Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Duo tell of regrets over Sachsgate

Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross have talked about the Sachsgate scandal

Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross have told of their regret and embarrassment about sparking the Sachsgate scandal, as they discussed the incident together on TV for the first time.

Russell said he was wrapped up in the comedy value of their stunt and lost perspective of "reality" when they left near-the-knuckle messages during a prank call which caused outrage.

The pair reflected on their behaviour and told how it brought them close as friends, as Russell appeared on an edition of The Jonathan Ross Show to be screened on ITV on Saturday.

They caused a furore in 2008 when they left smutty messages on veteran actor Andrews Sachs's answerphone during a pre-recorded Radio 2 show. It led to the departure of the station controller and both the stars left the BBC as a result of the fallout.

Speaking during the recording of his chat show, Jonathan said: "Let's deal with this, because we're both keen to put this behind us. People, I think are perhaps curious as to how we felt about it afterwards. We did both regret the furore that we caused, and also the hurt it may have caused Mr Sachs and his family."

Russell added: "Obviously we regretted it because it became difficult to distinguish the media phenomena from the obvious impolite act.

"I consider myself quite a polite person, right, but sometimes you get excited when you're doing a joke. You know when David Attenborough, he was saying when the camera men are filming an animal and they sort of think 'this is brilliant' and they forget it's actual reality - I sometimes think like that with comedy.

"I'm doing the joke, and I think 'this is brilliant, this is brilliant' and then you sort of realise, 'oh that's reality with real consequences'. I went 'oh it's only a joke' - I didn't realise that we were part of the frequency of reality."

Russell is launching a Comic Relief concert to be staged at Wembley Arena on March 6, featuring a line-up of friends which he has helped to assemble such as Noel Gallagher, Kasabian and Eddie Izzard. The star will host the show, called Give It Up For Comic Relief, to raise money and awareness for people with drug and alcohol problems.

Former heroin addict Russell told Jonathan that the death of his friend singer Amy Winehouse had made him realise he needed to help people.

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