I've never understood quite what it is about Jonathan Ross that merits 18 million pounds of licence payers money, but I always assumed I wasn't 'getting it' - whatever it was he had. In the current interesting difficulties, it's hard not to indulge in a measure of schadenfreude.
I've a softer spot for Brand's irreverent idiocy than Ross's carefully calculated performances. Davina McCall called them 'silly boys' today. Well Brand may be but it's a very long time since Ross could be called a boy. And beside them both, the incomparably funny Ricky Gervais, emphatically NOT commenting on it all last night, looked like a model of wit and wisdom.
What did surprise me, just at first, was that - as I know from bitter experience - even the word 'Christ' when used in a radio play, has to be 'referred up' as the expression goes, for permission to use it. So how in God's name did they get away with it? And then it struck me that the whole BBC structure allows certain people to become so powerful that nobody in immediate authority dares to question them .
Still, I suspect the furore isn't so much shock as a kind of generalised outrage that public cash should be draining down this particular black hole, cash which, moreover, is so frequently collected with menaces from a cross section of increasingly hard up souls. And I do mean menaces. I am the frequent recipient of communications from the TV licensing authority sent to a television-free holiday house which I look after for some friends. And they are outrageous. If I were to pursue somebody for money - especially somebody who didn't actually OWE me that money - in the inflammatory terms employed by the television licensing authority, I reckon I'd have been taken to court long ago.