Jonathan Ross has been criticized for making lewd on-screen jokes about his sex life with a female comedian.
His suggestive comments came after Canadian-born comedian Katherine Ryan delivered a stand-up routine in which she shared intimate details of their relationship on her New Year’s Eve ITV show.
Ryan told viewers: ‘We’ve been married only a short time but I’m still estranged from my husband – enthusiastically.’
After her performance, Ross, 62, repeated the line back to her, saying: ‘I’d still cheer her away…’
Although Jonathan Ross’s New Years comedy special aired after the 9pm watershed, many children would be watching, allowed by their parents to stay up late to see in the New Year.
Ryan told viewers on New Year’s Eve: ‘We’ve been married a short time but I’m still far from my husband – excitedly’
At another point, Ryan described how her husband would leave her to play golf, saying: ‘I don’t have 18 holes – only three.’
The 39-year-old is known for sharing raunchy anecdotes on the comedy circuit, and hasn’t held back despite being on mainstream TV.
Although Jonathan Ross’s New Years comedy special aired after the 9pm watershed, many children would be watching, as their parents allowed them to stay up late to watch into the new year.
The program caused a strong reaction from the astonished audience. On social media, people commented that it was ‘as funny as a cot death’ and ‘the worst comedy show ever’ – and suggested ‘nothing more than the collapse of television’.
Others were left wondering why TV heads still allow Ross to fill his show with lewd comments.
The presenter was suspended by the BBC in 2008 following a national outcry over the so-called ‘Saxgate’ affair.
He appeared on Russell Brand’s Radio 2 show and the pair left crude messages on the answer phone of Fawlty Towers actor Andrew Sachs, who was 78 at the time, including offensive sexual innuendos about his granddaughter and her included ‘jokes’ about menstruation – all of which were broadcast in the country.
After Ross’s BBC contract expired, ITV rescued him from sadness by giving him a late-night talk show.
And their New Year’s Eve comedy special was recorded in mid-December, so the producers had plenty of time to edit Ross’ awkward exchange with Ryan.
Despite his reputation for lewd comments, ITV has given Ross a high-profile judging role on one of its biggest family shows, The Masked Singer.
However, ITV sources say that the bosses are ‘thralls’ to Ross and note that the show is produced by the Hotsauce production company run by Ross and his wife Jane alongside their in-house business, ITV Studios.
Insiders say ITV is acutely aware of the battle between Ross and his BBC rival Graham Norton to win the majority of viewers.
It is widely believed that Norton has star guests and some admit that Ross’s habit of ‘talking dirty’ to celebrities deters A-listers from joining him.
Notably, on New Year’s Eve, while Ross’ guests included Ryan, Loose female panelist Judy Love and comedian Bill Bailey, Norton secured Hollywood royalty Olivia Colman and Hugh Laurie.
Despite his reputation for lewd comments, ITV has given Ross a high-profile judging role on one of its biggest family shows, The Masked Singer, which began its fourth series last weekend.
After Sexgate, a story broken by The Mail on Sunday, the brand disappeared from mainstream TV.
Insiders say ITV is acutely aware of the battle between Ross and his BBC rival Graham Norton to win the majority of viewers
Liked by Ross, Brand bragged on-air about having sex with Georgina Bailey, the granddaughter of actor Andrew Sachs
Instigated by Ross, he bragged on air about having sex with Sachs’s granddaughter, Georgina Baillie.
At the time, she said the broadcast could ‘permanently damage my life’ while Sachs, who died in 2016, said: ‘His crude joke was deeply hurtful … It not only caused pain but enormous stress to the family. ‘
He blamed Ross more than Brand, believing that as a father of two daughters (as well as a son) he should have known better.
Following a public outcry, broadcasting regulator Ofcom fined the BBC £150,000.
Both Brand and Radio 2’s controller, Leslie Douglas, resigned over the incident.
Ross – at the time the public sector’s best-paid figure, at £6 million a year – was suspended for three months before returning, although he was criticized for being insufficiently contorted when he insulted spectators. had promised to be ‘more aware’ about
His second chance was short-lived. In 2010, his show Tonight with Jonathan Ross ended.
But while the brand has faded away from mainstream broadcasting, Ross has been granted a gracious rehabilitation with ITV, where he has continued his cheap formula of sexually offensive material.
His list of on-air controversies includes asking the then Tory leader David Cameron whether he ever masturbated when thinking of Margaret Thatcher; speculating about the taste of a racehorse’s semen; asking Tom Cruise if he has wind up in bed with his wife; and telling distressed Gwyneth Paltrow that she was a mother, explaining that it stands for ‘Mother I’d Like to F***’.
Last year, Ross criticized Radio 2 for becoming ‘risk-averse’ and ‘sluggish’ in introducing more security measures following the Saxgate incident.
ITV, in contrast, appears happy to take a risk with Ross, even if in other areas the broadcaster follows a vigilante agenda.
ITV chief Caroline McCall has chaired a campaign to boost female staff and hire more from ethnic minorities
But perhaps the executives’ love for Ross betrays the fact that many TV bosses represent an egotistical elite based in London, out of sight of nationwide viewers. Certainly, the advertisers who fund ITV don’t like offensive programmes.
ITV chief Caroline McCall has chaired a campaign to boost female staff and hire more from ethnic minorities.
Alerted to campaigns such as the Black Lives Matter movement, she was also responsible for Piers Morgan leaving Good Morning Britain after she asked him to apologize to Meghan Markle after she said she had been having suicidal thoughts. When he experienced it, he could not believe it.
McCall also oversaw the launch of a series of ‘Voc’ self-care classes for staff, as well as networking groups to support and empower women.
It’s also interesting that many comedians are left-wing and there seems to be a revolving door of employment between left-leaning newspapers and TV companies.
McCall was previously boss at the Guardian newspapers, and Ian Katz, Channel 4’s chief content officer, was deputy editor at the Guardian.
His channel regularly employs Ross as a panelist on comedy shows.
Of course, the comedy is cutting edge, and an ITV spokesperson said: ‘Jonathan’s New Year’s Eve show saw the well-known comedian perform his own stand-up routine following the watershed slot. We did not receive any complaint regarding the episode.
But why are countless comics given a free hand by TV producers to spout sexually offensive and misogynistic material?
For example, Jimmy Carr, who was implicated in a tax-avoidance scandal, appears regularly despite making disparaging remarks about people with Down’s syndrome and ‘joking’ about the horrors of the Holocaust.
Ryan opens up about sex during his stand-up show. While this can be seen as a victory for female empowerment, breaking male comics’ monopoly on sexual profanity, others wonder whether feminism has faltered if it simply means that men talk about oral sex and genitals. I admire women for making offensive jokes.
Last year, Ryan, who is young enough to be Ross’ daughter, told how she ‘outed’ a man who worked in the entertainment industry – not Ross – for labeling her a ‘predator’ to his face .
She talks openly about sex during her stand-up shows. While this can be seen as a victory for female empowerment, breaking male comics’ monopoly on sexual profanity, others wonder whether feminism has faltered, if it simply means that men can talk about oral sex and genitals. I admire women for making offensive jokes.
Although the lewd and anti-feminist days of the boys’ Maggie are long gone and the Russell brand has now been ostracized by the mainstream media, Jonathan Ross and his brand of gross sexual banter have been unquestionably embraced by TV bosses Is.
Once upon a time, the justification for giving him his own show was that the presenter who couldn’t pronounce his ‘rupee’ was edgy and ‘invisible’.
Now, however, he stands only as a conspicuous symbol of TV makers’ poor taste, absence of moral barometers and lack of empathy with their audiences.
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