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brand awareness...

So, Russell has quit:

ScreenHunter_01 Oct. 29 23.29

JP called me earlier to tell me - he'd been watching it on telly.

What a fucking joke this whole situation has turned out to be. What's the point in putting Russell Brand on the radio every week if he can't be Russell bloody Brand? This is the same fella who turned up to work dressed as Osama Bin Laden the day after 9/11. IT'S IN HIS CV! That's what he does! WHAT DID YOU PEOPLE EXPECT???? AND WHY ARE YOU COMPLAINING ABOUT IT!?

Radio 2 put him there in the first place, I would imagine, to be different, alternative, rude, crude and stupid to it's Saturday night audience, while Wogan and Ken Bruce do their thing for the type of person who would be offended by his schtick.

Now, don't get me wrong - they said some right royally stupid things in that broadcast and probably went too far. But people (and they are real people) make daft mistakes, sweat over them for a bit, get off the hook or slapped on the wrist, and move on.

Several months back, I said something utterly THICK on the radio that landed me in hot shit. I got a text about it today. Hi Dan if you're reading. Fuck me, it was stupid - that's enough said, so I'll not go into any further detail. It was pure not thinking, and Christ was I sorry I did it. It didn't make the papers thank God, but I was sick as a dog about it for two weeks later and have kicked myself over it since. But it passed. I paid for it in pure shitting myself, learned from it, and still have the gig. And now I know the line. I can talk the shite I do for the people I talk it for (mostly the three of us in the room) and know I'll get a kicking for going too far, and now I know where too far is.

The beauty of the BBC is that it has always had the freedom to go further than everybody else. They should be on the pioneering new edge of broadcasting, and their talent and production staff should have the resources and support from the higher-ups to know that their backs are covered should they test the standards.

And the the truly contemptible villains of the saga:

1: The Complainants

The audience never complained. On the night of the broadcast, no-one complained. It's only since the media coverage has anyone been in touch with the BBC. And they're complaining off the back of media reports, some of which have been sketchy to say the least. Different account have suggested she was a child, that Sachs was a dying man, or even that it was actually John Cleese who got the calls. (I heard the fantastic Mary Wilson yesterday afternoon claim that Sachs will always be remembered for the Basil Fawlty character. Wow.)

I've made it clear before that I utterly detest the "Dear Sir or Madam" brigade, those people smart enough to type a letter to the Broadcasting Complaints Commission, while being too dumb to just switch to something else. I don't know who it was that pointed it out to me (I think it was another broadcaster) but a look BCC website will show that the same names keep popping up again and again as complainers about broadcasting standards. These people are almost professional radio-listeners, waiting for us to fuck up. Get a life you saddos. Actually, while you're looking at the complaints, especially those upheld, you may notice there's a direct correlation between those people who are complained about most and their listenership-figures success. I can tell you for a fact, when I grow up to be a proper broadcaster, that list is a who's-who of radio heroes (I know, my name isn't there). But who wants to be a "top temperatures today of twelve degrees" kindof deejay? Not me, and certainly not Russell Brand or Jonathan Ross.

Actually, while I'm at it. If you're the type of person who wants to get into radio to say "(station name) that was Take That with Rule The World - I'm (your name here) reminding you that our guess-that-noise competition on the brakfast show tomorrow morning is worth 2 thousand euro, now here's Rihanna on (station name)" can I just ask you, no, BEG you to reconsider? Please? If you think you can talk on the radio then try and say some stuff, even if people don't like it.

Train of thought... yeah, anyway - these complaining sadcases have been mobilized to great effect, (something in the tens of thousands) while the numbers show that, combined, MILLIONS listen to and watch their respective radio and TV programmes. You people, although greatly mobilized, are still in the vast minority.

2: Georgina Baillie.

The granddaughter is actually a stripping member of the Satanic Sluts and a failed page three wannabe - that wasn't a joke on the show, it's a fact. I was wondering: did her grandfather know? And what did he make of it? How did she think people would react to her career choice? Not that I have an issue with it, but I would imagine that the type of person who would complain might.

And since this whole thing kicked off to the extent it has, she's got an exclusive deal with a tabloid newspaper. Fuck. Off.

3: Gordon Brown.

The Prime Minister's comments - how many times would Gordon Brown listen to the Russell Brand show of a Saturday night? Better yet, does he make time for Jonathan Ross in his podcasts? And what of your economy being in the shitter, Mister Prime Minister? Any comments?

But I laughed at the "he f**ked your granddaughter" line. It was pure Jonathan Ross, and that wasn't a bad thing.



