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BBC apologises to Sachs for Brand’s answerphone prank

The BBC has issued an apology to Fawlty Towers actor Andrew Sachs after offensive messages were left on his answerphone during a broadcast of Russell Brand’s Radio 2 show.

Brand, along with his guest Jonathan Ross, left the messages during a show transmitted on Saturday, October 18.

They said Brand had slept with Sachs’ granddaughter and joked that the actor might kill himself when he heard about it.

Sachs, best known for playing Spanish waiter Manuel in Fawlty Towers, had failed to answer a call for an arranged interview, prompting Brand and Ross to continue talking to Sachs’ answering machine.

More than 500 listeners have so far complained about the show and the Corporation said it had also received a complaint from Sachs’ agent about the comments made in the programme.

“We would like to sincerely apologise to Mr Sachs for the offence caused. We recognise that some of the content broadcast was unacceptable and offensive,” it said.

The BBC also revealed it was “reviewing how this came about” and was responding to Sachs directly.

“We also apologise to listeners for any offence caused,” it added.