Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand suspended
PUBLISHED: 13:00 29 October 2008 | UPDATED: 15:33 07 September 2010
BBC funnymen Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand have been suspended after the prank calls they made to veteran actor Andrew Sachs. Ross, from Hampstead Garden Suburb and Brand from Hampstead Village were given the news today after BBC director general Mark
BBC 'funnymen' Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand have been suspended after the prank calls they made to veteran actor Andrew Sachs.
Ross, from Hampstead Garden Suburb and Brand from Hampstead Village were given the news today after BBC director general Mark Thompson made the decision.
More than 18,000 complaints were made to the BBC after a Radio 2 broadcast featured the pair leaving a series of lewd voicemail messages on Mr Sachs' answer phone implying Mr Brand had slept with the actor's granddaughter, the model Georgina Baillie, 23.
Mr Brand also joked that Mr Sachs might kill himself because of the message.
Mr Thompson said: "This is not a marginal case. It's clear that from the views expressed by the public that this broadcast has caused severe offence and I share that view.
"This gross lapse of taste by the performers and the production team has angered license payers."
A number of shows will be affected by the suspension of the pranksters including Friday Night with Jonathan Ross, Film 2008 and their Radio Two programme, which started the controversy.
Meanwhile, Georgina Baillie has told the Sun that Ross and Brand should be sacked over the calls made to her grandfather, actor Andrew Sachs.
On Monday the BBC apologised to Sachs, 78, who is best known for playing Spanish waiter Manuel in Fawlty Towers.
The two pranksters are believed to have written letters of apology to their victim who has spoken of his anger.
Mr Sachs said: "People ask me if I'm angry. Well yes but not half as angry as Georgina. That's where the apology should be directed."
Miss Baillie has cut short a European tour with her burlesque dance troupe the Satanic Sluts, although she has not commented publically on the debacle.
Media watchdog Ofcom has said it will now investigate the offensive phone calls amid demands for the BBC to sack Mr Ross, who is paid a £6million salary and Mr Brand, who earns more than £200,000 a year.
Ham&High readers have expressed their shock about the prank, saying the presenters should have known better than to taunt an older man for entertainment.