Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Sarf London, Brand/Ross and the BBC.

Sunday was spent driving to Brighton to hear Matthew Delooze talk about The Serpent Cult. My daughter and I left late. Not for the first time, I wished that South London would be nuked out of existence as I negotiated stop/start traffic, culminating, just prior to taking the M23, in the irredeemably purgatorial Purley Way, where chavs enacted their godless Sunday victuals of visiting B&Q, Ikea and T.J.Maxx. Simply put, South London is in the way of my house and Brighton. It bears no redeeming features whatsoever, populated as it is with cowboy drivers, tatty high streets and marshy tube-less ground. 
This frustration was ameliorated by listening to an iPod podcast of the Russell Brand radio show. This show, for once not live, had as a co-host Jonathan Ross. My daughter and I listened as Ross, one of the BBC's flagship presenters, on a massive wage from taxpayers money, and Brand, an ex-heroin addict anarchist shagger, egged each other on in the manner of two little boys left home alone on a boring rainy afternoon. Brand/Ross phoned the actor Andrew Sachs, 'Manuel' in Fawlty Towers. He is now 78 and must have forgotten that he was supposed to be on the show. They left a message on his answering machine and Ross blurted out that Brand had slept with Sachs' granddaughter, part of a group called The Satanic Sluts. They went on to leave several more messages, each purporting to make amends for the previous message's failed apology. It was mildly funny in excruciatingly embarrassing way. 
We stopped at a petrol station on the M23. I saw the Mail on Sunday's headline referring to Brand and Ross "obscene" behaviour with an elderly actor. Surprised, we felt that it wasn't that bad, the story seemed another media exaggeration. I then, for the first time in my life, turned out of the petrol station in the wrong direction and drove all the way back to London. I only realised when I recognized 'The Full Monty cafe' again (although my first thoughts were that they had opened another branch at the Brighton end) and saw signs to Croydon. Laughing we did a uey and returned to Brighton, adding 1 1/2 hours to the journey.
The Brand/Ross error is being milked for all it's worth by the granddaughter, Andrew Sachs, the press, the government, the opposition. The BBC are as usual like rabbits in the headlights. They have suspended Ross and Brand although, as the programme was pre-recorded, surely the fault lays with the producers if anyone. In other words, I blame the parents.
Brand's reputation will no doubt benefit as will the granddaughters. Jonathan Ross however may suffer. He is supposed to be the adult one, the family man, the presenter of mature entertainment. Andrew Sachs gets a last flash of the limelight, although his reaction is not really appropriate to an actor mainly known for a humorous role. The Conservatives are using it to bash the BBC who they have always hated for being a bunch of public-funded liberals. The government as usual are being wimps, slaves to what they think the public want to hear. 

I once worked for the BBC as a stills photographer on location in Britain for a year. It was without a doubt the worst job I have ever had. The female producer was a chain-smoking stressed-out balding uber-bitch committed to making my life a misery. She personally ensured that out of the whole team, I got the worst hotel room, no room service and no expenses paid phone calls home. (An easy task as stills photographers are often treated as an irritating irrelevance by the film crew).The director was a pompous pedestrian ass who consistently made personal remarks to female members of the crew. The accountant on the team (?) had just left the army and told me that I wasn't allowed to claim for a taxi from my house to the train station. 
"But how am I supposed to get my equipment (which at that time included lights, medium format, SLR's, a caseload of film and of course my personal suitcase) by myself to the station otherwise?" I pleaded with this ridiculous bean-counter.
The team back at Broadcasting House were nothing more than politicking forelock-tugging civil servants. The only decent people were the technical film crew and the presenter Chris Serlesurprisingly sympathetic and supportive considering his fame at the time. It amazed me that the BBC ever produced anything decent with such an uninspiring set-up, although this was the start of the terrible Thatcher-sponsored 'Birt years'

Latest: Brand resigns
Today: Sun headline...Brand yelled "Que" in bed but "he know nothing" by 'Manuel's' granddaughter. This is getting even funnier. Thoroughly enjoying it all. 
Facebook groups: Russell Brand for the new Doctor Who and I slept with Georgina Baillie (the granddaughter)


  1. Hypocrisy, fuss, fear, hatred of success, 'celebritites', storms in teacups - such is the stuff that fuels middle England's chattering classes these days. I totally agree with your Twitter update, re Brand and Ross being silly little boys. I also love your personal take on the whole debacle. Ah, the world might be going to hell in a handcart (another favourite CC expression), but as long as we've got 'comedians' to scapegoat, Britain will always be 'great'.

    Last night, a friend of mine sat on my living room sofa ranting about how the BBC should give the nation's youth 'something to aspire to'. He was watching Match of the Day at the time. Nuff said?

  2. I'm glad someone else can see through the smokescreen on feigned indignation from Brand, Ross and Sach's granddaughter. The careers of all three have gone stocks-up for years to come! Poor old Andrew graciously accepted their apology and seems very nonchalent about being the ball in a three-man football trial where the scout says: "Sign here!"

    The important thin to relize is that the Conformist ethos makes behavior like Brand and Ross' a virtue. It's actually considered prestigious to pick on someone older and weaker. It's the bee's knees to boast about having contemptuous sex with someone. To be kind and compassionate is seen as a weakness. If only they'd broken into Sach's house and stolen his wallet! They'd be in Hollywood the next day!

    On GMTV they reported that Russell Brand wants to be the next Doctor in "Doctor Who". God please no!

  3. Interesting to hear from someone who actually heard the show rather than all the self-righteously indignant who didn't, but still felt the need to complain. Morons.

    One thing I would like to know is how Jonathan Ross got to be so popular. Maybe it's a cultural divide issue but whenever I've watched his show he seems boorish and unfunny.

  4. I've always had a soft spot for Jonathan Ross. He once tried to pull me in a Soho nightclub (way before his marriage) but I was too dim-witted to notice!
    He is boorish but I find him quite funny.

  5. Here's the radio show in question:

    I didn't realize they called him back.


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