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Sachsgate: The obscene prank calls from Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross that 'haunted' Andrew Sachs before his death

Mirror logo Mirror 2/12/2016 Claire Rutter
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Andrew Sachs was an acclaimed actor and beloved star of Fawlty Towers, who sadly died after a four-year battle with dementia, and during that time he was still haunted by a highly-publicised prank call from Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross.

The obscene call sparked what is now known as Sachsgate.

Sachs, who was known for planning Spanish waiter Manuel in the hit show, died at a care home last week at the age of 86 after a secret battle with dementia.

Back in 2014, he spoke at length about how he was still haunted by the offensive phone call from Ross and Brand, six years after the incident.

At the time, Brand and Russell left several vulgar messages on Sachs' answerphone, bragging that comedian Russell had had sex with his granddaughter Georgina Baillie.

Credits: Facebook © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: Facebook In an article titled 'Cruelty that will haunt me forever' for the Daily Mail in 2014, he went on to describe the anguish his family suffered throughout the ordeal.

“For all my family, the unpleasant incident that hit the headlines in October 2008 was hugely distressing,” he wrote.

Sachs was asked by a BBC Radio show producer if he wanted to be interviewed for a pre-recorded part of the show, but he was too busy.

“Their lewd banter was deeply hurtful for me, my wife, our daughter and our granddaughter. It not only caused pain but huge stress to the family,” he recalled.

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The actor lodged a complaint to the BBC and held a meeting with Director General Mark Thompson. The BBC was slapped with a £150,000 fine from Ofcom.

The pre-recorded radio show was aired and the BBC later sacked Brand and suspended Ross for three months, admitting the remarks were “grossly offensive” and a “serious breach of editorial standards”.

Ross had reportedly described the incident, for which he was suspended without pay for 12 weeks, as “fun”.

“Maybe it was fun for him, but it was excruciating for us,” Sachs said.

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“To be honest, the whole Brand/Ross saga remains a painful experience that we’d very much like to put behind us. But it keeps resurfacing.”

Brand reportedly penned a letter to Sachs finally apologising for his controversial radio prank in 2014.

In a letter written in 2014, obtained by the Daily Mail, the funnyman apologised for the "distress, sadness and turbulence" caused.

It read: "I apologise for the distress, sadness and turbulence this has brought into your life. I apologise for the damage I have caused to your family relationships and for robbing you of your peace of mind. This behaviour and the consequences you have suffered as a result of my actions are unacceptable.

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"This is not the man I want to be and I wholeheartedly apologise to you both.

"I am sorry too that it has taken so long for me to write to you expressing this sentiment to which the two of you are entitled... please do not hesitate to contact me... My sincere apologies for the hurt I have caused you and your family."

At the time Andrew said he was appalled by the incident, saying: “Lessons must be learned and I hope they will be.”

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