A campaign group has called for the licence fee to be scrapped in the wake of sex abuse allegations against Russell Brand.
Defund the BBC cited a “chilling and repulsive” exchange between Brand and disgraced paedophile entertainer Jimmy Savile in which the pair joked about offering up a producer for Savile’s gratification.
Brand, 48, has been accused of rape and sexual assaults between 2006 and 2013 when he was at the height of his fame and working for the BBC, Channel 4 and appearing in Hollywood films.
He has vehemently denied the allegations, telling his millions of social media followers in a video: “Amidst this litany of astonishing, rather baroque attacks are some very serious allegations that I absolutely refute.”
Rebecca Ryan, Campaign Director at Defund the BBC, told Express.co.uk licence fee payers had paid for Brand to appear for the corporation and cast doubt on its ability to investigate.
She said: “The BBC has rushed to say that it has ‘launched an inquiry’. Forgive us if we don’t hold our breath. Only one thing will stop this Kafkaesque nightmare and that is cutting off this organisation’s guaranteed income once and for all.
“As shown by poll after poll, the vast majority of Britons now want to scrap the licence fee that forces us to pay for the BBC if we watch any live broadcast TV.
“The BBC is failing. It is in breach of its contract with the British people. The broadcaster must be cut loose and made to stand on its own feet financially.”
A BBC spokesperson said: “The documentary and associated reports contained serious allegations, spanning a number of years. Russell Brand worked on BBC radio programmes between 2006 and 2008 and we are urgently looking into the issues raised.”
A majority of those polled by YouGov in April said the BBC licence fee is “very unfair” (43 percent) while another 18 percent told the pollster it was “unfair”.
The Russell Brand Show began broadcasting in 2006 on BBC Radio 6 Music before moving to BBC Radio 2 after gaining popularity.
Brand left the station in 2008 after he and guest Jonathan Ross made headlines for leaving a “lewd” voicemail for Fawlty Towers actor Andrew Sachs about his granddaughter.
After the initial claims, a BBC spokesperson said the documentary and associated reports contained serious allegations, spanning a number of years.
The Times, Sunday Times and Channel 4’s Dispatches programme first reported the allegations with a further report on Monday (September 18) in which one of his accusers claimed Brand used the BBC’s car service to pick her up from school when she was 16 so she could visit his home.
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Brand ‘absolutely refutes’ allegations
In his video denial, Brand told his followers he received “a litany of extremely egregious and aggressive attacks” from the outlets.
He said amidst the litany of “astonishing, rather baroque” attacks are some “very serious allegations” which he absolutely refutes.
Brand said: “These allegations pertain to the time when I was working in the mainstream. When I was in the newspapers all the time. When I was in the movies, and as I’ve written about extensively in my books, I was very, very promiscuous.
“Now during that time of promiscuity, the relationships I had were absolutely, always consensual. I was always transparent about that then, almost too transparent, and I’m being transparent about it now as well, and to see that transparency metastasized into something criminal, that I absolutely deny, makes me question: Is there another agenda at play?”
He added that there are witnesses whose evidence “directly contradicts” the narratives that the mainstream media outlets are trying to construct.
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