Page last updated at 11:59 GMT, Thursday, 30 October 2008

Oasis star backs radio pal Brand

Russell Brand, Noel Gallagher, Matt Morgan and Mr Gee
Russell Brand (left) and Noel Gallagher (second left) are good friends

Oasis star Noel Gallagher, who was a regular guest on Russell Brand's BBC Radio 2 show, has defended the comedian in the row over prank phone calls.

"At worst it was a juvenile prank that wasn't unfunny - but it's hardly offensive," Gallagher said.

He appeared almost weekly on the show, which Brand has quit after making lewd phone calls to actor Andrew Sachs.

"I feel bad for Russ, 'cause he really loved doing the show," Gallagher told BBC Radio Ulster's Across the Line.

"I loved being on it as well."

Gallagher said he was "outraged" that columnists in the press had "dictated the tone and are telling people how to behave".

You know what? There's now a massive divide - them and us
Noel Gallagher

"It's so typical of the English in general - 10,000 people get outraged, but only five days after it has happened.

"You know what? There's now a massive divide. Them and us," he added.

People like Conservative leader David Cameron, who waded into the row, were on one side and should not get "involved in something that doesn't concern him", Gallagher said.

"Then there's us."

The BBC has now received more than 30,000 complaints about the incident, in which Brand and Jonathan Ross left obscene phone messages for Sachs about his 23-year-old granddaughter Georgina Baillie.

Brand has resigned from the BBC in the wake of the furore, while Ross has been suspended.

I apologise to all of them for damaging their careers - except Noel, whose band are doing quite well
Russell Brand

Brand mentioned Gallagher in his resignation statement.

"I've loved working for the BBC and am very proud of the shows myself, Matt Morgan, Nic Philps, Mr Gee and Noel Gallagher have made," Brand said.

"I apologise to all of them for damaging their careers - except Noel, whose band are doing quite well."

Meanwhile, other presenters gave their reactions at the National Television Awards on Wednesday.

Dermot O'Leary, who also hosts a Radio 2 show on Saturdays, said: "It's really sad. He was brilliant on the radio.

"I loved listening to him. He's a lovely lad, a nice colleague.

"It was a bit silly what he said, but then it was a pre-recorded show so there's a debate to be had over whether the buck stops with him or not. But I'll just miss him, that's all."

I'm glad they've been put in their place - it's about time
Louis Walsh

Big Brother host Davina McCall said she thought Brand - who worked alongside her on the reality TV show - and Ross were being "silly boys".

"I think that they both got a bit carried away and I think that they both should have just promptly apologised, straight away and from the heart - and meant it.

"But that's all it was, they were being silly boys."

But X Factor judge and music manager Louis Walsh said the presenters needed to be punished.

"I'm glad they've been put in their place," he said. "It's about time. Jonathan Ross does and says what he wants and gets away with it."

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