BBC slammed for failing to act on Russell Brand behaviour long before Sachsgate

Russell Brand denies ‘serious allegations’ of Dispatches investigation

The BBC has responded after coming under fire for failing to address concerns about allegations made against Russell Brand, who worked for the company at the height of his career.

The 48-year-old has been accused of rape, sexual assault and emotional abuse in an investigation by The Times and Channel 4’s Dispatches.

The Times reported how former BBC employees had spoken out about Brand’s behaviour.

It goes on to add: “Many felt the BBC should have been awake to the concerns about Brand’s on-air behaviour well before the Sachsgate scandal.”

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Brand was first hired by the BBC in April 2006 before he was moved to Radio 2 later that year.

Many controversies were raised which led to the “Sachgate scandal” in which, in October 2008, Brand and co-presenter Jonathan Ross prank-called actor Andrew Sachs and left a lewd message on his answer phone.

However, it’s been claimed by some the BBC should have already known about Brand’s alleged behaviour.

In response, the BBC has issued a statement arguing the company takes issues “seriously”.

A spokesperson for the BBC stated: “Russell Brand worked for a number of different organisations, of which the BBC was one.

“As is well known, Russell Brand left the BBC after a serious editorial breach in 2008 – as did the then-controller of Radio 2.

“The circumstances of the breach were reviewed in detail at the time.

“We hope that demonstrates that the BBC takes issues seriously and is prepared to act.

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“Indeed, the BBC has, over successive years, evolved its approach to how it manages talent and how it deals with complaints or issues raised.

“We have clear expectations around conduct at work, these are set out in employment contracts, the BBC Values, the BBC Code of Conduct and the Anti-Bullying and Harassment Policy.

“We will always listen to people if they come forward with any concerns, on any issue related to any individual working at the BBC, past or present.”

As part of a lengthy statement on his YouTube, Brand commented: “Amidst this litany of astonishing, rather baroque attacks are some very serious allegations that I absolutely refute”.

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