Monday, January 26, 2009

Will the BBC or Jonathan Ross Blink First?

I am afraid I foresee the end of Jonathan Ross's career at the BBC. The Sun appears to have made it their top priority to call for his head. The rather harmless joke he made about giving an unnamed 86 year old one last night on his Radio 2 show fuelled the calls for him to go.

I make no bones about it. I like Jonathan Ross's shows and his unique brand of humour. Yes, sometimes he goes too far, and the Russell Brand/Andrew Sachs was a disgrace for which he has been punished. That should be the end of it, but it is clear now that it won't be. Every word he utters now will be scrutinised to the extent that only a saint would be able to pass muster.

If you defenestrate Jonathan Ross to the point where he can no longer host his shows in his normal style, then there's little point in him continuing. And that's what both The Sun and the latter-day Mary Whitehouses are counting on, of course. The question is, who will blink first - the BBC or Ross himself? Because if I were a betting man, I'd bet that they will have parted company by the end of the year.

UPDATE 8.40pm: Jonathan Ross has just posted this on his Twitter feed...

"Just spoke to Russell. He wants to be on Twitter. Will try to help him set up account. 'citing!"

There may be trouble ahead...


Old Holborn said...

How was Ross punished?

He didn't lose any money, as the BBC agreed to pay the production costs for three months whilst he as suspended. HE owns the production company.

Andrew Ian Dodge said...

I fail to see this as anything but good. Ross thinks saying "f***" a lot is really funny. The man is a talentless prat. The fact he is back speaks volumes about the Beeb.

Chris Paul said...

The BBC are made of sterner stuff Iain. they can stand a little heat from The Sun ...

Ross clearly lost money.

I met him and Robert Maxwell on the same occasion. Recording his radio show from Ronnie Scotts.

He's a cheeky chappie, but he'll go far. At the BBC probably.

The Grim Reaper said...

Mr Dale said: I foresee the end of Jonathan Ross's career at the BBC.

Mr Reaper here says: Hooray!

JPT said...

I have no time for Ross - yes he's funny but he's become obsessed by sex and crudity of late.
What does he mean exactly by 'one last night'?

Graham said...

You like Jonathan Ross!!

I shall cancel my subscription immediately.

Unknown said...

"I am afraid I foresee the end of Jonathan Ross's career at the BBC"

I'm not afraid at all, i'd be delighted if that comes to pass. Jonathan Ross is an unfunny, grossly overpaid waste of space who try's to be "edgy" by being offensive. Someone should tell him that that particular brand of comedy stopped being "new" and "funny" years ago.

The BBC are an absolute disgrace of an organisation though. I mean, they are forcing me to pay for this nonsense and I don't even watch the BBC's shite.

How about they tough it out for advertising revenue with the rest of the broadcasters. We'll see whether Jonathan Ross and his ilk are still on £16 million pounds a year when the public are no longer paying for it.....

Andrew said...

If Ross is as talented as some people think he is then let him find his level in commercial television - there is plenty of untapped talent in the UK that the BBC could develop for a fraction of the £18M over three years that the BBC pays Ross. It's a disgrace that the unnaccountable BBC see fit to spend so much tellytaxpayer cash on this overpaid teenage-style lout.

Anonymous said...

If you dont like him dont listen to him or watch him.
I am one of those like Iain that likes him.
His friday night show was a joy.
you grumpy lot of old fuddies. Go watch morcombe and wise

Ralph Hancock said...

'If you defenestrate Jonathan Ross to the point where he can no longer host his shows in his normal style ...'

Yes. That point comes not when you are thrown out of the window, but when you hit the ground.

Johnny Norfolk said...

I cannot stand Ross. He is an over paid big mouth.

He represents all that is wrong with the BBC.

Its a pity you do not see it that way Iain.

plaggypig said...

I don't really care about him one way or another - but his salary needs to be reevaluated (I'd say he's only worth about £200k /year).

There are many problems with the BBC -

* It's too expensive - it needs to trim off a lot of fat,

* It should be developing new talent instead of retaining the tired old expensive kind,

* Severely ramp up its science output (I'm not talking about more David Attenborough programmes, but content in the realms of maths, physics, chemistry, astronomy, the scientific method itself, etc.) It's failing miserably in this respect - religion gets more airtime than science!

* When you've got a spare afternoon, watch CBBC - it's crap. there desperately needs to be better programming for children - there's nobody like Tony Hart around anymore.. give kids charismatic people who inspire them to be creative and experimental!

* Produce more quality comedy (fewer panel shows),

* The BBC Trust should be democratic - there ought to be a rolling board of citizens, with terms expiring after 12-24 months..

