Posted by: twobigyellowcranes | 29 October 08

Trying to be outraged, but with a sense of perspective

Maybe this is the Daily Mail part of me that I try to repress speaking, but I have really, really felt the  need to air my views on the whole Russell Brand/Jonathan Ross/Andrew Sachs farce (so much so that it has awoken me from my blogging slumber). I’ve no personal axe to grand against either of the two presenters – I quite like Jonathan Ross and I’m hugely ambivalent to Russell Brand (if only because I think that he loves to be either loved or hated) – but the whole episode has really left me with a bad taste in my mouth.

But why? Is it because I have a problem with the swearing on the radio show? No – I listen to far worse language daily and occasionally use far worse language myself (usually around 3pm on a Saturday afternoon). Is it because I find Russell Brand boasting about his sexual conquests particularly offensive? No – if anything, I find it all a bit boring and repetitive (a bit like how I find him generally). Is it because I feel sorry for the girl in question? No – I have to say that I think that if she did get “involved” with Brand in any way (*ahem*), then she must have known that she at least ran the risk of him doing something about her (particularly if he knew or found out who her grandad was).

I just find it really hard to believe that grown men would ring up a guy who is 78 years old and leave a series of messages on it about how one of them shagged his grand-daughter (the reference to Andrew Sachs potentially killing himself seems to have offended some most of all, but not me – it was a throw-away comment and surely can’t be taken to be a serious comment on the problems of suicide). I’m trying to put myself in my father-in-law’s shoes in 20 years time or myself in 40+ years’ time and imagine what that felt like hearing that about your grand-daughter. Obviously she has her life to lead and if Brand had decided to include a bit in his act about having shagged Manuel’s grand-daughter, then that is one thing. What possessed them to think that it was a good idea to effectively boast about it to the man in question (or, more pertinently to my mind, possessed the production team to run the pre-recorded show 2 days later)? What age is Jonathan Ross, a man with kids of his own?

They have apologised now and Andrew Sachs has graciously accepted the apologies. I’d like to see them get a slap on the wrists from the BBC, which should itself be asked some pretty tough questions. But then… MOVE ON!!! Is this really the most important news story of the last couple of days? Who are the 18,000+ people who have been moved to complain (and how many of them have actually heard the broadcast)? On the BBC News website right now, this is the most important story in the world, whilst the third most important story is that David Tennant is quitting Doctor Who. Eh??? Come again???

I’m coming back to set all this right.



  1. there are worse things said on pretty much every episode of mock the week or Have i got news. Pushed to choose, i’d probably say that ross and brand are my two fav people on TV at the moment… im dissapointed to say the least. Mostly in the BBC… they should have come out yesteday and said… hang, we’ve got caught up in this whole thing and massivly over reacted… and appoligised to brand and ross for their suspension and told the daily mail to find a new story to pretend to be outraged about.

    freedom of speech is freedom to offend, or it is nothing.

  2. Freedom to offend is fine and I agree that you hear at least as bad every night of the week on TV or radio. That said, the freedom to pick on (I was going to say harass or persecute, but they are a bit strong) an old man under the cover of “public broadcasting” is another thing. This is something I would have expect teenage boys to do – not professional broadcasters and particularly not at the public expense. So come on BBC etc etc

  3. Thought I’d comment – just to string this thing out a bit longer!

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