Brand Quits BBC In Prank Call Aftermath
October 29, 2008 at 4:38 PM (PT)
RUSSELL BRAND, saying he takes "complete responsibility" for the OCTOBER 18 prank call incident on his BBC RADIO 2 show with JONATHAN ROSS that got both hosts suspended earlier TODAY, has resigned from the BBC. In a statement of apology for the incident, in which BRAND and ROSS made a profane call to actor ANDREW SACHS' voice mail after SACHS failed to show up for a scheduled interview, with claims that BRAND had slept with SACHS' granddaughter, BRAND said, "As I only do the radio show to make people laugh I've decided that, given the subsequent coverage, I will stop doing the show.... I got a bit caught up in the moment and forgot that, at the core of the rude comments and silly songs, were the real feelings of a beloved and brilliant comic actor and a very sweet and big-hearted young woman."
Earlier TODAY, after Prime Minister GORDON BROWN scored the hosts for "inappropriate and unacceptable behaviour" and the controversy continued to rage in the U.K. tabloids, BRAND's SATURDAY night show, ROSS' SATURDAY morning RADIO 2 show, and ROSS' "FRIDAY NIGHT WITH JONATHAN ROSS" BBC1 TV show were suspended from the schedule.
BBC Director General MARK THOMPSON said that he had been on vacation but has been "in regular contact" with other BBC executives since SUNDAY and added, "In the meantime, I have decided that it is not appropriate for either RUSSELL BRAND or JONATHAN ROSS to continue broadcasting on the BBC until I have seen the full report of the actions of all concerned. This gross lapse of taste by the performers and the production team has angered license payers."