back to article BBC fined £150k over Manuelgate

The BBC has been fined £150,000 over the Manuelgate scandal, Ofcom has confirmed. On 18 October last year, Radio 2 broadcast a show featuring Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross in which they rang actor Andrew Sachs and left messages on his ansafone which boasted that Brand had slept with the Fawlty Towers vet's granddaughter, …


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  1. Simon Painter
    Thumb Down


    one state funded organisation has given over some money to another state funded organisation

    hard to see how anyone is going to lose sleep over that

  2. David
    Paris Hilton


    Say they pay up, where does this money go?

    Paris hilton coz ofcom bosses MAY use the money ofr stimulating ways

  3. Anthony


    Isn't that MY fee payers money?

    Can I have it back please?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    the end

    The end of the fonejacker then?

  5. John Macintyre


    they'll just up the licence fee to cover it anyway so what's the big deal?

  6. Richard Banks
    Thumb Down

    We're getting screwed from every direction

    Ross and Brand should pay the fine! Why are WE being penalised?! WE ARE PAYING FOR: (1) the people of Ofcom to investigate, (2) the people at the BBC to continue employing Ross, and (3) the resulting fine imposed by Ofcom on the BBC. Marvellous use of tax-payers' money, and meanwhile I have to pay extra to get my bins collected.

  7. Martin Lyne


    "ansafone". How dare you, sir.

    Also, where does this fine money *go*, my license money going to:

    a) the government to fund shit I don't get a say in

    b) to Ofcom to fund.. some toothless reports (read: line some official's pockets)

    c) ALIENS!

  8. Richard Porter
    Thumb Down

    Re: Fine

    Indeed. Ofco<s>n</s>m is in effect fining the licence payer. In makes no sense.

  9. General A. Annoying


    Oh, 150 Que!

    That'll be another 50p on the licence fee to cover that then.

    Or does that come out of what they saved by not paying Wossy whilst he was off-air?

  10. Chris Miller


    By my reckoning that's about 0.5p refund you're owed. Where shall I send it?

    Now, if the Beeb had the cojones to sack Wossy and a few of the other talentless tossers they employ on ludicrous salaries, they might be able to afford a decent refund.

  11. Bassey


    Presumably this will go towards making the license fee cheaper next year so we won't see the usual double-inflation rise?

    Hmm, silence....

  12. Maverick


    Are they joking? They do realise how the BBC makes it money? So they've fined ME for Jonathan Ross and that Robert Smith lookalike being pricks.

  13. This post has been deleted by its author

  14. Dan


    I thought fonejacker was made by channel 4, therefore making is exempt from all broadcasting standards?

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    It's all in the database!

    That's why I have refused to take a license for 10 years. Sick of state-funded propaganda, 'social-agenda' news, made-up news, junkets for Common Purpose members. How can a fine be imposed on the license-fee payer for the behaviour of those millionaires running it.

  16. Master Baker
    Thumb Down


    Wossy didn't actually loose that much, if anything over this farce. The Beeb continued to pay the production company 'Hot Sauce' during Wossy's 12 week holiday. And who owns 'Hot Sauce'?? Yep, Wossy himself.

    It's all bollocks, which is why I don't have a tv license (or a TV). The feckers at the license-agency - ran by Crapita - still threatened me with red-letters and court action. The letters and threats didn't actually stop until I threatened them with legal action.

    We pay for the Beeb (well, I don't anymore) and then we also pay for the dvd's of the series they make with our (your) money. I think every taxpayer should be exempt for paying for the Beebs dvd's - as long as they can present a valid license.

    Friday afternoon. I want to go home.

  17. Steve

    Where's my rebate?

    Or are they going to use it to fund selling off OUR bandwidth?

  18. David Simpson

    What was the problem again ?

    So Brand and Ross told Sachs that Brand had slept with his daughter. Hmmmmmm

    Positively scandalous if it was a lie, but it wasn't and Miss Bailey makes porn (CFNM) whos website declares "Grand Daughter of Andrew Sachs" She's the one who embarressed her dear old Grandfather (who is an adult after all) and he has not done badly out of it now that he's starring in a soap.

    Maybe I'm missing something but what was the problem again ? 98% of complaints were made long after the show broadcast so who cares shouldn't these people all be out setting fire to Google street view cars or something ?

    Great now the left arm has fined the right arm that makes complete sense, whats the point of the BBC anyway we pay for it and Gordo Brown and his mates fine them or slap them on the wrist if they don't do as they are told. As soon as the moral majority object to the smallest thing, we might as well have ads, I'd prefer advertisers censoring my viewing rather than the fearful middle classes and the governement who tries to keep them voting labour.

