The BBC has pressed the button on its own slow release self-destruction. And they know it. By caving in and forcing resignations and suspensions where really a sincere apology was all that was required they have now opened up the floodgates. The Daily Mail, more mad with power than even the highest paid presenters (and by the way who are the press answerable to? Who resigned when the newspapers killed Lady Diana?) is now calling for Frankie Boyle's head because he said that the Queen's pussy was haunted
. Which went uncommented upon when this show was originally broadcast, and anyway he might just be referring to the Queen's cat. The Daily Mail has a filthy mind. And I can only advise them not to listen to yesterday's podcast, in which I refer to her majesty's torn genitalia in quite some detail. Frankie Boyle is a pussy.
But by allowing newspapers and public opinion set the agenda the BBC are in danger of losing any bite, and any performers of any worth or interest (and both Brand's and Ross's radio shows were amongst the best and most enjoyable programmes on Radio 2). And anyone who wants to be allowed to say what they like will go to more open and less terrified broadcasters or just be like me and put their filth on the internet.
And does the Mail's pontificating achieve anything? The loss of two good radio shows and a great radio controller, a short fall of a couple of million pounds in Jonathan Ross's (presumably quite healthy) bank balance, twice as many people tuning into Brand's Channel 4 show, thousands of people going out to buy Brand's book (and maybe Ross's too), Brand heading off to the US to concentrate on films, Ross garnering the sympathy of any normal, right thinking person, because the punishment does not fit the crime. People might be happy in a sneering sense, that a man who is paid what they consider to be too much (but which was clearly his market value) won't be paid some of the money for a little while. But the furore is not equal to the crime and rather than punishing the offenders for their unacceptable behaviour, this over reaction turns them into sympathetic figures and weakens the BBC in a way that could prove fatal. Great comedy can not be created in an environment where everyone is worrying how what they are saying might be interpreted or because someone might not appreciate the joke. The BBC should have just closed down for the night, put up a sign saying "Fuck the Mail on Sunday and anyone who doesn't like it" and threatened to do the same thing every time anyone gave them a hard time. If people thought that they might not get to see Eastenders if they make too much fuss then they will probably shut up int future. Fight stupidity with stupidity, it's the only way. This should have been dealt with internally. Because of all this I will not be taking my new show, "Queen Elizabeth's Ravaged Regina" to BBC1. It is their loss believe me.
I escaped the media shit storm that was probably firing up as a result of our podcasts and drove to Chesterfield - which is more than punishment enough: maybe Brand and Ross should have been made to live up there for three months until they learned their lesson. I am joking Chesterfield - it looked like a lovely place. I stayed in the charming Buckingham's Hotel
and any negative thoughts about how stupid and cruel the world is were immediately allayed when I was shown my bedroom. It had twin single beds in it (which I would usually hate - give me a double even if I am on my own: I am not a 7 year old boy), but on top of each one was a gigantic teddy bear. How could you not love that? However low and lonely I would be after my gig, when I came back crying into my room I would have two cuddly friends to keep me company. At last I might be getting that threesome.
It was certainly a nice touch. But when I returned later, after a blisteringly fun performance, where I gradually led the good folk of Chesterfield into my depraved world - and they liked it - I had to decide which bed to sleep in and which bear to dislodge. It seemed unfair to move either of them - they had been here first and I considered sleeping on the floor so as not to disturb them. But fuck that. I slept on the bed on the left as you look at them and moved the bear over to share with his friend. Amusingly I positioned him on top of his pal in a 69 position, which is how I shall leave them in the morning. I hope the cleaner notices my hilarious jape. Of course if the Daily Mail finds out what I have done to some children's playthings then I will have to resign from this blog and hand it over to some innocuous and inoffensive detailer of life's ups and downs. Even though they will have to explain to kids why the pose is offensive and thus be the ones to really cause the offence.
But if you can think of many things funnier than two giant white teddies, in tartan waist-coats being forced to gobble each other off, due to their foolish choice of being inanimate objects, then I would like to see it.
I don't think anyone will be ringing me up to fill in for tomorrow's Jonathan Ross show. But if they do, I promise I will start off by ringing the grandparents of every woman I've had sex with and tell them about it. And if the grandparents are already dead, then I will dig up their bodies and put polaroid photos of me fucking their grand daughters in their hollow eye sockets. That is a promise.
The ball is in your court Radio 2.