Ross & Brand…

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.

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4 thoughts on “Ross & Brand…

  1. Wow! Such wit and erudition – keep it up and you’ll be ready for joined-up thinking before long. All you need is a few more functioning brain cells. . .

    Still, I might have known that posting this would attract the witless.

    Look, for the benefit of the hard of thinking, there are certain things that a normal person would never, under any circumstances, think of doing. One of them is phoning a guy, filling up his answering machine with a torrent of bullshit and profanity, and boast about fucking his grand-daughter. And you sure as hell don’t do that on national radio. Not ever.

    If you are stupid and immature enough to do that, and piss off thousands of people in the process, not just the two directly involved (who would be justified in hiring someone to put Brand, especially, in a world of hurt, whether legally or with the aid of a baseball bat), then you deserve to lose your job. Not to mention your teeth.

    Brand, at least, has had the balls to quit (though, surely, only a couple of days before he would have been dumped anyway), and he could have spared us that smarmy, insincere, speech, but Ross should not be allowed to weasel his way out of it, as he seems to be doing. He was equally culpable and he should be handed his hat without delay.

    Showing Lesley Douglas (controller, Radio 2 and 6 Music), the door, too, would be an excellent idea. She seems intent in dragging down Radio 2, and making it into some sort of hybrid of Radio 1 and 6 Music, in an attempt to attract younger listeners. The trouble is that this is at the expense of Radio 2′s traditional listeners – the over-35s – and the RAJAR figures confirm that this is the core audience, who turn out in millions to listen to shows that Douglas hasn’t yet fucked up, Like Wogan.

    The youngsters have their own BBC radio channels so please, Ms. Douglas – or anyone at the Beeb with some common sense – stop buggering about with Radio 2, keep shrieking buffoons like Brand where he belongs – 6 music, or the dole queue – and remember that there is more competition for radio listeners than ever before, so you need to stop pissing off the older, loyal, listeners before all you’re left with is 12-year-olds with the intellect of whelks (i.e., anyone who listens to Chris Evans!).

  2. Almost all blogs I’ve looked at make the claim that until the Mail got in on the act, nobody cared and most of those complaining hadn’t heard the show – a statement that’s utterly unprovable.

    However, it wasn’t essential to have heard the show (I haven’t listened to Brand or Ross for months, they’re ego-maniacal pillocks, and both have form when it comes to offending and pissing off the listeners), because the transcript of the show was widely circulated. Of course, written down it’s shorn of Brand’s girly shrieking, and loses some of its impact, but it’s still a pretty appalling read – how the hell it was approved for transmission is quite beyond me.

    Lesley Douglas was, in my view, right to resign – the only honourable action in this whole sorry affair (Brand simply quit before he was fired – no way he could have survived), as she was solely responsible for foisting Brand on the Radio 2 audience, and it was only a matter of time before it all blew up in her face (q.v. Paul Gambaccini). Interestingly, though, most newspapers come out in support of Douglas, which baffles me, as some of the long-standing presenters appear to hold her in thinly-veiled contempt, and I suspect that the buggeration of the R2 evening schedules under Douglas, the constant attempts to appeal to yoof, and the dumping of established programmes like Nick Barrowclough’s country music show, has cost R2 a lot of listeners.

    Anyone who thinks Douglas was good for R2 probably doesn’t listen to it much. I listened to it for 12-18 hours a day for years, but these days, after midday, it’s intolerable, though it picks up after 19.00. From the frequent dishonesty of the Jeremy Vine Show, via Steve Wright’s ESN programme and its often-wrong and patronising Factoids, to the shrieking idiocy of Chris Evans (what was it with Douglas and shrieky blokes?), afternoon R2 is pointless.

    What’s really staggering, though, is the huge number of people, in newspaper blogs, who believe that Ross & Brand did nothing wrong – mostly male, it has to be said. They bloody did!

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