Ross wanted Sachs calls cut

Russell Brand has revealed Jonathan Ross suggested the 'Sachsgate' voicemail calls shouldn't be broadcast.

The messages left for the former Fawlty Towers actor Andrew Sachs were broadcast in a pre-recorded Radio 2 show, leading to both presenters' departure from the BBC.

The outcry in the press that followed the broadcast – despite a minimal number of complaints from listeners at the time – also led to the resignation of Radio 2 controller Lesley Douglas and since seen reinforced compliance guidance introduced across the corporation.

Writing in his new book, serialised in The Sun newspaper, Brand recalls: "We did – Jonathan, the crew and myself – have a discussion about whether to include the phone calls in the completed show. Jonathan said maybe they should be cut out, a few of the crew thought they should be removed. I said I thought they were funny so we decided to leave them in. On the way home Jonathan called again to say the phone calls should probably be taken out, but I reassured him, 'Nah, I think they're pretty solid'."

Brand had Sachs booked as a guest on his show, but couldn't get hold of him on the phone. After several attempts, it was decided to leave him an answerphone message. During the messages, Ross twice referred to Brand having slept with Sachs' granddaughter, using the F-word. These were then broadcast on the Radio 2 show and a week later an article in the Mail on Sunday prompted the start of thousands of complaints to the BBC and Ofcom.

"The show went out that night and there were two complaints, both about me teasing Jonathan for his soft Rs, a delightfully convenient comic speech impediment he sometimes has," recalls Russell in [i]Booky Wook 2 – This Time It's Personal[/i]. "There was no mention of the phone calls anywhere. Our listeners knew the show was anarchic and silly and sometimes crossed the line."

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