Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Burlesque Gate: Opprobrium Could Be Mis-Directed

It ain't half hot mum. When luvvies fall out, to the absolute max.

Russell Brand and Jonathon Ross clearly went too far in their studio banter and indeed in their prank calls to Andrew Sachs (above, centre front). However these would have remained private if person or persons unknown in the production team and/or management had cut them from the recording before the show went out two days later.

Even then they would have stayed restricted to a small and largely accepting audience if the tabloids hadn't splashed the story a week after that broadcast. Before this there were just two complaints. Soon after 2,000. And when this was taken up by broadcast media 10,000 by tea time yesterday.

We know that by repute Brand and Ross are near the knuckle in private, and even in live and near-live contexts. That is why the more edgy elements of their ouevres are recorded and carefully edited before broadcast.

Five questions:

1. Who allowed these pranks to be broadcast around two days after they were recorded?

2. Aren't the Mail and the others having it both ways? Massively increasing any harm?

3. Would the prank calls, if they had been kept private among just half a dozen people, be a cause for sackings of Brand and Ross?

4. Did they insist that the larger part of the recording was allowed to go out?

5. Is it correct that Andrew Sachs' management had heard the material and asked for much of it to be removed? And that some was removed as a result?

The burlesque dancer - Andrew Sachs' grand daughter and Russell Brand's playmate - at the centre of this has given quite a long video interview to The Sun.

Her career has no doubt benefited hugely from this. She says Brand has said that he will promote her burlesque troupe as his way of making things better. But Celebrity Big Brother anybody? It's just a shame that Grandad had to suffer. And the huntress may become the hunted as the media ask around about Georgie Girl.

STOP PRESS: No shows from Ross or Brand until investigations are complete. Handy for this to happen after not before showing of "Quantum of Solace" special.

OBVIOUSLY: It's Michael Bates RIP not Andrew Sachs done up as Rangi Ram in the illustration above. So hard to tell these hilarious-Englishmen-playing-laughing-stock-foreigner-johnnies apart isn't it?

STRANGELY (13:50): Dave Osler thinks the two should be sacked. Apparently based partly on the idea that this was "live". And also real life examples of telephone ansaphone harrassment. What would happen to them then? Re-employment very swiftly I should have thought. Even Gary Glitter is still getting big pay days. And Pee Wee Herman has a Nike Fallen Heroes sneaker named after him.


labourparty said...

If they were to be sacked, would they have cause for compensation payments, I wonder? What would the Mail et al say about a golden goodbye?

Karl-Marx-Stra├če said...

They can't get "sacked", as they aren't employed by the BBC, as far as I can tell, but by Brand's own independent production company, who is contracted with making his programme. So Brand might get some (a lot of) money for "breach of contract" (i.e. terminating it), but the BBC might justify this by using some get-out clause, if there is one, in the contract itself (though if the BBC are as clever/careful at formulating contracts with independent producers as they are at damage limitation, I wouldn't bet on it).

Anonymous said...

Don Estelle was a friend of Cyril's too- was it the short pants?.
(did he help get him into the town flats? or did Cyril just have a simple arrangement with the controversial planning permission/compulsory purchase and land clearance for these flats?)

Don had a number 1 hit with the song "Whispering Grass".

Quite apt for the info leaking out of Rochdale Fib Dem HQ at the moment.

Countdown has commenced.

(perhaps Carol Vorderman can help with figuring the Liberal party donations and accounts out).

benchilltory said...

if 2 benchill chavs had made obscene phone calls they would have got ASBOs.
As Brand and Ross are millionaire nulabour luvvies,they will be excused and hero worshipped in the wine bars of Chorlton

Anonymous said...

and by the Daily Mail if it sells papers.

and by the Conservative party if there is a witch hunt on these crude rotters who have never discussed party funding with Russian oligarchs on yachts in the Med.

Chris Paul said...

How rude. Caling people chavs benchill Tory. Is that how you Tories think?

There is little or no excuse for the vile mutterings of the silly boys. However this would have been essentially private if some editor or producer hadn't decided to leave it in the show. And largely inoffensive if the Mail hadn't run the story a week later.

The show is recorded to give the performers and the public some protection from mistakes made as risks are taken. Editorial failure.

No-one has AFAIK ever got an ASBO for an incident of leaving horrid answer phone messages though Sachs would have a case for harrassment.

Matthew Stiles said...

As far as I can work out, Sachs didn't even listen to the messages. He read a transcript when this whole thing blew up in the press. It seems rather odd.

Chris Paul said...

Sachs had some of the show content at least emailed to his phone and thought they'd agreed not to run with it. There were two complaints about the show and NOT about the Sachs element.

I wonder how many of the dramatis personae are clients of M Clifford Esq. The Satanic Sluts? Sachs? Ross? Brand? The BBC DG? Perhaps not that last one.

boris is london mayor said...

I just think it's funny that these two twits have finaly had their wrists slapped.
Of course it's been blown out of proportion but lets get something straight a 80 year old man had a phone call saying that he had "fucked his grandaughter" now that is well out of order.