Brand's sexual Elvis quip breaks radio rules
Russell Brand breached broadcasting rules by making sexual references during a weekend morning radio show, Ofcom has ruled.
In a pre-recorded programme on Radio X, which aired on Sunday 28 May, the comedian asked an Elvis tribute act: “Have you ever had sex as Elvis?”
After an investigation, the broadcasting regulator concluded the content of his show was “unsuitable for a time when children were likely to be listening”.
Brand’s show on Radio X is normally broadcast live, and he had only started presenting in that slot a month earlier.
Nine years ago, the star resigned from his Radio 2 programme after a controversial prank on Fawlty Towers actor Andrew Sachs.
Brand and Jonathan Ross infamously left “gratuitously offensive, humiliating and demeaning” messages on the actor’s voicemail, and the BBC was fined £150,000.
During the Radio X incident, Brand asked the Elvis impersonator: “Have you ever had sex as Elvis? You ‘ave ain’t yer?”
The guest replied: “I’ve done it without the jumpsuit, but I have kept the cape on.
“The only difficulty with that (the jumpsuit) is they’re studded, you see, and they get very spiky and so they can cut you in places that you wouldn’t imagine… And if you’re on top of somebody…”
Brand then exclaimed: “You’re a bit of a brutal lover there!”
The 42-year-old’s co-host, Matt Morgan, later joked: “You showed yourself up, as you always do… sexualising everything.”
A discussion about prostitution was later aired.
Global, which owns Radio X, described the comments as a “fleeting moment” and said the station was targeted towards an “alternative” audience.
However, it acknowledged that “some of the further comments strayed into more mature themes” and the ruling would be “taken on board for future shows”.
Ofcom said Global “could have done more to limit the effect the ‘adult themes’ may have had on children in the audience”.