Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 30 July 2014

Fawlty Towers star Manuel is upset by BBC phone pranksters

The BBC has come under criticism after its presenters Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross made a series of crude phone calls to a former Fawlty Towers star.

The pair left answer phone messages for 78-year-old Andrew Sachs, who played waiter Manuel, in which they told him Brand had slept with his granddaughter and joked that the actor might kill himself as a result.

In the pre-recorded segments aired on Brand’s Radio 2 show, the host and Ross, who presents a show on the same radio channel, began making calls after Sachs apparently did not answer his phone for an pre-arranged interview to promote a television show.

Ross (47) left a message telling Sachs: “He f***** your granddaughter”.

Brand (33) denied this, but added: “Oh no, I have revealed I know her name.”

After discussing how Sachs might hang himself, the pair made a string of calls in which they ostensibly attempted to apologise for what was “just a joke”, but continued to leave lewd messages.

At one point, Brand sang: “I said some things I didn’t of oughta, like I had sex with your granddaughter, though it was consensual.”

A spokeswoman for Sachs said the actor was “upset” by the incident but did not wish to comment further.

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