Page last updated at 08:26 GMT, Friday, 21 November 2008

BBC Trust to report on Sachs row

Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand
Ross and Brand both apologised for their behaviour

The findings of the BBC's inquiry into the Russell Brand affair will be revealed by the BBC Trust later.

Brand quit his Radio 2 show last month after he and Jonathan Ross made crude phone calls to actor Andrew Sachs in a pre-recorded show which was then aired.

Station boss Lesley Douglas also left, along with one of her executives. Ross was suspended for 12 weeks.

The Prime Minister condemned the broadcast, while media coverage of it prompted more than 37,000 complaints.

Director general Mark Thompson reported back to BBC Trust chairman Michael Lyons on Thursday.

The trust, which acts as the corporation's watchdog, will reveal the contents of that report as well as its own findings on the incident.

Voicemail

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Brand's show, recorded on 16 October, featured the comic and special guest Ross attempting to phone Sachs but getting his voicemail.

The pair continued to dial his number, however, and left a series of crude messages about his granddaughter, dancer Georgina Baillie.

During the calls to the 78-year-old Fawlty Towers actor, Ross swore and said Brand had slept with Baillie, 23.

The show was approved for transmission two days later, after which two complaints were received, relating to Ross's swearing.

But protests soared after the Mail on Sunday publicised the broadcast a week later.

Andrew Sachs
The BBC apologised to Andrew Sachs for the calls made to his answerphone

Brand and Ross were both suspended three days after the first newspaper reports, but Brand later resigned, saying he took "complete responsibility" for the incident.

The BBC broadcast two apologies, while Radio 2's head of specialist music and compliance, David Barber, also quit.

The report is likely to focus on who approved the show for broadcast, and on BBC management's response to the affair.

Earlier this week BBC Trust chairman Sir Michael Lyons denied the corporation had been slow in its response to the incident, but admitted to MPs that lessons could be learned.

But Mr Thompson revealed that he was unaware of the furore for more than 24 hours after the storm broke as he was out of the country, and out of telephone contact.



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