  1. The Buzz said...
    What was it you said that got you in trouble ray?

    Yeah i agree. They're taking way out of proportion. I sent Jonny Ross an email today saying i'm on his side. (Not that he'd read it) but i felt so strongly about these dicks who are complaining that i had to say something.

    Ray said...
    I won't get into it - I'm blushing just thinking about it, so I'd rather not regurgitate that awful few weeks of my life. Ugh.

    JP has an equally awful moment - I'd say most people in this line of work do.

    Suffice to say: lesson learned.
    Dave said...
    Lets not forget the producers of the show are getting off scot free. The producer could have and should have spotted the point where the line was crossed and stopped it. It's no different to you lads being kept in check, even if its a from a kick under the table. And yet no one in the BBC as put their hand up to say sorry or accept some bit of responsability?
    MsIncognito said...
    Well said Foley. A voice of reason in a media world gone mad!
    hel17 said...
    I Love you Ray!!! That was such an inspiring thing to read first thing on a rainy Thursday morning! Mainly because I totally agree with you but I wouldnt be able to articulate it like that probably because it is so close to your heart! I was giving out about it all night at home when I heard that Russell resigned although nobody felt as strongly as me and just told me to shut up! Its this whole jumping on the band wagon thing that bugs me and people complaining just for the sake of it. Right he said a couple of things that I was like ooh thats a bit far but I know what he's like so I expect it off him. The main problem is cos the BBC is funded by license payers and they feel that they have the right to demand presenters to be sacked if they put a foot wrong. Also the fact they know how much Johnathon Ross' contract is worth doesnt help! Dont get me started about the politicians I feel embarrassed for them that they are talking about this situation with all the far more serious stuff going on in the world. Anyway keep up the great work Ray I look forward to your show every day......oh and one more the show!
    Ray said...
    Cheers hel17 - you're right. It's not like Brand is the most amazing thing to happen to broadcasting, in fact, I'm not the biggest fan of his (much more a Ross man) but the carry-on since last Saturday was what prompted the rant last night.

    Dave - re: The Producers. I would imagine they have been told to keep schtum until the official BBC report comes out today when they'll probably get sacked... isn't that what happened at the time of the whole Jo Wiley fake phone call thing?

    It seems (watching the video) that this resignation might be an attempt to prevent his producers and Ross getting the sack. After all, the BBC isn't his bread and butter - he probably makes more from Channel 4 and live gigs, and that work isn't not likely to dry up after all this exposure.
    ID please! said...
    Well said Foley! Heard it on the news last night that people have complained about Tommy Tiernan's performance of the rehab joke on the Late Late show! Wednesday! 5 whole days after it they rang up good ole Joe and complained. People know what they are getting when they see Tiernan and Brand, if your easily offended then just!
    World is gone too PC
    Paul said...
    Ross and Brand are funny and great entertainers and I personally have no quims with what they said . But don’t forget that they are both professionals and can take the criticism they get. Take the ray foley show, its pure nonsense, borderline bullshit and people get offended listening to it. However, due to the way the show is orchestrated and executed by the 3-4 people involved makes the show very entertaining and in some ways the smartest and most enjoyable show on Irish radio … and I listen to a lot of radio. I guess my point is, that it wasn’t just a slip of the tongue, a lot of work went into prepping that show for air, it was a risk they took in producing an entertaining show and just went wrong.
    marum-is-good said...
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    marum-is-good said...
    Just think what would have happened if Matt Morgan didnt go on holidays!!!
    katie said...
    Well said Mr.Foley, I like the way you think and that you care enough to say something.
    T cup said...
    oh i'm curious now about what you said ray? anyway it's gone on long enough this saga, maybe if matt was here they wouldn't of let it go so far, (no more matt morgon!) build a bridge moral majority and get ova it!

    i guarantee yer wan will be on zoo or nuts next week, max clifford is her publicist too, how many z listers can he have on his books!
    enlightenme said...
    I agree completly ray, The media have blown this thing waay out of proportion. I'm sure brand has said and done alot worse in his career, thats who he is, and we, the public love him for it!

    Bet ITV or Sky are delighted though.. wait for the media coverage to die down, and swoop in and nap of the BBC's hottest rising radio hosts. A guy who appealed to an audience completly different than the people who complained.
    b-dogg said...
    A fine and eloquent Rant Mr Foley!

    I think most people agree that this has been blown out of all proportion. Has this incident been a convenient thing for the media to latch onto as a break from the relentless column inches that the Global Recession has been taking up over the last few months?

    Suffice to say, the complaints have been pouring in from people who don't even listen to Brand's show. It's the print media that have whipped the conservative proles into a brow-beating frenzy. I'm sure the story was only half reported and erroneously in many cases in order to make a more sensational news story.

