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FACTBOX - BBC chief's statement on Ross and Brand

LONDON (Reuters) - The BBC has suspended Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross for crude comments they left on the answerphone of actor Andrew Sachs and broadcast on a radio show.

Here is the full statement from BBC Director-General Mark Thompson, issued on Wednesday:

“I would like to add my own personal and unreserved apology to Andrew Sachs, his family and to licence fee payers for the completely unacceptable broadcast on BBC Radio 2.

BBC audiences accept that, in comedy, performers attempt to push the line of taste. However, this is not a marginal case. It is clear from the views expressed by the public that this broadcast has caused severe offence and I share that view.

Since Sunday, I have been in regular contact with the senior executives I tasked with handling this issue. The investigation that I instructed Tim Davie to conduct is nearing completion, and I am returning to London to review the findings and, in the coming days, announce what action we will take.

In the meantime, I have decided that it is not appropriate for either Russell Brand or Jonathan Ross to continue broadcasting on the BBC until I have seen the full report of the actions of all concerned.”

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