Originally posted by odessasteps I wonder if there would be this much of a brouhaha if it was not the BBC but a private TV or radio station.
Almost certainly not. The BBC always make a good punching bag for the media because:
1. Plenty of people in the media don't like the Beeb for whatever reason (how they're funded, perceived elitist attitude etc). And/or
2. They know there's a good percentage of the public over here love to get all self-righteous about BBC programming because *they* fund it.
For evidence of the latter, only two complaints were received on the night the show aired. By last night that number was up to 30,000 and rising. Obviously it didn't bother that many among the target audience, and of those complaining since I'd wager a good proportion have only heard second or third hand accounts of what happened.
It's kind of been a perfect storm really. The fact it's the BBC, the fact it's Ross (whose salary's already been the subject of one round of outraged headlines) and the fact people want to talk about ANYTHING that takes their mind of the economy going tits up and recent events in Afghanistan all came together to make it what it is today.
For the record, I thought what Ross and Brand did was entirely unfunny, but also entirely not worth complaining about. I find Andrew Sachs' failure to turn up for the original interview reprehensible though
Sadly, I think Leno will do better numbers than Conan only because Leno won't have a lame "comedy" show (I tuned in a few times in the last few weeks, barely chuckled more than twice an episode) leading into the 11pm news.