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Jonathan Ross invited back for ‘one-off’ Radio 2 stint

By | Published on Monday 18 August 2014

Jonathan Ross

Floppy-haired shrinking violet Jonathan Ross is going to pop back into BBC Radio 2 HQ for a bit so as to sit in for Steve Wright, who’s going away on a nice holiday to some place nice. How nice.

It’s only a “one-off stint” on the station for Wossy mind, with him hosting Wright’s afternoon show from 26-29 Aug, which leaves little time for any shit on the scale of the ‘Sachsgate’ scandal to go down. Yet that said, there is still time (literally), I guess.

Ross, of course, attracted a whole lot of criticism – and 42,000 listener complaints – back in 2008, when the BBC aired a show in which he and then-also-a-Radio 2 presenter Russell Brand phoned ‘Fawlty Towers’ actor Andrew Sachs, leaving him a series of lewd voicemails of the kind an elderly man might not (and accordingly did not) appreciate.

The incident – and a resulting anti-Ross/Brand campaign in the Daily Mail – led to Brand’s resignation, a £150,000 OfCom fine for the BBC, and a three-month suspension for Ross, who, though he did return to his Saturday morning slot for another year and a half, then quit in 2010 for a chat show on ITV.

A BBC rep has said: “Jonathan is returning for this one-off stint of holiday cover for Steve Wright. There are no plans to bring him back permanently. Jonathan is an experienced and talented broadcaster who presented on Radio 2 for ten years and was very popular with our audience. He is standing in for Steve Wright while he is on holiday and we hope listeners will enjoy listening to him on the network for these few days”.

Sachs’s wife Melody, meanwhile, has described the Beeb’s decision to re-hire Ross as a “slap in the face”, telling the Daily Mail: “It’s very sad and thoughtless and disrespectful”.