BBC to broadcast apology for obscene calls

'Grossly offensive' call made to Andrew Sachs

LONDON -- The BBC Trust's editorial committee has ordered BBC management to broadcast an apology on BBC radio, following the "grossly offensive" broadcast of obscene phone calls to actor Andrew Sachs by presenters Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross.

The news comes as a second executive -- head of specialist music and compliance Dave Barber -- announced that he will resign.

The incident, which was recorded and then aired on BBC Radio 2 after being cleared for broadcast, saw Brand and Ross leave a series of messages on the answering machine of the "Fawlty Towers" actor in which they taunted him about Brand's sexual relationship with his grand daughter Georgina Baillie.

The incident already has seen MTV VMAs host Brand sever his links with the BBC and resulted in the 12- week suspension of Ross.

Radio 2 boss Leslie Douglas resigned last week after 23 years at the BBC.

The Trust's editorial committee said Friday night that, following a meeting, they had approved the apology, which will be broadcast Nov. 8

"On Oct. 18, the BBC broadcast an exchange between Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross on the Russell Brand show on Radio 2. This concerned the actor Andrew Sachs and his granddaughter, Georgina Baillie," the apology will say.

"Some of this exchange was left on the voicemail of Mr. Sachs. The conversation was grossly offensive and an unacceptable intrusion into the private lives of both Mr. Sachs and Ms. Baillie. It was a serious breach of editorial standards, and should never have been recorded or broadcast. The BBC would like to apologize unreservedly to Mr. Sachs, Ms. Baillie and to our audiences as license fee payers."
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