Jonathan Ross calls 'were madness'

The prank calls made to Andrew Sachs by Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross were "an act of broadcasting madness", Director of BBC Vision Jana Bennett has said.

In an interview with ITV1's Tonight programme, Ms Bennett said that viewers will not hear "over-the-top language" on Friday Night With Jonathan Ross, which returns tonight (Friday).

She also indicated that the explicit exchanges for which the show gained a notoriety would no longer feature.

Ms Bennett said of the Sachs-related broadcast: "I heard all of it. Um, it was with a great sinking feeling that this was an act of broadcasting madness going on.

"And, and it didn't feel like the sort of thing that we would have chosen to broadcast. And indeed, then finding out that we had, made that feeling even, even worse.

"So, I thought it was a great error, in terms of both as a recording but then more importantly because it was pre-recorded, that we then broadcast it."

She was asked if the incident would have any effect on what was broadcast in the new series of Ross's late-night chat show when it returns.

She replied: "We've taken lessons about the sort of sensitivities around language obviously which have come out of this incident partly. But, also the show was not the show where this grievous, this grievous set of things happened.

"So Jonathan Ross's show is coming back. It's actually after his suspension. So, I think there's been some thinking time while it's been off the air."

Ms Bennett's comments feature in the Tonight episode Is TV Too Rude?, which explores whether broadcasters have gone too far. It airs tonight at 8pm on ITV1.