Saturday, November 22, 2008

Woss-Brand and the Dying Beeb

And, on the subject of the BBC, the affair of Woss and the unfunny psycho-spider has predictably concluded with a hard-hitting report that goes out of its way not to hit Woss. Apparently, the trustees do not want to discourage risk-taking. Call me pedantic, but how could telling a couple of over-stimulated, ageing toddlers not to abuse old men on air discourage risk-taking? And what is risk-taking in this context? We now know it's risky to abuse grandads, but I presume there is some good form of risk-taking that is intended here. Seeing if you can finish the show after setting fire to the studio? That might work. Oh and am I the only one who didn't know that this kind of stuff went out on Radio 2 or, indeed, anywhere on the BBC? I mean I don't want to get all Daily Mail about this because I'm perfectly happy for commercial stations to do what they like and get hammered for it, but I was labouring under the illusion that there was some kind of standards issue when it came to spending hypothecated tax pounds. As it is, the BBC now has a knife in its back that will be pushed in further by politicians in the very near future. It's over, boys, unless you can come up with an aggressive restatement of Reithian values and, of course, you can't.


  1. Possibly the risk is of actually entertaining their audience.
    How much is the head poobah of the BBCs watchdog paid?

  2. They were bang aaat of awwwder and everyone involved deserves a kick up the rear, of course, but I just can't seem to work up the hate and indignation for the pair. It's a general failing of mine.

    Also, I sometimes find Brand very funny. You grandads are all just too old to get him. Move over, squares.

  3. A A Gill summed up Sachgate brilliantly:

    "It’s this very British thing — well, actually, it’s a very English thing — self-indulgent ire. Two complaints from people who heard the broadcast; 30,000 from folk who didn’t. The English just love to be given permission to indulge their anger...We should be careful what we Tonbridge over. If Ross doesn’t come back, who do you think you’re going to get instead? I’ll tell you who: Simon Cowell’s mini-me, Piers Morgan, a man I can’t abide. In my book, he’s the most amateurishly unpleasant, small-minded, bottom-sniffing, drip-dry tosspot to grace your living room. And if that thought doesn’t send you to the e-mail begging the BBC to bring Ross back, then he probably owes you one.

    Ross and Brand are two of the most talented, original and consistently funny performers on television. They are part of what makes our home-grown broadcasting an interesting and entertaining thing, and I can only wish them both well and that they come back soon, unchastened. It really wasn’t about you, lads. It was about the rest of us."

  4. The BBC's response has been laughable. Who really cares about the BBC structures in place for stopping this sort of thing happening? Much more important are the psychologies of two grown men who should have known that what they were doing was morally wrong. I just wonder how many chances Ross will get. His whole act is based on being shocking.

    (And incidentally, he's totally unsuited to the film job which should now go to Kermode.)

  5. AA Gill is incapable of summing up the time of day, let alone television.

  6. AA Gill occasionally gets it right, but he's talking total shite in the quote above. I believe he wrote a book called 'The Angry Island' about British ire. It didn't exactly set the world on fire so he's just trying to get a bit more mileage out of his pet theory, lest he succumb to the realisation that all his work in that area was in vain. Jonathan Ross was OK back in the early-mid 90s. Russell Brand's success is one of the great riddles of existence imposed upon us by the Creator. Meanwhile Mark Kermode is alright, but he seems a bit trainspotterish and he got terribly excited over Danny Boyle's 'Sunshine', which was simply other men's porridge warmed up and dumped in a new bowl, no more no less, like all Danny Boyle films except (perhaps) that one he made about junkies in Edinburgh.

  7. Here Brit, waddya mean grandads?.
    WE people who have accumulated years conting into the several times ten are pre programmed with the humor regognition chip.
    Peter Cook
    Dudley Moore
    El Al
    Some of todays comedians come close, I would not include Brand in the list, he seems to use television as his psychiatrists couch. Ross has simply outstayed his wellcom.

  8. Malty:

    Whatever you think of Ross and Brand their shows are still hugely popular. Although Ross was getting paid too much money which over-inflated his ego slightly. I know it sounds pathetic but Friday night is just not Friday night without Ross. And Brand's radio show is a huge loss.
    I absolutely agree they should have been disciplined. But does it really merit the weeks of outrage spearheaded by the joyless Daily Mail?

  9. The thing I resent most about Russell Brand is the fact that he makes me feel middle-aged. My 20-year-old stepson (the 'meh' generation) truly cannot see what all the fuss is about. Worse still, said stepson's girlfriend thinks Brand is sexy. And I've started reading the Daily Mail online.

  10. Anon, no and not the the BBCS navel gazing coverage either. Bryan, please stop the blog grabbing my as yet unchecked comments, or is it all part of a fiendish plot.

  11. Nope, never heard of any of 'em, Malty.

  12. What I resent about Brand is that he has started to appear in the US, where I thought I was safe from him.

  13. El Al, malty? Would that be the Jewish favourite airline or Propietaro de la Taberna?

  14. Comedy must be the most difficult arena in which to succeed if you're not funny. Brand must be funny, it's just that we don't see it.
    I don't know if Ross was ever a comedian; just a presenter with an abundant sense of humour.

    I'm not a fan of either but Radio 2 surely needs presenters of their ilk, otherwise what else has the ''nation's most listened to station'' got to offer the conscious under 50s?

  15. Are you on commission, Bryan? Everytime you knock the BBC, Murdoch gives you a pat and another Sky subscription so that you can watch Topless Reps Do Ibiza On Alcopops?

    Reithian values - to educate, entertain and inform. In a fragmented society the BBC has to appeal to lots of different groups - the Sachs phone call should not have been broadcast - but Brand's show is popular - not to my taste but it is popular.

    On Facebook, the "SUPPORT RUSSELL BRAND & JONATHAN ROSS" group has 58,374 members... it seems that not everyone is taken in by newspapers that make money by generating offence.

    The BBC is not perfect - but it's a wonderful institution - leave it alone, Bryan.

  16. Hey Anon, I thought Topless reps do Ibiza on alcopops was a BBC3 offering. I understood part of the BBCs remit (and the reason for its £4bn tax) was to stimulate cultural excellence - quite how those bedazzled by Ross and Brand believed they were furthering this aim remains beyond me.

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