  19. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    Re:We're getting screwed...

    "Ross and Brand should pay the fine!"

    Er, no. The findings were that the BBC had no procedures in place to control Ross and Brand's activities. That puts the management at fault. (If the management wish to pass on some of the punishment to recklessly stupid employees, that's another matter.)

    That said, there are "issues" over how publicly funded bodies should be punished. Fines clearly can't be a deterrent, since public bodies don't make profits. Direct action against the employees would provide be a recipe for endless court cases deciding just who was to blame (and therefore carried most the of can). Even demanding changes in management leaves you with the problem of judges being expected to make managerial decisions in "industries" where they have no experience.

    It's hardly a recipe for success, however you play it. The best answer is probably to have as few public services as possible. :)

  20. Steve

    BBC are quids in

    Fine to the BBC: £150,000

    BBC saved by not paying Ross for 3 months: £1,500,000

    Not that I care, I don't pay the TV license fee (and I really don't watch TV).

  21. OffBeatMammal

    why the hell was Ross on the radio anyway?

    come on folks... unless standards have slipped so far since I left Blighty that he's now the cream of the crop I fail to see why he was employed by the Beeb at all.

    Poo bum wee jokes from 5 year olds are funny but it's a sign of the time that Radio 2 thinks they are what the audience deserves!

    Mines the one without a license in the pocket

  22. Steven Jones

    @Dave SImpson

    Perhaps you ought to put yourself in Andrew Sach's position. Not only do you have the embarrassment of Russell Brand phoning you up and telling you what he did to your grand daughter, he and Jonathan Ross decided to do it on air. If any of us cared to do this from our company's premises and associated it with their name then we'd be out the door in a trice. Even without broadcasting it is bad enough.

    If you can't see what's wrong with that and you'd be happy for some load mouth to broadcast this all over the airwaves then fine. Drop him the name of any of your female relatives (he's not that fussy), and we can all tune in. If he won't oblige, then I'm sure there is some other oik that would no doubt do so. So a couple of media load mouths got embarrassed their wrists slapped for behaving like immature and embarrassing imbeciles. For many of the rest of us, we would probably be sweeping roads for a career. In their case, they got a bit of a ticking off and their careers will continue as normal (and in Russel Brand's case gives him an hour of nice easy new material to include in his act).

    Also, for those stupid apologist for this pair of cretins who claim this is "edgy" - grow up (are you listening Sue Perkins with that ridiculous line in "poor us" persecution that she claimed comedians were subject too in a BBC lecture?). It's juvenile, childish and crap without any redeeming qualities. The pair make a career in taking the piss out of others, are we meant to shed tears for them?

    The really ridiculous thing is that we, the license payers, are paying for this escapade. No doubt the BBC have already spend several times this on senior managers expenses, PR consultants, lawyers and the like. Take it out of Jonathan Ross's salary - I don't see why we should pay for this juvenile crap.

  23. Steve

    @ Steven Jones

    "Perhaps you ought to put yourself in Andrew Sach's position."

    Yeah, I would fire my agent for agreeing to let me appear on their show, or kick myself for not looking into what I was getting myself into.

    I mean, come on - this is Ross *and* Brand - WTF did Sachs (or his agent) expect?

  24. Adam

    @ Steven Jones

    "Take it out of Jonathan Ross's salary - I don't see why we should pay for this juvenile crap."

    er - we will still be paying for it! who do you think pays Jonny ross's pay? the BBC and who pays the BBC?

  25. David


    Ross should have been given the push - preferably over a very high cliff.

  26. slack
    Paris Hilton

    Yeah, time to defund the Beeb

    Yet another example of why the UK licensing system to fund the beeb is pathetic.

    Let the government fund it from regular tax revenues if they want, perhaps a fraction of defense expenditure could be redirected, or else spin it off and let it sell advertising. Either way I don't care because I left the UK 20 years ago, but crap like this is just stupid.

    As long as the Beeb has to suck on a government titty for its funding it will always be beholden to government interests unfortunately.

    /Paris, because shut up.

  27. elderlybloke
    IT Angle

    BBC downunder

    Here in New Zealand, the BBC programs are a lot better quality than the locally produced stuff, which is usually an embarrisment .

    We have had more than our fair share of pompous twits on the local channels.

    Gave up a few years ago and went for Sky.

    Even most of the American shows seem to show more intelligence . Had a change of Government , so things might improve.

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