Sarah Palin’s prank call

November 2, 2008

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.

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Scottish Six

August 19, 2008

I listened to Greg Dyke, former director general of the BBC, today on BBC Radio Scotland Newsdrive programme agreeing with the case for a ‘Scottish Six’ programme on BBC television. It is not the first time he has aired such views.

He admiitted that the UK BBC News has little relevance to Scots since devolution started; as there is a whole range of issues that are reported as UK- wide but now only apply to England. He also admitted the political pressure put on him by the Labour Party to prevent a Scottish Six happening during his tenure in charge.

Also noted in passing was the Scots having the highest reluctance to pay the BBC licence fee of anywhere in the UK.

Do you think these two issues could be related in some way?

I note there is a online petition just started for a Scottish Six.

I am in favour of a Scottish Six – as is the Scottish Broadcasting Commission; BBC TV Scotland should handle all international news in the same way as BBC Radio Scotland does – the coverage on Good Morning Scotland is well delivered.

I have heard arguments that a Scottish Six would be parochial; I think that is an insult to the people of Scotland. If it works on radio, it should work on TV surely!! (Albeit we might have to put up with ugly people on the box at the start – but its a price worth paying!)

The ‘parochial argument’ surely comes from people thinking that the Scottish Six would be an extension of the current local news. Its only local because they’re not allowed to give international news currently!

Giving Scotland a Scottish Six would mean that Scots are given news that actually relates to them, not UK news on health and education that purports to apply to Scotland.

And whats up with wanting Scots to be more informed?

After all isn’t information one of the remits of television?

Nation shall speak unto nation.

That’s the BBC motto.

Its a pity that when the nation is Scotland, it seems we’re not allowed a voice. (Except for radio obviously!)