Russell Brand has apologised for playing an offensive telephone prank on Fawlty Towers actor Andrew Sachs during his BBC Radio 2 programme.

The comedian and actor said he was sorry for leaving a number of obscene answer phone messages with Jonathan Ross, in which the pair joked Brand had slept with Sachs' 23-year-old granddaughter.

Sachs, 78, was said to be "very upset" by the incidents, which occurred during Brand's Saturday evening programme.

On his latest show, 33-year-old Brand said: "Sometimes, you mustn't swear on someone's answer phone and that's why I'd like to apologise personally."

The voicemails were left after Sachs - who played Manuel in Fawlty Towers - did not answer his phone after being unable to appear on Brand's show.

In one message, Ross, 47, was heard shouting "he f**ked your granddaughter" as Brand was leaving a message.

And in another Brand sang: "I said some things I didn't of oughta, like I had sex with your granddaughter, though it was consensual. It was lovely sex. It was full of respect."

The BBC said it was "not aware of receiving a complaint from Mr Sachs".

Meg Pool, Sachs' agent, said she had written to Radio 2 controller Lesley Douglas requesting an unreserved apology over the messages.

Brand was forced to issue a statement in July after an onstage telephone prank in which he claimed to have information about a sex attacker.

The comedian had been performing at the Derngate theatre in Northampton when he borrowed an audience member's phone and called a crime hotline claming to have seen an alleged attacker.

He later said he was "devastated by the possibility" he "may have offended vulnerable people".

"I maintain that through discourse we can illuminate these dark behaviours but that ought not to be at the expense of people's feelings," he added.

27/10/2008 08:42:05