Russell Brand claims Andrew Sachs was 'okay with the granddaughter joke' before it was aired on his Saturday night Radio 2 show.

According to the Sunday Mirror, the comedian says the controversial phone call was given the green light by Fawlty Towers actor Andrew Sachs before it was broadcast.

The comedian, who is now in Los Angeles, told the newspaper: "The grey area is that our brilliant young producer, Nic Philps, called Andrew Sachs afterwards and said, 'Is it okay? Can we use it? Do you mind?' And he said, 'Oh yeah but can you tone it down a bit?' So we did. We took out the more personal stuff."

The prank phone call left by Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand on the latter's Saturday show received thousands of complaints after a media storm and led to the suspension of Ross.

The pair left obscene messages on actor Andrew Sachs' voicemail about his 23-year-old granddaughter Georgina Baillie.

Russell Brand quit his show in the wake of the controversy and has since headed to the US.

Radio 2 broadcast an apology on Saturday night, saying it was an "unacceptable intrusion" into the private lives of Sachs and his granddaughter and a "serious breach of editorial standards".

09/11/2008 10:47:40