Russell Brand returns to live radio for first time since Andrew Sachs row

Comedian’s new Sunday morning show on Radio X comes nine years after he quit BBC following ‘Sachsgate’ row

Russell Brand is making a return to live radio presenting for the first time since he resigned from BBC Radio 2 in 2008 following a prank against actor Andrew Sachs.

The comedian will host a new Sunday morning show on the station Radio X, formerly known as Xfm.

“I’m going to be on Radio X – the show will be about joy, unity and togetherness,” Brand said in a statement. “Sorry for any offence in advance.”

Appearing on Chris Moyles’ breakfast show on the station on Thursday morning, he told listeners: “I’m just thinking that is the kind of thing that article 50 will trigger. Now we’ve triggered article 50, Russell Brand goes back on the radio!’ There, that’s reality now.”

His weekly programme will run between 11am and 1pm, starting this Sunday.

Ofcom fined the BBC over the “Sachsgate” affair in 2008, when Brand and fellow presenter Jonathan Ross left messages on the former Fawlty Towers actor’s voicemail that were described as “gratuitously offensive, humiliating and demeaning”.

Brand and Radio 2’s controller, Lesley Douglas, both resigned, with Ross later moving to ITV. Both men have since said they regret the incident.

Matt Deverson, Radio X’s managing editor, said: “Radio X is home to big personalities and we’re incredibly excited to be welcoming Russell back for his live radio return. He’s a huge talent and his Sunday morning show is going to become a must-listen for fans of his irreverent humour. He’s part of the Radio X family and we can’t wait to have him back on air.”

The broadcaster, who has also published several highly successful books and in recent years has moved into political activism, provoked a number of complaints following last week’s Comic Relief broadcast, after he audibly swore before the watershed in response to a technical glitch.

Radio X launched nationally in September 2015 as a rock-focused overhaul of the indie XFM.

• This article was amended on 31 March 2017. An earlier version described Radio X as a “digital-only station”. To clarify: it is available across the UK on digital radio, but is on FM in London and Manchester.


Esther Addley

The GuardianTramp

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