as good as he gets.

    The incident looks and sounds horrible, and joking about sexually assaulting Sachs isn’t funny, nor is being disrespectful to his grandaughter. However, it irks me that someone who chose to seek fame and make a living in a sex show is now morally outraged and calling for 2 people to lose their livelihoods.

    Ross & Brand went too far, but the high profile given to this incident is ridiculous.

  14. Anne says:

    $12 million US a year for a public broadcasting hosting job???? Holy crap, that’s a lot of public money.

    Just looking at the video capture makes me shudder, Brand in his hipster douchebag deep vneck top, gah.

  15. mojoman says:

    Simon, you are giving me a headache..

  16. CuttingEdge says:

    Could Simon use “cutting edge” a few more times…it wasn’t used enough the first time heh heh.
    And you have GOT to be kidding. Erudite indeed.

  17. Lori says:

    Filthy trash, both of them. And btw, you’re so outraged that the BBC faces investigation…well get used to it, that’s what we’ll have here too, with an Obama presidency.

  18. The only reason they cannot fire Ross is cash – he would be entitled to the full payout from his ridiculous contract and I bet there are no clauses in there which say if you are a bad boy we can fire you and not pay you the rest of your contract amount.
    Always follow the £££$$$$$ for an explanation of behaviour!

    sent from: [FID2797565]

  19. aleach says:

    @ Lori-are you kidding me? please say you are kidding me.

    i dunno, i dont think it was THAT bad. obnoxious for sure, but i dont see what the big deal is. then again, the only person i know of out of these 3 is brand so…
    but his granddaughter is in a group called “satanic sluts” so that might tell you something.

  20. Anne says:

    Oh, please, Lori.

    If this happened at the NPR (America’s public broadcaster) you bet someone from the federal government would look into it, considering that’s where the funding comes from.

  21. Jeane says:

    Sorry, I really didn’t think it was that offensive. I understand that Sachs would like an apology for his granddaughter, but seriously, she is in a band called SATANIC SLUTS, how offended can you really be..??

    They should just issue an apology and then everyone should be done with it.

  22. Amy says:

    Well, throw me in the Tower of London, because I laughed my ass off when I listened to it. Couldn’t help it, sorry.

    I seriously doubt Sachs listened to it all anyway and as for the granddaughter… she’s loving the public attention.

    Hey, at least they didn’t mention the War!

  23. Tabby says:

    The only offensive thing I can find in all of this is that it’s making me actually like Russell Brand. Stop that, I say!

    I suspect Georgina was actually more upset at being called out and having her family know she is a burlesque performer and has shagged Brand than anything else. She could have just called him at his own game and said ‘oh yeah, and you know what he was crap and has a tiny penis’ or something, or, you know, not be an attention whore in all this. While Sachs is actually happy to accept their apologies and not take it any further, she is the one going to the Sun of all papers and making a scene. It’s a bit pathetic.

    I will concede that some of their comments were in poor taste though, and they should have had a bit of common sense about them. But hell, what do they care, it only serves to make them more famous and the spoofing possibilties to cash in on it further are endless. Just look at Strictly Come Dancing. Oh my God. When you need an example of poor taste and bad television quality, look no further. I can’t beleive someone passed it as being ok to show on prime time television… 😉

  24. Ceilidh says:

    George Bush was used only because he is currently the President of the United States. Do not read any support of the man into my use of his name, I beg you! The only comparison drawn between Brown and Bush is that they are currently the leaders of their respective countries.

    While I agree that had something like this happened on NPR that government officials would have looked into it, it most certainly would not have been the President or anyone even close to that to make a public statement. And most assuredly not in the middle of an economic meeting with the leader of another country.

  25. ak says:

    “Try someone like Ray Winstone for size the next time and see how it pans out.” You could sell tickets for that.

    Jonathan Ross looks like one of the Kids in the Hall doing a drag sketch in that header pic.

  26. Tabby says:

    Oh God, Kids in the Hall, I loved that. ‘I squish your head!’ was recreated so many times in our college classes. Yes, we were immature 😉

    It’s a shame, but not really a surprise, and I doubt he’s losing any sleep over it. I hear Ch4 are still quite avidly screening his stuff and will probably offer him a contract on something soon.

  27. Jeanne says:

    Just 2 out of control queens.

  28. geronimo says:

    RAN – very conflicted about this. Thing is, I love Ross, brilliant on both TV and radio, and I also really like Brand. Brand was the sacrificial lamb to some extent but his career, if anything, will be enhanced by this. Ross, on the other hand, may have f*d things up permanently. He’s on 3mth suspension without pay, has also lost a very prestigious gig on another channel and may not recover from this. The general consensus is that it’s just par for the course with Brand but Ross, older, more experienced and in receipt of licence-payers hard-earned to the tune of £18m should have had the judgement to know that this was never going to be acceptable. Still astonished that he was involved in this. I’m pretty sad about it all, to be honest.

  29. RAN says:

    Yeah, this is the kind of story I would like to see covered. We started with this article and could finish with the outcomes for both. Unfortunately, I don’t know enough about either of them to speak intelligently about the subject, but if you say Ross is pretty decent, I believe it. Wonder what made him go along with this? After reading about the way Brand quit, it seems that he too felt wretched about it all. It’s too bad all the way around. Just a stupid prank that went way out of control.

  30. geronimo says:

    Re stupid prank, yes, that’s what it was, and the whole fiasco could have been avoided if the BBC wasn’t so contemptuous and arrogant. Two small points: Ross wanted to issue a public apology 2 days after the broadcast but the BBC blocked him. Not because they thought the apology wasn’t necessary but because, viewing figs in mind, they thought they could ride it out! And this is what caused the frenzy, ignited by that nasty little firestarter, the Daily Mail, who thrive on this type of thing, and it all escalated out of control. Not condoning for one minute what Ross & Brand did but it could have been managed and contained if the BBC suits weren’t such money-driven, arrogant ar*seholes.

    I know it’s hard to expend energy on a situation where you don’t know the people and/or the set-up involved so thanks for listening, RAN! But I detest the BBC’s approach here and I hate them for deprving me, in particular, of Ross’s Sat morning radio show!

  31. geronimo says:

    Also, if he DOES comes back, it won’t be the same Ross. 🙁

  32. RAN says:

    Yeah, that’s pretty crappy all the way around. I heard that Ross actually made an in person apology to Sachs’ home. Things like that should be mentioned and expanded upon. I DO think it’s pretty ridiculous that the man (Ross) was suspended without pay for 3 months while there were plenty of others who could have stopped the program before it got out of control – but are still working. Sounds to me like he’s the sacrificial lamb in this case. In addition, he SHOULD have been allowed to issue his public apology – preventing that was absolutely f*cked up.

  33. at least manwell got some work out of it!.. great to see him in coronation street.

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