Russell Brand puts Radio X in Ofcom breach
Russell Brand has put Radio X in breach of its licence conditions after a discussion about sex on a pre-recorded Sunday morning show was broadcast.
The presenter was talking to an Elvis tribute act and asked him if he’d ever had sex as Elvis. The segment also talked about how Elvis apparently complimented a prostitute for giving tremendous head.
Global told Ofcom that Radio X targeted an ‘alternative’ audience and “maintains a distinction from other mainstream stations”, with Russell Brand “a well-known comedian and broadcaster with a loyal following who are familiar with his style of humour”. It added that “listeners therefore … expect edgier content in his show than on family-orientated pop music stations”
Global said it was, “nonetheless, aware of the need for more adult-themed material to be appropriately limited to protect any children in the audience” and “with this in mind the discussion was kept brief and non-descriptive, and broken up with humorous banter”.
Global assured Ofcom that “consideration was given to the potential for younger listeners in the audience – and [it believed] the conversation would have been largely in line with the audience’s expectations”. However, the Licensee said that, “in hindsight [it acknowledged] that some of the further comments that followed the initial conversation – although brief – strayed into more mature themes”, adding that “the complainant’s concerns [had] therefore been noted and will certainly be taken on board for future shows.”
Ofcom decided to find Global and Radio X in breach of Rule 1.5 and Rule 1.3, saying it had not had particular regard to times when children were likely to be listening.
The unscripted conversation included the following:
Brand: “Have you ever had sex as Elvis?”.
Guest: “Ooooo. Erm… ”.
Brand: “You ‘ave ain’t yer? I could tell from the Ooo: “Ooooo”!”
Morgan: “With a bit of direct…”.
Brand “No! Flat No!”
Morgan: “Why would you ask him that?”
Brand: “I’m outraged – How dare you!”
Guest: “I’ve done it without the jump suit, but I have kept the cape on”.
Brand: “That’s good, that’s how to do it. You can’t have sex with a jump suit on”.
Morgan: “Did you do the voice?”
Guest: “Well the only difficulty with that is they’re studded, you see, and they get very spikey and so they can cut you in places that you wouldn’t imagine”.
Brand: “I’m, I’m imagining them, James!”
Guest: “And if you’re on top of somebody, you know…”.
Brand: “Very, er, you’re a bit of a brutal lover there, James!”
Guest: “Well, yes, I am, especially when I’m covered in Rhinestones!”
Brand: “Phwoar, that’s the way to do it!”
Guest: “…and I try to get that into my acts but the audience don’t like the throwing
stars that I throw out at them”.
Brand: “Cowards! They need to commit to Elvis, is what I would say! James, thank you very much for coming on the line and giving us such an elegant and nuanced view of Elvis tribute acts…”.
Guest: “No problem”.
Brand: “…and may dead Elvis live on”.
Guest: “Thank you very much”.
Brand: “Dead Elvis will live for ever! Thanks James. Take it easy mate”.
Morgan: “Cheers, James”.
Guest: “Thank you. Cheers Russell”.
Brand: “What a lovely bloke. What a lovely fella he was”.
Morgan: “I bet ’cos it’s 40 years since he died…”.
Brand: “You showed me up something rotten there, didn’t you, in front of… pretend…”.
Morgan: “You showed yourself up, as you always do”.
Brand: “How? What did I do wrong?”
Morgan: “Sexualising everything: “Have you ever had sex as Elvis?”!”
Mr Gee: “Yeah”.
Morgan: “Disgusting, dirty little question”.
Mr Gee: “But do you remember that documentary where, whatsit, I think Elvis came out of a hotel and he said he’d just met a prostitute and he just goes to his friend, he just goes: “You know that prostitute you showed me? she gives tremendous head, tremendous head”?”
Brand: “Yes, I do remember that. I remember thinking it was insensitive of Elvis to have said it!”