Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Call Me Cynical But.....

So Russel Brand has quit, and Jonathan Ross is suspended following their on-air schoolboy prank which got a bit out of hand, at the weekend. Full of regret and remorse, they have issued apologies which their victim has accepted. Their explanation is that they are zany live performers, who are edgy, daring, creative and given to outbursts of uncontrollable wildness - wherever it leads.

But wait a minute. Isn't there more likely to be another side to this?

Why is it that Elton John can walk through an airport terminal completely calmly, without having a tantrum at journalists - except when he has a new album out? Simply because it propels him and his new product onto the front pages.

Brand, for his part has built his career on being ousted from jobs for being too outrageous, only to be offered bigger jobs once the furore has died down. Quietly putting out a weekly show on Radio 2 for a few years was never going to be his next career move, in fact it would have destroyed the volatile image he is trying to project. As for Jonathan Ross, I don't think I am being too cynical to suggest that this was merely a shocking piece of marketing. The day before this piece was recorded, Ross released a new book entitled "Why do I say these things?" the cover of which features a monkey putting its hand over his mouth to prevent him getting into trouble. I don't think I am being too cynical to suggest that the timing of this little scandal and the release of his scandal-book are entirely unrelated. The fact that the offending sections were pre-recorded, passed by editors and spliced into a live programme, demonstrates the extent of the planning involved in the whole thing. The fact that it has escalated to being mentioned in parliament, and is on the front page of every Tabloid, must be making Ross chuckle - as Tesco's heavily market his £25/hardback in shiny display packaging at the entrances to all their stores.

So if you thought Brand and Ross' stunts were rather pathetic. Don't start by writing to the BBC, don't complain to your MP, just avoid buying the wretched tie-in book.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I woke up on Wednesday morning feeling annoyed about the Brand/Ross affair and considered complaining myself. Take your point about book promoting though I don’t think they guessed it would get this out of hand. I think people were already annoyed about Ross’s pay packet and saw their chance to complain. Also, there is a lot of love out there for the products of the 1970’s golden age of television and “Manuel” was part.