Andrew Sachs’ widow has vowed to ‘punch’ Jonathan Ross’ after his infamous ‘Sachsgate’ sex prank on their granddaughter Georgina Baillie with Russell Brand.
In 2008, ‘Sachsgate’ saw Jonathan Ross as a guest on Brand’s BBC Radio 2 show before they left the legendary ‘Fawlty Towers’ actor Sachs a series of explicit voicemails in prank calls, making lewd and sexual suggestions about Brand’s relationship with Baillie – who was once a burlesque dancer before taking to performing with Adam Ant and becoming an actor.
The scandal saw MPs criticise the hosts and the broadcaster, before both Brand and Radio 2 controller Lesley Douglas resigned from the BBC. On 30 October, the BBC suspended Ross without pay for 12 weeks, and the station was fined £150,000 by Ofcom.
“It was horrific,” she said of the incident. “My one sadness is that I never got to hit Jonathan Ross. I have had the most pathetic letters from Russell Brand. One day I’ll get my chance and I’ll be able to hit Jonathan Ross. I just missed it one night. Those two, Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross, are absolutely awful.”
She added: “Russell Brand sent me a three-page letter with his telephone number and his email to get in touch with him and this and that – Jesus, you’ve got to be joking. He was the one who was seeing my granddaughter, that’s how it all started, she told him who her grandfather was.”
Revealing that she had ‘made peace’ with her grandparents, Baillie paid tribute to Sachs on Facebook, writing: “Thank you so much for your kind condolences for my granddad’s passing,” it read. “He was a wonderful inspiration to me.”
Sachs passed away on November 23 and was buried last Thursday (December 1). The comedy and screen legend had been suffering from dementia for four years, his wife said, and spent his final months in a wheelchair and unable to speak.
During a near 60-year career, Sachs worked prolifically in radio, TV and film, regularly landing work as a narrator as well as an actor. In addition to his BAFTA-nominated role in the classic ’70s sitcom Fawlty Towers, he appeared in TV shows including Coronation Street, Casualty and Terry Pratchett’s Going Postal.
More recently, he had a supporting role opposite Maggie Smith, Billy Connolly and Michael Gambon in the 2012 film Quartet.