Main Russell Brand Discussion

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01:15:11 PM Jul 12th 2012
Why the hell is there so much commentry on Lesley Douglas on a bloody Russell Brand Tropes page? Seriously, there is more to Russell Brand than the Sachsgate incident. His carreer does not revolve around it, just like it does not revolve around being a former drug addict. Can we please just stop with the long, nattery addons to the damn intro section?
09:01:10 AM Sep 10th 2012
This is not natter - it is germane to the argument concerning whether Brand is God's gift, or a talentless troll who struck lucky. Is there more to Russell Brand or is he just an over-promoted slight talent?

11:08:26 PM Mar 3rd 2013
edited by Fenrischan
This is a Tropes page, not a bloody article in the Daily Mail. Its purpose is not to decide either of those things. The intro page is not a place for you to rant. It is also not meant to be a place to post a diatribe against his former colleagues, who have little to do with his carreer in the grand scheme of things.
11:45:32 AM Apr 17th 2013
edited by
I would have replied in the same rather forthright vein, but it is said a soft word turneth away wrath. After some reflection I can agree you are correct and that I allowed my personal distaste of the subject to get on top of objective judgement, and I was well in breach of the rule of cautious editing. I do have a personal grievance against Brand - it would take too long to go into here - but on reflection I realise this is not the place to air it.

For those wanting to look intro the background to this discussion, I hope the original text of the posting as set out below is allowed to stand, so that any other readers can judge for themselves. Thank you.
07:54:09 AM May 23rd 2012
It could be said, re Sachsgate, that things were not all what they seemed on the surface. Lesley Douglas was a Radio Two controller hell-bent on "modernising" the station, who had already made herself unpopular with its listenership by axing or rescheduling programs seen as part of the station's unique identity by a VERY conservative listenership. Older but loved DJ's were forcibly retired; a Sunday afternoon presenter was moved to the Siberia of late weekday nights; a long-running but institutionalised topical comedy series, The News Huddlines, was scrapped after thirty years, and Chris Evans, a man thought of by many as an over-loud vulgar gibbering idiot with a bad previous employment record for the BBC, replaced the much-loved Johnny Walker on Drivetime.

An anti-Douglas movement had been in existence for some time and found expression via the BBC's message boards and the Daily Mail, a paper that loudly questioned her decisions. Russell Brand was given a Saturday slot formerly occupied by gentlemanly DJ "Whispering" Bob Harris, the man who in the 1970's had presented rock show "The Old Grey whistle Test" on TV. Harris' fans considered his replacement by Brand to be an insult, and even if Russell Brand had been a better broadcaster than he turned out to be, he was still beginning at a disadvantage, taking over a slot many felt belonged to another, better, and far more intelligent presenter.

jonathon Ross - he too was battling negative publicity, as it had been leaked that the BBC was paying his production company 18 million for his services. Again backed by anti-BBC papaers such as the Daily Mail, many people were loudly questioning if ANY entertainer was worth this much, especially as it came out of TV licence taxation and was effectively public money.

So when the crash came, it was magnified by the fact all three players were in the rifle sights of strong opposition for other reasons - Brand did not help himself by accumulating that steady trickle of legitimate complaint over the weeks and months. And sure enough, all three fell. But not necessarily just for the Sachs gaffe.
09:02:07 AM Sep 10th 2012

There appears to be a sharp division of opinion in Britain regarding Russell Brand. You either love or loathe him, you either regard him as a comic genius or as an untalented Lothario who got there solely because of his looks. It tends to boil down to two things: (a) whether you like his sort of comedy or you don't (in which case you will look on in bemusement wondering what this idiot is drivelling on about, and why anyone in their right mind thinks he's talented) and (b) whether or not you think abusive humor is funny.

In 2008, Brand was given a Saturday night prime-time show on the prestigious BBC Radio Two station. He was protected and supported by his mentor, Radio Two station controller Lesley Douglas, who kept faith with him despite a pretty much continual trickle of complaints about the content of his show, and who allowed him to do and say pretty much what he liked on air. Matt Morgan, meant to rein him in and curb his worst excesses, became a sychophantic sidekick for whom the Boss was never wrong. This involved explicitly sexual content and the harrassment of guests and celebrities: Chrissie Hynde, lead singer of The Pretenders, walked out live on air after Brand made reference to having slept with her daughter, and had propositioned Chrissie to join them in threesome sex. A complaint against the show, made in confidence to the BBC, was read out on air and publicly vilified, causing some humiliation for the listener who had made it. Other Radio Two presenters, most notably veteran DJ Paul Gambaccini, had been publicly warning that Brand was a loose cannon who was going to go off in a way that would cause the BBC a lot of embarrassment.

So the BBC management could not say it had not been warned nor had not seen warning signs, when one Saturday night in November, Brand and guest Jonathan Ross rang up veteran actor Andrew Sachs (Manuel from Fawlty Towers) and among other things, boasted that Brand had slept with his grand-daughter, a boast later shown to be truth. In the next week or two, the BBC received tens of thousands of complaints. While there is some truth to the counter-claim from Brand's supporters that anti-BBC newspaper The Daily Mail whipped up a faux-outrage*, at least as much was accomplished by traditional Radio Two listeners who had resented Brand being imposed on their Saturday night. At heart, the battle wasn't about Russell: he was the battleground in a backlash against Lesley Douglas and Radio Two management. Hundreds of thousands of traditional Radio Two listeners felt alienated by Lesley Douglas, who was neither representing nor addressing the concerns of older listeners. Brand was disliked anyway by this demographic: Sachsgate gifted a chance to do something about wider concerns. Both Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross suffered severe consequences for their prank. Lesley Douglas, in her drive to make changes at the BBC that would attract younger listeners, scorned the older demographic at her peril. She was forced to resign and her successor was compelled to tread more carefully in bringing change about. (The BBC ignores its small-c conservative radio audiences at its peril. When they rebel, heads roll, as an earlier controversy in 1994 showed, over reform of talk station Radio Four.)