Friday, 31 October 2008

Wozzagate : Appreciate The Drama and Irony

Television and newspapers have been getting boring of late, with everyone pandering on about financial woes and Amy Winehouse's slush puppy machine, so it's nice to have a bit of drama for a change.

I'm flicking through London's papers on the way home from work. It's nice to see the Jonathan Ross/Russel Brand saga unfolds in such spectacular fashion. Nice? What kind of person am I, getting pleasure out of this? Some real drama for a change, no-one cares about the credit crunch any more. Or about Gorden Brown. Or about McCain, Obama or Sarah Palin. A scandal is what we all like.

I sit back and appreciate the carnage. The phone calls to Fawlty Towers actor Andrew Sachs were pretty pathetic. I concede that. The whole thing was prerecorded, and was (as Ross put it) extremely "juvenile".

So, as a result of their phone call, Russel Brand has resigned from his Radio 2 show, and Jonathan Ross has been given a three month unpaid suspension. Given his £6 million quid a year deal, he can clearly afford it. The Metro put it beautifully in a cartoon,

"Jonathan Ross sentenced to three months off over Christmas".

For anyone who has somehow missed what happened, either because they slept through the last few weeks or because they live on their own little island, these two comedians played on air a prerecorded series of phone calls made to actor Andrew Sachs, which included lewd comments about his granddaughter, Georgina Baillie.

As the drama unfolds, we now discover from the papers that Miss Baillie, who had publicly slammed the comedians for their "lewd" comments, is allegedly a "£110-an-hour dominatrix" or a "Mistress Voluptua" as one "alleged client" put it. Now that's a gorgeous piece of irony for you. Of course, this "alleged client" could just be playing the tabloids for cash.

Her spokesman, the mighty and ubiquitous Max Clifford, is quoted as saying "It sounds as though she's been a very naughty girl."

Apparently over 35,000 people have complained to the BBC. The irony here is that the rentals of Brand's stand up DVDs have risen by 133 per cent, and Faulty Towers back catalogue by over 26 per cent. Brand's "apology" video with picture of Stalin in the background reveals his own attitude to the whole thing.

They will both almost certainly gain from the controversy and their renewed notoriety. However with fresh attacks on Mock The Week's Frankie Boyle, and on Graham Norton for an incident involving Ricky Gervais, I'm not sure how British comedy will fare from all this. Time will tell.

No comments:

As I have quite a few new readers since I became a "Jelly Biter" I've put this up here again. To understand the context you must read this post!