Retwittering

I’m still on twitter, tweeting away but I’ve decided to ‘unfollow’ (a hateful word) all the celebrities I originally chose to follow.

So, it’s goodbye Ross, Brand, Fry, Wallace, Gorman and Innes.

To be frank, they were really rather boring and most of what they said seemed to consist of telling us what new sushi bar they’d visited or what TV program they were about to go and appear in.

It beats me why Fry in particular is so popular and it really pisses me off when he almost cries because he can’t tweet more of his inanities at us.

So, now it’s a means of keeping in touch with friends and all of a sudden the signal to noise ratio has greatly improved.

The Daily Mail Ross feeding frenzy continues…

…but this time it’s even more bizarre than usual.

Here’s the Mail’s latest Jonathan Ross story.

On the face of it, Ross and Davies’ behaviour sounds pretty reprehensible.

However, just scratch the surface and it reveals not only further anti-Ross frothing from the rabid Mail, but acts of such crass greed, insensitivity and stupidity that it makes anything Ross and, indeed, Brand has done – either separately or in tandem – seem petty and almost innocent…

I urge you to read the quotes in full because they really do reveal something rather nasty that the Mail has engineered and – in all likelihood – paid for.

The family of an 86-year-old Alzheimer’s sufferer condemned Jonathan Ross yesterday after he cracked a joke about having sex with her.

The disgraced broadcaster marked his return to his BBC Radio 2 show with the crude gag which immediately revived calls for him to be sacked.

Elderly Francisca Guzman’s son expressed deep hurt that his frail mother, who has had dementia for three years, was the butt of Ross’s joke.

Jose Maria Moreno said: ‘It is offensive. My mother’s mental health should not be a subject for comedy and Ross should be sacked.

‘What he said is unforgivable and offensive. I don’t understand how he can continue working for an organisation like the BBC.’

The remarks came only eight minutes and 35 seconds into Saturday’s comeback radio show after Ross’s three-month suspension following the Andrew Sachs scandal.

However – and this really is one of those big, hairy, testosterone-filled FUCK OFF howevers…

Ross, who earns £6million a year, and his producer Andy Davies were discussing how they had spent their time during the suspension.

Mr Davies, 43, said he had done some bricklaying in the garden of his villa in Spain but kept getting grabbed by a frisky 80-year-old woman.

He said: ‘There’s a woman in the village who’s getting on a bit, keeps trying to kiss me. Older woman, very older woman. She keeps grabbing me.

‘Every time I see her now I have to run indoors. She’s apparently got a thing for younger men. She must be about 80, I reckon.’

Ross declared: ‘Eighty, oh God! I think you should, just for charity. Give her one last night, will you? One last night before the grave. Would it kill you?’

Although Mrs Guzman was not named, she is well known in the Andalusian village of Conchar, near Granada, where Mr Davies has his villa.

Her 44-year-old son, who gave up his job to care for his elderly parents, said: ‘My mother has bad circulation so she likes to go out for walks alone.

‘She is very friendly and if she thinks she knows a person she will give them a kiss, which is normal in Spain. But she doesn’t hassle people.

‘I don’t know Mr Davies personally. I have seen him around the village and say hello to him. I don’t understand why he would want to make jokes about my mother. I have never even heard of Jonathan Ross.’

A neighbour said: ‘Everyone here knows Francisca. It’s very sad as she has serious mental health issues so will speak to everyone she comes across in the street. It’s certainly not a laughing matter.’

I wonder how the son found out about the Ross joke and also how the Mail found the son.

The likeliest scenario is that the Mail reporter did a bit of research – amazing in itself – to find the son and then told the son about the remarks on the Ross show. The reporter then offered the son some money to tell his side of the story. Then the son accepted the money and by doing so ensured that his mother’s identity became public – wow, that really was caring of him…

Whatever happened and however it happened, it really treats the 86 year old woman with scant respect –  a quality which was lacking in all parties’ actions but at least Ross and Davies did nothing to destroy her anonymity – and brings into the open something which would very likely have remained a vague reference on a radio show that no-one in that Spanish village would have listened to.

A matter of BBC Trust

And still the fallout from the Brand/Ross affair rains down…

For those who don’t know, the BBC Trust – henceforth referred to as the Trust in this entry – is a body set up to act as a watchdog and protect the license payers’ interests; although I’ll leave it up to you to decide if it does or not.

After a pretty clear statement that anyone involved in editorial decision-making re the Brand show failed to edit anything, the Trust chairman goes on to say something I find quite surprising:

“Mr Tait said the offence of the original broadcast was compounded by Russell Brand’s appearance on Chris Moyles’s Radio 1 show on 21 October, when the pair talked about the incident.

He said this discussion, in itself, was also in breach of editorial guidelines in respect of privacy, offence and the fact it was broadcast at a time when children were likely to be listening.”

So, it’s the children now, is it?

OK, Mr Tait, how come I could tune into an afternoon play on Radio 4 the weekend before last and hear someone say the word ‘shit’?

Or is it one rule for culture on the radio and another for ‘that edgy youth’ stuff? Is this the clear thinking we need from the Trust?

Now, I don’t give a rat’s how much swearing there is on the TV and radio – the required equipment has an ‘off’ button and they’re only words after all – but what I do care about is decisions being made on my behalf as to what I can or cannot hear on my radio or TV based on a wholly inconsistent policy.

It gets even muddier when you take into account other stations on the BBC radio network.

It seems to be a given that there is no swearing allowed on late night Radio 5 phone ins, for example.

So, let me get this clear…

1) You can’t say ‘fuck’ on Radio 2 after 9pm.

2) You can say ‘shit’ on Radio 4 before 5pm.

3) You can’t say ‘fuck’ or ‘shit’ on Radio 5 at anytime.

4) (Bit of a grey area this) You can’t refer to someone saying ‘fuck’ on Radio 1 before 9pm.

I think I’ve got that right.

I was going to add a number 5) involving Radio 3 saying that you can say ‘shit’, ‘fuck’ and even ‘c*nt’* on there because no-one listens anyway, but that would be facetious.

Seriously though, no wonder there’s all sorts of fuss over this issue – no-one really knows what’s permitted.

So, here we go – my idea to sort this all out once and for all.

Times have changed, so introduce a 10pm watershed that applies to all broadcasting. After that time, until 5am, allow any swearing at all – anything goes. If people know that they’re going to be offended between 10pm and 5am then they can switch off or turn over and any parent who allows their child to hear swearing after the 10 o’clock watershed has only themselves to blame. We can’t carry on kowtowing to the ignorant and ineffectual all the time.

All I want is some consistency so that I can be treated like an adult.

Is that really too much to ask?

*Yes, I know I censored myself, but it’s my blog.