    I think if Brand and Ross had settled their grievances with Mr. Sachs, a small fine or disciplinary procedure should have sufficed and a line should have been drawn under the issue.

    Like yourself, I'm highly suspicious of Georgina Baillie's motives. She is the one who has bedded a celeb and now has effectivley sold her story of sorrow to The Sun. By calling for their heads,she is milking the sympathy buck for all it's worth. I wouldn't be surprised if the first person she called after she heard about the incident was Max Clifford - and not her Grandfather. As you rightly point out, she is a failed page 3 model and performs with The Satanic Sluts. So, a paragon of virtue she is not - nor should she be the first person clambering to the moral high-ground. Did Granddad ever go to any of their gigs?

    As a listener to the Brand and Ross radio shows, I think it's sad that Russell has had to withdraw from his radio show. The whole point of his radio show was that it was a bit risque and unorthodox. Radio needs people like him if it is to attract a new generation of listeners. Do we want more Wogans or more of the innovators like Ross and Brand?
    Ray said...
    An interesting view here.
    David said...
    Hi Ray,

    It looks like I'm in the minority here.
    First off let me say I think its ridiculous that Russell Brand had to resign because of the, as always, completley over the top outcry from the British media.

    However I do think that Russell Brand and in particular Johnaton Ross were plain wrong in what they did.

    Leaving a message for a 78 year old man that "He fucked your granddaughter" just isnt funny.
    But its the repeated calls that make the whole thing at best juvenille and at worst malicious, vindictive and abusive.

    Honestly Ray, if your Mother or Grandparent was left a message from anyone, laughing and shouting down the phone that they had fucked their daughter/granddaughter, how they bent her over a couch, wondering if there was a picture of her as a child on the phone table.
    How sympatethic toward them would you be?

    Irrespective of whether this woman is a stripper, hooker or nun is no ones business except hers, and lets not forget she is now in the spotlight because Russell Brand and Johnaton Ross put her there.
    Of course she is going to milk it.

    The only person for me who has come out of this with their dignity intact is a 78 year old man.
    b-dogg said...
    Can't beat the Guardian for a bit of reasoned thinking. They have a good point in that The New BBC DG has shown himself: "keen to placate easily affronted right-leaning journalists and the vocal moral minority who enjoy making complaints about impropriety"

    Whatever happened to standing up for you employees/tallent? If everybody was to cave into complaints - what state would that leave the creative output of any journalist or broadcaster or musician or artist? What is next? State sanctioned media content? So what if people are offended? Just switch it off! I thought Mary Whitehouse was confined to History!

    Also, as pointed out in the article Mr Sachs has accepted the apology! This doesn't seem to matter to anybody in the Media trying to fan the flames...
    deck36 said...
    Hi Ray

    You say that if you don't like Russell Brand's or Jonathan Ross's brand of comedy, you can just change the station. Well, this wasn't an option for Andrew Sachs when he listened back to his messages. I'm all for outrageous humour, in fact I love it - I just think what basically amounts to harassing an elderly man is going to far. I agree with a lot of your blog though!

    Oh the show! :)
    JJ_Irl said...
    Great blog Ray... the thing I don't get, more than ANYTHING else about this, is that they didn't bleep the F-word. I know that is a small point, but Brand has said it on air before and in pre-records before, but it would ALWAYS be beeped out. It feels like whoever was running the operation behind the scenes wasn't paying attention at all.

    An apology to Sachs should have been enough, he didn't do anyone any harm. The satanic slut should be told to shut up.

    I think Ray's embarrassing incident was when he rang his wife and slagged her for not pronouncing a word correctly on the news of another channel!!! (That made me laugh too!!) Glad you didn't get sacked for whatever it was that you said.

    Brand has fallen on his sword in an attempt to save Ross, and it should end there. There are more important things in life. Andrew Neill took a conservative MP to task over it on tv a while ago, going all red and shouting "WHAT HAS IT TO DO WITH YOU?! WERE YOU LISTENING??" He summed up my feelings on all the political interference.

    And yes, Matt Morgan would have saved the show, partly cos Brand was showing off in front of Ross... they were acting like kids on the air, but it made great radio :-) I'm quite sad the show and podcast is gone, but assume he will be picked up somewhere soon to do the same thing.
    Ray said...
    No, it wasn't that. In fact, she was fine about it. I don't want to repeat it here and would rather we all just move on from my disgustingly stupid remarks... don't worry, there'll be more tomorrow.
    Ray said...
    Today's popbitch nailed it:

    A collective madness seems to have seized the country. The news is still fixated on Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand's unfunny prank call. From a programme that elicited just two complaints, tens of thousands of people every day are now queuing up to complain. It's like when Princess Di died - everyone just wants to be involved.

