In a broadcast for The Russell Brand Show, the two entertainers bombarded Sachs, who played Manuel in the seventies sitcom, with answerphone messages regarding his granddaughter Georgina Baillie. The pair joked that Brand had sex with Baillie, using explicit language.
However, only two complaints were registered by the BBC that evening. It was only when the story was broken by a Sunday newpaper that the phones started ringing – a whole week after the fact.
If Brand and Ross were on your payroll, how would you have handled the situation? Justice secretary Jack Straw makes short work of the quandary, saying that had the pair worked for a local radio station “they’d have been given their P45 before you could say ‘Jack Robinson’.”
Meanwhile, elsewhere in the media, Ross’ inflated salary has come under fire. “He has two big numbers playing against him: 47, which is his age, £6m which is what he earns a year from the licence payer,” says Andrew Billen in The Times today.
Billen continues: “It would help, too, if he were willing to bring his earnings in line with our new age of austerity.”
But is this a storm in a teacup? A gross overreaction? Is the great British public uniting against the foul-mouthed entertainers because we’re all so miserable with this nightmare credit crunch that we need some way to vent our rage and frustration? How would you punish the pair for their transgressions? A slap on the wrist? Or is a flogging in Trafalgar Square too good for them?
What if these guys worked for you? Would you stand by your boys? Or follow the BBC’s lead in distancing yourself as far from the outcry as possible. Would you support Brand’s decision to resign, despite the fact the Brit is an international star of TV, radio and Hollywood alike. And what of Ross? The film buff and comedian is a stalwart of British television. Does that put him above the rules?
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