The furore over the childish prank fashioned by Jonathon Ross as guest presenter on the Russel Brand show is appropriate.
As it happens, I am currently reading Brand’s autobiography and in it (early days so far) he comes across as not far short of mentally ill. He has conquered drink and drug addiction but his sex addiction is far from cured.
And, actually, it’s not funny.
It seems to stem from a childlife immersed in porn and the overseeing of his father’s sexual proclivity. In this paragraph, recounting an experience from a holiday at Pontins as a seven year old where he spies his father about to ‘have it off’ with the mother of the girl Brand is hanging about with you can see the complexity of Brand’s relationship with sex. It’s great material because the metaphor that forms the basis of this tale is sad, but outstanding…
“…at that point the woman walked out of the bathroom naked and shrieked. She tried to cover herself up – all knockers and skin everywhere almost independently trying to escape her – like she was a vet’s assistant bungling her way through her first day, mishandling a litter of recalcitrant piglets…Intriguing I thought.”
I think my point is that Brand almost can’t help himself. He has a problem that perhaps needs to be understood as opposed to vilified. It’s the basis of much of his humour, but we all know how many comedians are tortured souls (no question Brand is).
Ross, on the other hand, is a trumped up chance-taker. He revels in titillation of a homo or hetero style. He flirts outrageously with every single guest on his much overrated TV show whilst declaring undying love to his long suffering wife. (His radio programme is far superior.)
It was Ross that initiated the badness, in my view spiced up by the frisson of danger that hosting Brand’s, The BBC’s enfent terrible, show might have afforded him. It was him that told poor old Andrew Sachs that Brand had had sexual relations with his granddaughter. I believe Brand just went with the flow, (not that I’m endorsing his behaviour I have to say).
It’s all rather sad. And I do think both of them need a bollocking. Brand for being stupid. But Ross in particular, the perhaps calculating ringleader and school bully.
But you just know, don’t you, that a bit of grovelling, a charity cheque or two will smooth the whole thing over.