Jonathan Ross says Radio 2 got duller after Sachsgate scandal

Jonathan Ross claims the BBC has become more risk averse and boring following its Radio 2 Sachsgate scandal.

The Society faced a public backlash after the 2008 incident when comedian Russell Brand and TV presenter called out much-loved Fawlty Towers actor Andrew Sachs during Brand’s show and left comments. obscene messages on his answering machine.

Brand also bragged about having sex with Sachs’ granddaughter, Georgina Baillie, with whom he had a brief relationship.

At the time, the BBC sacked Brand and suspended Ross for three months, and he was also fined £150,000 by regulator Ofcom.

Jonathan Ross claims the BBC has become more cautious and boring following its Radio 2 Sachsgate scandal. Pictured are Brand and Ross singing an apology for Sachsgate

Ross, who hosted a show on Radio 2 for ten years, admits he now rarely listens. Speaking to Dermot O’Leary on his Audible podcast, he said: “I wish it was a little more interesting.

“Most of the time it feels like they don’t take risks anymore, which is what they used to do.”

“Obviously I’m part of the reason they don’t do that anymore because of the massive bullshit of me and Russell on his show.

“That’s one of the reasons they let themselves be pushed back into a position of, ‘Oh, don’t take chances, don’t take chances.

Ross, who hosted a Radio 2 show for ten years, admits he now rarely listens

Ross, who hosted a Radio 2 show for ten years, admits he now rarely listens

“To a certain extent, I sympathize with that, but at the same time, that’s why I don’t listen much.”

Last week, Paul O’Grady became the latest big name to leave Radio 2’s weekday schedule, following Steve Wright and Vanessa Feltz.

Despite public outcry over what became known as Sachsgate – which was even discussed in parliament – Ross did not consider walking away from the broadcaster, saying the problem had been “overblown”.

The 2008 Sachsgate scandal saw Russell Brand and Ross call Andrew Sachs during Brand's show and leave obscene messages on his answering machine.  Brand also bragged about having sex with Sachs' granddaughter, Georgina Baillie (pictured), with whom he had a brief relationship.

The 2008 Sachsgate scandal saw Russell Brand and Ross call Andrew Sachs during Brand’s show and leave obscene messages on his answering machine. Brand also bragged about having sex with Sachs’ granddaughter, Georgina Baillie (pictured), with whom he had a brief relationship.

Recalling the incident, Ross added: “I didn’t want people who were going for me and for Russell to win.” That would have been their victory.

“I didn’t want to throw anyone under the bus, but after we taped, I actually said, ‘You know, you can’t turn this off unless we have sound. [Sachs’s] permission? You have to make sure…” That’s why the BBC couldn’t fire me.

Sachs, who died in 2016 aged 86, said the couple’s “lewd banter was deeply hurtful”.

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