Comedian Russell Brand and broadcaster Jonathan Ross have been suspended over their prank phone calls to Fawlty Towers legend Andrew Sachs.
The BBC has taken all of the pair’s shows off air until the corporation has investigated the calls, made during Brand’s Radio 2 show.
The duo provoked outrage by leaving a series of crude phone messages for Sachs, in which they claimed Brand had slept with the actor’s granddaughter Georgina, during show on 18 October.
Exotic dancer Georgina has since hit out at Brand in Britain’s The Sun newspaper, calling for the funnyman to be sacked over the incident – and more than 18,000 people have complained to U.K. broadcasting regulator Ofcom.
The BBC’s director general Mark Thompson announced the pair had been suspended on Wednesday and apologised unreservedly for the “completely unacceptable” broadcast.
Thompson said: “This is not a marginal case. It’s clear from the views expressed by the public that this broadcast has caused severe offence and I share that view. This gross lapse of taste by the performers and the production team has angered licence payers.”
The announcement comes after Prime Minster Gordon Brown condemned the duo for the broadcast.
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