Jonathan Ross: His Part In My Downfall

It’s sad the things you do sometimes in supermarkets. Tonight, while I was buying milk and bread I stopped at the magazines and was flicking idly through a copy of Esquire, as one does (ha ha). As I flicked through I came upon a column written by David Baddiel. Now, normally I wouldn’t be too bothered about Esquire, as vapid and shallow as it is. The perfect example of this is its reimagining of Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs which was eye-wateringly bad. Still, I did want to read this Baddiel column for some reason, though God alone knows why.

Baddiel claims some responsibility for all of the trouble that started last year by talking about a chain of events that started with him showing up at Brand’s house and being there when Georgina Baillie was. He then claims that she only mentioned that she was Andrew Sachs’ granddaughter as a result of small talk with him, otherwise Brand might never discovered. It was mentioned again when he was on Brand’s Radio 2 show a week or two before the ill-starred Jonathan Ross appearance.

Now, all of that is interesting in its way, but I was roused by the last paragraph he wrote where he said pretty much that everyone was waiting for him to come back to his Friday and Saturday shows and for things to settle back down to normal,

Well, no actually.

I haven’t missed Jonathan Ross in the slightest. In particular it seems that his radio show is utterly dispensable. Since his enforced layoff we’ve had a quick fill-in from the ever dependable Richard Allinson, a pre-Christmas stint with Danny Baker Zoe Ball and a New Year stretch with Liza Tarbuck and Martin Freeman. The latter of these has been a great way to spend a Saturday. Freeman is a known muso and Liza Tarbuck is always good fun (as anyone who’s heard her with Mark Radcliffe will testify). Putting them together has been wonderful because they really do have nice chemistry.

The pick of the bunch was Baker and Ball, however. Anyone who has had previous with Danny Baker’s shows either at Virgin or Radio 1 will know exactly what to expect: a couple of hours of random trivia and inconsequential ramblings about nothing very much. This is, of course, the entire point. Listening to it showed how good Danny Baker is at this type of radio. It also demonstrated just how strained and increasingly self-parodic Ross has become recently, and how inessential he is now. I was just puzzled that David Baddiel seemed to regard it as self-evident that Ross’s return would be a positive thing.

And apparently, Russell Brand’s very latest stand-up talks quite a bit about the whole thing. Unfortunately it doesn’t appear to have made him any less of a preening bell-end. Which is a shame.

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