In all the furore over the BBC Radio 2 prank call from Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross to Fawlty Towers’ actor Andrew Sachs, a brighter type of prank call was played on Sarah Palin by two Quebec DJs Marc Antoine Audette and Sebastian Trudel Audette.
The Masked Avengers, as they are known, phoned Sarah Palin pretending to be Nicholas Sarkozy.
‘Nicholas Sarkozy’ talked to Sarah Palin about hunting, killing baby seals and his wife being so hot in bed! And from his house he could see Belgium!
A transcript of the prank call can be found at Daily Kos.
Eventually the Masked Avengers owned up it was a prank.
It was a prank call in a much better spirit than Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross’ effort to Fawlty Towers actor Andrew Sachs. For Jonathan Ross to tell a 78-year old grandfather that Russell Brand had ‘f**ked his granddaughter’ was in poor taste. Even if the grand-daughter, Georgina Baillie, is in a Burlesque group called The Satanic Sluts.
I don’t so much blame Brand and Ross for their call; sometimes comedy does go over the edge.
I blame the producers putting the show on air. Even after Andrew Sachs complained to the BBC that the call was offensive, it was still put on air.
If the call was pulled from the show and Sachs given a personal apology then all of this hoopla wouldn’t have begun.
Now Russell Brand has resigned, the Radio 2 controller Lesley Douglas has resigned, and Jonathan Ross has a 12 week suspension.
Jonathan Ross is an experienced broadcaster and one of the BBC highest earners. His indiscretion, I felt, was worse than Russell Brand’s. Does his £18 million contract intimidate radio producers?
That’s the only thing I can think of why this call was aired.
Brand and Ross may have overstepped the mark. But they were doing their job. The producer wasn’t.
The BBC have now lost Brand and may still lose Ross.
They could probably do worse than give the Masked Avengers a shot.
They can see satire from their house.