I was asked why I hadn’t posted anything about this affair – Sachsgate, as the media have, inevitably, dubbed it. Simple, they’re a pair of twats who are beneath contempt. What, you want a more reasoned response? OK. . .
While, these days, I listen to neither of these plonkers (my tolerance of inane and crass drivel is limited), the Sachs affair should, really, surprise nobody. Ross, on his Saturday morning show, has a remarkable capacity for offensiveness that, for some reason, has gone unchallenged for years (except, possibly, by Andy, his producer ). Brand is remarkably juvenile at the best of times (and chronically unfunny to anyone past puberty, or with a modicum of intelligence), and putting these two together was always going to be a recipe for disaster.
Since this slot was, apparently, pre-recorded, there can be no possible excuse for allowing it to be broadcast – did nobody actually listen to this egregious, toxic, bollocks first? (I didn’t hear it, but I did read the transcript – it’s pretty damned disgraceful – were those two fuckwits sober?)
The BBC has, in my view, over-reacted, in the past, to what have been relatively trivial transgressions (no-one hurt, offended or defrauded – no harm, no foul, as far as I’m concerned), but in this instance it’s probably impossible to over-react, unless it’s putting these clowns in front of a firing squad, and I could probably get my head around that with little difficulty. That the responsible production staff should be canned is, I think, perfectly justified– letting that bilge be broadcast was criminal. That Ross and Brand should hit the bricks (they both have form, after all, Ross, in my experience, more than Brand), should be inevitable. The fact that Ross gets £6million a year of licence-payers’ money for this crap is unacceptable. To allow him to continue to do so will damage the BBC’s credibility, and would be an offence against common decency (and whatever Brand is paid, it’s far too much).
The thing is, though, that Andrew Sachs isn’t really (well, not in the main, though understandably he’s supremely pissed off) the injured party here, it’s Georgina Baillie, his grand-daughter, and I believe the BBC should bow to her wishes and fire Ross and Brand, plus anyone else involved without delay. Were I in Baillie’s shoes, I’d be talking to a libel lawyer about now. Er, make that slander. . .
Sadly for all Radio 2 fans, this event is the culmination of a deterioration in standards that has prevailed at Radio 2 for the past few years, under the aegis of Lesley Douglas (who foisted Brand upon Radio 2 listeners, instead of leaving him in the playpen of Radio 6 – she seems to have a penchant for shrieky guys – witness Chris Evans). Hopefully, things can’t get any worse. Whether they will get any better remains to be seen.
Note: Brand has quit the BBC – no great loss. Will Ross, whose career is almost entirely, if not entirely, dependent upon the BBC, follow suit, and go before he’s pushed out?
October 31 – I’ve just heard that Lesley Douglas has resigned from the BBC. As, under this woman’s control, Radio 2 has gone down the pan like an express elevator, this can only be a good thing. Ross, though, get away with a three month suspension, the logic of which escapes me. As Brand was the main offender – though Ross, in my view, is equally culpable – a suspension was always on the cards, as unlike Brand, Ross has few, if any, other irons in the fire away from the BBC. I still think he should have been emptied out, though.