Jonathan Ross has backed up Russell Brand’s claim that neither of the performers wanted the infamous ‘Sachsgate’ phone call to be aired on Radio 2.

Speaking to the Radio Times, Ross said the October 2008 broadcast that landed him and Russell Brand in hot water when the pair left messages on actor Andrew Sachs’s answerphone, could have been avoided.

He said: “I worried about it from the moment me and Russell left the studio. I kept calling, saying I didn’t think it was right and were they absolutely sure Andrew was OK with it.

“We kept being told it was fine. I couldn’t say this afterwards because the (BBC’s) decision was made for me to say nothing, and I thought the thing to do was follow the rules. But Russell has since said this in his book. Neither of us wanted that to go out.”

Ross also praised his friend Ricky Gervais’s “balls of steel” in his Golden Globes performance but said many of his jokes were “unnecessary”.

Gervais sparked controversy after delivering a string of acerbic put-downs while hosting the US awards ceremony last month.

Ross, 50, said he would not have made the Scientology jibe, in which the Office star referred to “two heterosexual actors pretending to be gay” in a film and then added: “Sort of the complete opposite of some famous Scientologists then.”

But Ross said Gervais’s headline-grabbing jokes would have helped his US career.

Ross said: “It was kind of brave, but a lot of those jokes were kind of unnecessary. I definitely wouldn’t have gone for the Scientology joke. But you have to remember Ricky’s career doesn’t depend on the Golden Globes.

“I’d say what he did will be good for him in America. Being a comedian is dependent on being brave and brutally truthful. I texted him to say well done. I couldn’t have done that. Ricky has balls of steel. I’m very glad it went well.”

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