Obscure Box

Thoughts from inside the obscure box

October 31, 2008

How many apologies does a man not need

Posted by : Michael Lund
Filed under : Media, Online, Print, Radio

Poor Andrew Sachs.

No more apologies, please

No more apologies, please

Thrust into the world news after an ill-thought out radio prank on his answer machine backfired on two BBC presenters who should have known better.

The details of the prank are plastered far and wide on websites, including a comprehensive coverage on the BBC's site with a handy Timeline.

It comes complete with a warning that is bound to get people reading.

Warning: This account contains transcripts of the calls which include language that some readers may find offensive.

Jonathan Ross - Suspended

Jonathan Ross - Suspended

In case you're wondering, the F-word crops up a few times.

From my reading of events, it's Jonathan Ross - reportedly paid GBP18-million for a three year contract with the Beeb - that's to blame for the scandal that has seen him only suspended for three months without pay.

Meanwhile, presenter Russell Brand has apologised and has quit his Radio 2 show, and the controller of Radio 2 Lesley Douglas has apologised and resigned.

Even the BBC Trust has apologised with a lengthy statement at "Ross and Brand: BBC Trust statement" (Thursday 30 October 2008), and a promise of a further on-air apology.

The Trust has required the Executive to issue an on-air apology to licence fee payers on BBC Radio 2 for the serious and deliberate breaches of the BBC Editorial Guidelines on Offence and Privacy.

Inquiries galore are promised but it was poor Andrew Sachs, who played Spanish waiter Manuel in the BBC comedy series Fawlty Towers back in the 1970s, who I feel sorry for, especially when confronting the media at what looked to be just outside his front door.

Time and again he's asked about the various apologies - some he's received and some he's not even aware about. You can watch the painful exercise on a video posted by the BBC.

He almost loses his patience and the repeated questioning.

"Oh I hope this is the last time... I've got a life to live.

"I accept all apologies but I'm not asking for them."

He seems to be more bothered by the questions than the original incident which sparked the scandal.

As for Ross, well he's copping a flogging in the media with one of my favourites "Jonathan Ross; rude, lewd and crude" (Thursday 30 October 2008) by the UK's Daily Telegraph.

It list of previous insulting encounters with celebrities which I won't repeat here.

Take a look if you dare, and then ask yourself if three months suspension from a public broadcaster is enough.

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All thoughts and comments here are the honestly held personal opinion of Michael Lund and are based on the information available at the time of publication.