Russell Brand carries the can

L_708caafb7737ec130c579304b975bf72 Russell Brand has resigned from his BBC Radio 2 show following the furore surrounding his and Jonathan Ross's moment of (recorded, cleared for broadcast) madness involving an answering machine, an actor and Brand's rampant… ego.  "I got a bit caught up in the moment," he said in a statement that was signed off with "Hare Krishna".

Ross had already apologised for his "juvenile" behaviour and sent flowers to Andrew Sachs, aka Manuel from Fawlty Towers.  But over a week after the original broadcast on the station's The Russell Brand Show, which reportedly attracted just two complaints, the Mail On Sunday racheted up the temperature on the presenters with a front page splash.  Cue horror, outrage and even David Cameron and Gordon Brown weighing in with opinions.  Headlines across the BBC and beyond have been impossible to ignore.  Last we looked, over 18,000 complaints had been logged.

The final straw seems to have come today when the BBC's Director-General Mark Thompson was forced to cut short his holiday (the horror!) to respond to the whirlwind. His statement was unequivocal, and he announced that both presenters would be suspended from broadcasting across the BBC while an internal investigation was carried out into how the situation happened.

As well as the presenters' Radio 2 shows, this week's Friday Night With Jonathan Ross, which was to feature The Killers and Miley Cyrus, has been cancelled.

With Brand gone, will Ross ride the lightning and emerge into calmer waters?  It's certainly been an extraordinary set of events.  And the whole episode underlines the continuing power of the Mail papers in influencing events and careers. 

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