Broadcasting and seriousness

In the one-way conversation, the presenter – Jonathan Ross – said that the comic – Russell Brand –had slept with the granddaughter of the actor, whose name was Andrew Sachs. Brand confirmed that this was the case, and named the granddaughter. The pair suggested that Sachs might be so upset he would commit suicide. The conversation went on for some time.

The programme, which was recorded, was approved for transmission and broadcast in mid-October. The BBC received two complaints. A few days after the broadcast, the Mail on Sunday – one of Britain’s mass tabloids – exposed the programme. The next day, Monday, its sister paper, the Daily Mail, with other papers, also picked up the story. The numbers of complaints suddenly began climbing – to reach, at the time of writing, nearly 5,000. The granddaughter, whose name is Georgina Baillie, is a dancer in a group called the Satanic Sluts: and she had, she said, slept with Brand: but sh...

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