Thursday, 23 April 2009
2 days before, Brand and his guest co-presenter Jonathan Ross record his show. They joke about Andrew Sachs and his granddaughter and leave messages on his voicemail. In one message, Ross blurts out "he f***ed your granddaughter"The producer said Sach gave his consent to broadcast, Sach said he demurred. Both said the consent needed toning down.
When the show was broadcasted between 9 and 11pm, on the Saturday and it opened with a warning that it contains strong language which some listeners may find offensive.
The day after, there were 2 complaints about the programme. One referring directly to the material about Mr Sachs. On Wednesday, Sach's agent Meg Pool was alerted to the contents of the broadcast when a journalist for the Mail On Sunday phones her for a comment.
She and Sachs listen to an online recording of the show which leaves the actor "offended very much indeed".
On the Sunday, the Mail On Sunday reports that "the BBC could face prosecution over obscene phone calls" to Sachs.The BBC says it is "not aware of receiving a complaint from Mr Sachs".By Monday, the story rises up the news agenda, and the BBC says it has received a further 1,585 complaints about the show. A BBC Radio 2 spokeswoman apologises to Sachs. Jonathan Ross also sends a personal apology.
By Tuesday, complaints had risen up to 4,772. Ofcom announces an investigation into the show, saying all BBc broadcasters must adhere to its broadcasting code. The code says broadcasters "must ensure that material which may cause offence is justified by the context." By the end of the day, the total amounts of complaints passes 10,000.
The next day, 8000 more complaints.
BBC director general Mark Thompson announces that both Ross and Brand have been suspended while an investigation into the incident is carried out.
Jonathan Ross publicly apologises for the incident, saying he "greatly regrets" the upset and distress caused. Russell Brand announces he intends to quit his Saturday evening Radio 2 show. He apologises to Andrew Sachs for the comments, and to his Radio 2 listeners.
By the end of the day complaints passes 27,000.
Thursday the 30th of October and the complaints stands at 30,500.
In an interview for BBC Radio Ulster's Across The Line, Noel Gallagher - Oasis guitarist and frequent guest on Russell Brand's show - defends the comedian."It's so typical of the English in general - 10,000 people get outraged, but only five days after it has happened," he said.
Lesley Douglas resigns.
Jonathan Ross is suspended for 12 weeks without pay, the BBC announces.
The complaints stand at 37,500.
David Barber resigns.
Friday the 3rd of April. Ofcom fines the BBC £150,000 over the calls made to Sachs.The media regulator said the fine reflected "the extraordinary nature and seriousness of the BBC's failures" and the "resulting breaches" of its code.The BBC said it accepted Ofcom's findings and added that the material "should never have been broadcast".