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BBC fined for Russell Brand prank

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A prank pulled by comedian Russell Brand and TV and radio personality Jonathan Ross that went awry last year has cost the BBC £150,000 ($222,000) in fines, the BBC reported today. Brand and Ross, who cohosted a radio show, phoned Fawlty Towers actor Andrew Sachs last October, leaving messages suggesting that Brand had sexual relations with Sachs’ granddaughter. In the ensuing scandal, Brand resigned from the radio show while Ross was suspended for three months. British media regulator Ofcom said the fines were the result of “the extraordinary nature and seriousness of the BBC’s failures” and the “resulting breaches” of its code.

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