The BBC have admitted this week that this has been not only a hellish week but it has marked a turning point. One of their biggest and highest paid entertainers has let them down immensely.
For the best part of 70 years, the good old "Beeb" has led the world with its English-ness. For millions of Brits, we have been proud of the BBC - always the first out in the field, next to the track, standing on the red carpet. Despite the cunning side-ward moves of Sky over the last few year the BBC has always maintained an air of traditionalism.
Yet the events of the last ten days have turned a world old institution up on it's head. The BBC, not one for being under the proverbial spotlight, the pills of mistrust, obscene language and slurred remarks have been of the most bitter of all. The real extent of the horrific and ill fated decisions of the last week or so, are only coming to light now, after a radio show received 35,000 complaints.
Over here we have a renowned talk show host called Jonathan Ross. The best way to describe him to my audience is, think of Letterman. Purely on the popularity scale, and probably salary also, Ross to us is on a par. Yet Mr Letterman, I would hazard a guess, would not deliberately insult a fellow entertainer's family. Mr Ross did, and boy, did he and co host, comedian Russell Brand, go to town.
The 47 year old Jonathan Ross, who has amongst other things, presented a show on BBC Radio 2 for some time recorded a "prank" call joke along with Mr Brand, another Radio 2 DJ, where they called Former Fawlty Towers star, Andrew Sachs and left a series of messages on his personal answer phone regarding the actor's grand daughter.
Mr Sachs had been down to talk to Russell Brand for a radio interview but was unavailable so a series of calls began where Ross and Brand conducted a running commentary on the claim that Brand had once slept with Mr Sachs' grand daughter.
As told by CNN,
Ross and Brand rang Sachs -- who played a Spanish waiter in John Cleese's 1970s TV comedy "Fawlty Towers" -- but when it dawned on them that he was not around, they left a series of messages on the veteran actor's phone, joking about Brand's sexual relationship with Sachs' granddaughter Georgina Baillie, 23.
After some considerable debate, Ross, who is the highest paid BBC employee has been suspended from pay of 12 weeks - which doesn't sound so bad, yet it actually means he will lose out on nearly £2m in pay.
For the UK, the Press Association has reported that Ross is worth around £6 million ($9.7 million) his salary alwith regard to his contract with the BBC for his radio show. It has been long argued that Ross's salary alone is obscene, let alone his language and his childish conduct. Speaking as the current direct general of the BBC, Mark Thompson told the press,
"He (Ross) will not be paid by the BBC during this period. The fees that would have been paid will be deducted from his BBC contract..."
He went on,
"Jonathan Ross's contribution to this edition of the Russell Brand show was utterly unacceptable and cannot be allowed to go uncensored or without sanction."
Ross is currently seeking family comfort in Wales whilst his brother Paul, is filming Most Haunted Live, for Hallowe'en.
Sometime yesterday morning, London GMT, Controller of BBC Radio 2 and much respected Music leader, Lesley Douglas stepped down with immediate effect because of the shame she had felt due to the scandalous behaviour of two of her prime time disc jockeys. She said that she had felt personally responsible for the show, which was pre recorded and was given the go ahead by one of the editors/producers to be aired earlier this month.
Russell Brand resigned from the BBC on Wednesday this week.
The calls, which were made on October 18 to the former comedy actor, Brand and Ross joked that Mr Sachs might kill himself on hearing the had supposedly slept with his grand daughter.
Earlier this year Brand had present the MTV awards, in which he called President George W Bush, a "retarded cowboy."
He also made suggestive comments about the Christian boy band the Jonas Brothers, losing their virginity.