I have to admit, I’m hardly a fan of Russell Brand or Jonathan Ross. The former is a whiny, shouty, loudmouth whose primary form of comedy is speaking like a 3 year-old, very fast (he’s actually a decent writer, if the rest of his Dickensian persona didn’t get in the way), and the latter an over-the-hill illiterate whose interview ‘technique’ consists of being nasty to people he doesn’t like and inserting his tongue up the anus of those he does. Hardly paragons of this country’s comic traditions.
But still, the furore over their radio show? I mean, is it really worthy of the Prime Minister and leader of the Opposition’s comment? Their original series of phone calls were crass, pathetic, unfunny (most importantly) and actually embarrassing, like a couple of schoolboys egging each other on. I’m sure the granddaughter doesn’t care (in fact, she’s probably offended by being linked sexually to either) but Andrew Sachs deserved an apology. He got one, from bot (the granddaughter has since called for their sacking, though whether this was a reaction to the reaction isn’t clear).
But the shitstorm that’s now calling for their sacking, and being front page news. I mean, is it really that much of an issue? Comedians overstep the mark all the time. It seems more that it’s the BBC, therefore paid for by our tax, and also the disclosure of Ross’ inflated (insane) salary that is the issue here. The skit was recorded, then vetted and passed by a producer, and because it’s the Beeb, it’s now thrown into issues of correct use of taxpayer’s money, broadcasting standards, and the like. The truth is, it was out of line, but that should’ve been the end of it ater an apology, and possibly discipline of the producer that approved it. The fact there were 2 complaints before the press game started, and now there are 10,000 says everything you need to know about how we act as a society.
One thing we shoudl be defending in all of this is the right to free speech. Comedians take risks about all sorts of subject matter, and they should be applauded for it, even when it’s this terrible and unfunny. But if anyone needs sacking, it’s the producer that approved it, on quality grounds alone if nothing else, and not the idiots that said it.