The controversial Video Music Awards host is in trouble in England for leaving lewd voicemails

By Pete Norman
Updated October 29, 2008 04:00 PM

British comedian Russell Brand, who faced criticism when he hosted the MTV Video Music Awards, was forced to resign from the BBC in a furor over offensive comments he left on an elderly actor’s voicemail.

“I now acknowledge it was a really, really stupid thing to do,” said Brand in a video statement released by the BBC. “I was being really silly and caught up in the moment.”

Brand, 33, was hosting a radio program when he and another BBC presenter, Jonathan Ross, left at least four voicemail on the telephone belonging to Fawlty Towers actor Andrew Sachs, 78.

Brand and pal Ross continued with lewd remarks during on-air banter that was directed at Sachs. The pair also made comments about Sachs’s granddaughter, whom Brand had previously dated.

The head of the BBC issued a statement early on Oct. 29 calling the duo’s antics a gross lapse of taste. The complaints – more than 10,000 people spoke out – failed to subside and Brand resigned.