* The BBC archives needs to be digitised ASAP and put online for free (DRM-free, unlimited access).

* BBC News desperately needs an editorial overhaul - it's far too cosey with the establishment. Important issues are cleverly framed, even the rare dissenting voice is chosen carefully.. Al Jazeera easily beats them on foreign affairs (ironically ex-BBC people probably responsible for this!).

.. And I could go on ..

Savonarola said...

Ross is an icon for the crude, self obsessed, no values nation we have become.

You are welcome to him, Mr Dale.

As for me I am with Charles Moore. I know, the fuddy duddy old has been. TVL have been advised of the cancellation of my DD. Two tough letters and now a begging letter.

Enter my property without a warrant and you get the OH treatment seems to have scared them off.

Cath said...

I don't find Ross that funny but the more I hear from these pompous arses the more I'm inclined to make an effort to watch/listen to his programmes. The Sun leading a campaign for higher standards and less coarseness in the media???

Oh the irony.

strapworld said...


If the 'joke' was delivered as your text suggests 'last night' when in fact it was during his 11am Saturday Morning Show does not that change things?

I agree that his career is coming to a close and there is something quite strangely similar to the once great Simon Dee and Ross.

Anyway I much prefer Sicksick Steve!

Unknown said...

@Valleys Mam
"If you dont like him dont listen to him or watch him."

Yes, but the issue is dear, we still have to PAY for him.

Nick Thornsby said...

The way tabloid newspapers- namely the Mail and Sun- have appointed themselves moral arbiters is disgraceful, and damaging.

JR's show on Friday got 5.1 million viewers- the Mail and sun combined only just get that circulation, so what gives them the right to launch this unedifying witch-hunt.

If they don't bloody well like Jonathan Ross then they don't have to bloody well watch/listen to him.

Jenkins @ No10 said...

I'm with you Iain, 100%.

The Grauniad website says:

Nick Thornsby said...

Let's have a guess how many of the people making negative comments about Ross read the Mail?

peterporcupine said...

I agree
with Andy

Old Holborn said...

"Enter my property without a warrant and you get the OH treatment seems to have scared them off."

Allow me to explain

Put a sign on the gate saying "no implied access"

Then you are legally allowed to shoot/stab in the face anyone found wandering up the garden path. Probably.

Old Holborn said...

Nick, £18M would buy a lot of great dramas which would be sold to the Yanks and earn money. That is an investment.

Ross is/was and forever shall be a pub bore. Carry on paying for it. The rest of us watch zattoo for free.

Doug said...

If Ross is really as talented as everyone suggests (or his wage packet suggests) can't he for a while be humorous without degrading or is he really an overpaid one-track hack?

I've always thought Graham Norton has been wasted by the BBC and should get Ross' Friday night slot.

John Pickworth said...

No, I'm not a fan either. I just don't get Wossy at all, although I'll bow to his obvious knowledgeability in matters cinematic.

That said, I'm getting pretty annoyed at the medieval baying mob calling for his head. What did he do? Tell a funny on the radio, that's what! Big deal.

Unknown said...

@Nick Thornsby
"If they don't bloody well like Jonathan Ross then they don't have to bloody well watch/listen to him."

Will everyone PLEASE stop saying this? Regardless as to whether I watch the idiot or not I am still FORCED to pay for him. That's the issue!

I hate the BBC and ignore it entirelly, yet I STILL have to pay for it and Jonathan Ross because I like to watch Law & Order on Hallmark.

If you are all so bothered about everyone complaining, then support the cancelling of the licence fee and have the BBC funded by adverts, or better yet, support the BBC being subscription based, then if YOU want to watch Jonathan Ross, then YOU pay for him, and leave me out of it!

Drew said...

I don't like the BBC anyway - horribly priggish, PC organisation. It's not Ross staying or going that bothers me, but why I'm forced to pay for BBC tripe in general via the licence fee.

Anonymous said...

If you like Jonathan Ross you are in need of a head transplant

jailhouselawyer said...

Jonathan Woss, like prisoners, must now be subjected to the

Public acceptability test.

According to this government the editors of the Sun and Daily Malice are the public.

Jon said...

Old Holborn, full chapter & verse on withdrawing TVL's implied right of access is at

As for Ross, speaking personally I couldn't care less. I have no TV, don't pay the BBC anything, and never listen to Radio 2.

But I am interested in destroying the BBC, and the Ross/Brand fiasco has done it immense damage. On the one hand you have a Facebook group pledged to not paying the tax (now 300,000 strong); on the other you have the wrinkly Telegraph readers taking their lead from Charles Moore. As long as Ross remains, more and more people will withhold their TV tax.

