So has anyone emerged from Sachsgate in credit? A quick search of Google traffic reveals that Georgina Baillie, Andrew Sachs’s grand-daughter, is attracting |10 times as much interest as Britney Spears (and normally |no one beats Britney). And Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross have seen interest double. So the loser is the licence-fee payer, who has lost a damned fine radio controller in Lesley Douglas.
In all the furore, it seems to have gone unnoticed that Ross appeared on Brand’s show to plug his book ‘Why Do I Say These Things?’, which shows Jonathan on the cover with a chimpanzee trying to hold his mouth shut. Some chance. An accompanying video shows Ross saying: “It’s a series of reminiscences, some wildly exaggerated for comic effect, it’s got gossip, sex, drugs, swearing…” Well, there won’t be a Christmas TV special now, so Wossy fans may have to make do with the book.
The difficult question the BBC now has to answer is: what constitutes bad taste? It’s an evolving issue. Note, for example, that the BBC comedy guidelines drawn up in 1938 expressly banned jokes about mother-in-laws. If that rule had stuck around, Les Dawson wouldn’t have had a career.
In the ‘Lancashire Evening Telegraph’ on Wednesday, the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice (Jack Straw to you and I) complained that the BBC bosses were not being roughed-up enough. “If [a] politician or businessman or banker refuses to appear, then the BBC will very publicly make this clear – ‘empty chairing’ it’s called,” wrote Jack from his own experience. “Now, maybe I’ve missed something but I’ve not spotted this happening with the senior people from the BBC who ultimately are responsible for this appalling lapse in standards.” Perhaps Jack will seek to introduce a new sentence into the criminal justice system: an empty chair and a three-day door-stepping.Reuse content