The way things are going, we’d probably soon see Jonathan Ross back on the BBC screens and airwaves. No one at the top of the corporation seems to have learnt anything from the row sparked by those disgusting phone calls, made during a programme on Radio 2 by Ross and that other great comedian, Russell Brand, to an old 78-year-old Jewish man, actor Andrew Sachs.The directors of the BBC just don’t care what the public thinks. They don’t take any notice that Ross has never actually been very popular with anyone. And they don’t even pretend anymore that any of the commercial stations want Ross. Because you see, when Ross was awarded that huge salary of his – £6 million a year – we were all told that it was the going market price for a star of his calibre. We were also told that any commercial TV channel would have snapped him the moment they thought that he was available and would have paid him roughly the same money.
But the thing is, you see, that when Ross was suspended from the BBC for three months without pay no commercial station bothered to make contact with him, as one national newspaper has revealed yesterday. Nope, Mr Ross was not targeted by a rival broadcaster. Strange, isn’t it?
And you know what is even more strange? That no one still asked why is it that Ross was allowed to use his own production company to make his Friday night TV show on BBC1. How come no one is interested in that? Because it must mean that he was getting more than £6 million a year. Wouldn’t it be great to know how much exactly?
But there is even a bigger and more sinister issue arising from the prank with the obscene calls made to a Jewish man, whose father, as we have learnt, had escaped to Britain from Nazi prosecution in Europe. Because it was anti-Semitism, you see. The prank was anti-Semitic, as both of the pranksters must have known that they were calling an old Jewish man to pour dirt on his granddaughter on air.
And I thought that the BBC was against anti-Semitism and all forms of racial hatred. How wrong I was, it seems. Maybe the Corporation is planning a season of humorous programmes about the Holocaust, by any chance? Or about the pogroms in Ukraine in the last century? And why not, if it allows an old Jewish man to be ridiculed and offended by two disgusting people on air? And what would be next, may I ask?
Oh, by the way, I know what would be next: next the BBC will officially forbid all of its presenters and guests on their programmes to pay for the poppies that they wear every year in November to mark Remembrance Sunday. Because this year, as I was told by BBC insiders, many of the people on our screens did not bother to give a quid to the good cause of supporting war veterans. They just got the poppies as ‘standard issue’, as one insider called it, and pinned them on themselves.
Is it any wonder that anti-Semitism is now perfectly acceptable on the BBC?