Tax strikes in both Oz and NZ ended the TV licensing systems there. The same can happen in the UK.

I want the destruction of the BBC because it is an enemy of the English people, balkanizing the Union and taking money (millions in grants and loans) for the purpose from the EU. It further promulgates a particular worldview favourable to the Labour Party but immensely unfavourable to the rights, interests, and prosperity of the British people as a whole.

The BBC used to be respectable. Since 1997, and especially since the Gilligan/Kelly/Campell/Hutton fiasco, it has become a cancer in our midst.

Time to cut it out.

Jim Baxter said...

You make no bones about it?

My compliments. You have courage. Respct comes to person showing toughness when it will cost that person so to do. We couldargue about your taste.

But what fight will you have left for important battles if you can weigh in for the likes of Ross? So many of us think he's trash. But then, if there's plenty of fight to go around then I'm glad.

Kevin Williams said...

After the switch over to digital, the BBC should become a card based subscription service. Then all of you who think Ross is so witty can pay for the pleasure of watching him.

Lady Finchley said...

I hate Jonathan Ross and everything he represents - hipper than thou airheads who think they are witty but can only ever do so at somebody else's expense. I rush to the off dial on Radio Two on Saturday mornings and would do anything to avoid his smug, fat face on Friday nights. Yes, I can and do turn off but I resent like hell having to pay for him.

Anonymous said...

Ross & Brand want stringing up!

Sir Compton Valence said...

Yes, just a question of time for Ross. He is quite odious - though Brand is far worse. Neither, incidentally, is remotely amusing.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

It's odd that you consider anyone who takes exception to Ross is a "latter day Mary Whitehouse". Writing as someone who is a huge Max Miller fan, a huge Lenny Bruce fan and someone who still giggles at Julian Clary's career stopping Norman Lamont gag, I think Jonathan Ross is talentless and tasteless. He is nothing but a reflection of the kind of scuttlebutt indulged in by thong wearing tarts and overly-scented lotharios who infest insurance offices up and down the country and would be far suitably employed doing the same.

The Remittance Man said...

I don't want to sound pickie here, but I don't think you can defenestrate someone to a point. Defenestration is one of those "either or" things: Either he's out of the upper storey window and plummeting to a messy death or he isn't.

By the way, like you, I think Wossie should stay, but not quite for the same reasons as you. Every time he opens his mouth he convinces another chunk of licence fee payers they should resist the telly tax.

antsy51 said...

For God's sake, will everyone just move on. Ross has been making jokes like this for years, a lot of people find him amusing, but as seems to be the way in this country now, if a few puritanical prudes get offended we have to cut the man off at the knees.


and the argument that people don't like paying for him, I am an atheist, so would prefer my licence didn't go on songs of praise. I also don't like Eastenders so we can scrap that as far as i am concerned.. And I never watch TV in the daytime so couldn't we just turn the BBC off till I get home in an evening?

Twig said...

I fully agree with Andy's comments above 26/1 07:26.

As far as the Friday Night show goes, it just provides free advertising for people wishing to raise their public profile or resusitate flagging careers.
When I say free, I really mean at huge expense to the Licence Fee payer.

I wonder if Dave Cameron would go on the show again?

Anyway, I hope you're right Iain, I'd be glad to see the back of the unfunny Ross.

p smith said...

There are two separate issues here. Is Jonathan Ross an overpaid twat? Yes, of course he is. Should Ross be hounded out of his job as a result of a wave of faux outrage? No.

Iain, you are right that every word he says is now parsed but that doesn't justify his removal or silencing. The recent "scandal" is not a scandal at all and indeed no one would have had the slightest idea that his comments were directed towards a specific person. Of course the media in their rush to protect this individual, ensure that her name and details are publicised in gory detail thereby ensuring the damage to her person that they claim to care about.

It is only a matter of time before the media turn their sights on someone you do agree with.

This is nothing more than the same prurient mob hysteria that surrounded the McCanns albeit in another form and without any real tragedy. Ross may be a smug tosspot but this is nothing more than the politics of envy I'm afraid.

Mitchell Stirling said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Johnny Norfolk said:
"I cannot stand Ross. He is an over paid big mouth.

He represents all that is wrong with the BBC.

Its a pity you do not see it that way Iain."

Couldn't agree more. he's talentless and egotistical, and it's time he was gone.

neil craig said...

I just don't think he is very good. His film reviews are ok, though not as good as Barry Norman, but beyond that .....

jailhouselawyer said...

I agree with most of what ansty51 has written, save for daytime TV, if I have the time and am not doing anything else, I like Bargain Hunt, Cash in the attic, etc.

TV Licence? I have a "licence" not to pay for 2 years.