    The only person who does seem to come out of it well though, is the prank's victim, Andrew Sachs. So desperate is Georgina aka Voluptua, the subject of the prank, to protect her grandfather's privacy and save him from embarrassment that she's signed
    up with Max Clifford and sold her story exclusively to the Sun. As she says, "What's funny about humiliating a lovely old man?"

    Well, it seems that Voluptua might know something herself about humiliation - as we've
    found a recent porn movie, in which someone who looks very much like her is enjoying a good spanking, Max Mosley style. And the lovely blonde with the strap-on? Why, is it another celebrity? We're told she looks a lot like of the dominatrixes from the recent Max Mosley spanking privacy case. How A-list!

    "I feel totally and utterly exposed", Georgina told The Sun. Quite.
    deck36 said...
    Never EVER, mention a blonde with a strap-on again! *Ouch*
    David said...
    Come on Ray,

    Todays popbitch did indeed nail it.
    But where's the balance?
    So in the interest of said balance, here's the other article from todays popbitch, showing us what a top guy Johnaton Ross is!!!

    "Given Jonathan Ross' amusement at invading the privacy of the Sachs' family on Russell Brand's show, you might be surprised to know that he's one of the quickest celebrities to use his lawyers to stop any invasion of his own privacy. Our favourite? Sending a lawyers'letter around to stop anyone seeing photos of him playing tennis with David Baddiel".

    So just to make sure we are all clear here, its okay for Johnaton Ross to make abusive comments to a 78 year old man, coz hey thats Wossy and he's just a wacky guy. But try publish a picture of Johnaton playing tennis with David Baddiel and you'll be in a whole heap of trouble.

    Sounds like a top fella to me!
    Ray said...
    I hadn't read on past the first story David.

    I'm a fan of Ross but I didn't intend to misrepresent balance in the email. The story I copied and pasted did say (as I did) that it was a stupid thing to do.

    But I still don't think sacking anyone is the way to go.
    David said...
    No one was sacked Ray.
    Russell Brand resigned.
    Resigned / sacked we wont argue over because I agree that the whole hysterical reaction is way out of proportion.

    And Both Johnaton Ross and Russell have apologised and Andrew Sachs has accepted and there the matter should rest.

    P.s I hope no one here confuses me with one of those nut jobs who complain and demand they receive 40lashes.

    I think they both know they were idiots and are sorry.
    Brenjamin said...
    Pardon my ignorance, but what's 'today's pop bitch'?
    Ray said...
    Brenjamin said...
    Ah I see. Thanks.
    deckfitz said...
    Okay, Wossy was suspended for 3 months. That's mental. They both wrote apologies to Andrew Sachs, that should have been enough along with maybe a slap on the wrist. The whole thing has snowballed out of proportion. The world is going mad!!
    Anonymous said...
    Ahh, the onosecond. It's not even measurable, it's that small. It's that exact moment when you realise you just fucked up and there's no going back, it's now part of who you are.

    I have many. Everyone has many, that's what makes this whole malarkey so funny.

    Manuel rules OK.

    Ray I didn't know you had a blog - I have fond memories of your show from my window-cleaning days... being that I was the only female among lots of blokes, it was a real ice-breaker!

    I would kick ass at Umm... yeah... ok... by the way.
    Ciarán said...
    This whole thing is so mental...where to start! Just on the BCC and your comments about the same people complaining all the time...the problem is not them (although most are probably extremely intolerant mental cases), the problem is those who act on their complaints, i.e. the station bosses and the Dail, in creating the BCC, and the government in appointing its board. I much prefer the american approach of free speech as an unhindered right, the right to offend is a real right. The BCC should be abolished outright and should be unconstitutional if we had stronger free speech rights. Standards in broadcasting are for station bosses to strike a balance between attracting listeners etc.
    Re your comments about bog standard DJs just reading out songs, I agree. Don't know if you were referring to Dempsey but his constant pandering to complainers and his softly softly approach completely annoy me, he's mediocre, innofensive nonsense but then there's an audience for that...

    Bailie came out today saying she regrets what she did...idiot! As for BBC boss, what a dick, he came out the day before supporting Ross & co, he's a complete politician. As for Brown he was just plyaing politics to the crowd/mob and as for the media in making a story out of a led the BBC news for God sake!!

    Dumbing down has reached new heights!!

    Foley, keep pushing the envelope and have your own standards and never listen to those complainers...ever...
    sexy said...
    Anonymous said...

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