RUSSELL Brand and Jonathan Ross have told of their regret and embarrassment about sparking the Sachsgate scandal which engulfed the BBC as they discussed the incident together on TV for the first time.
Brand said he was wrapped up in the comedy value of their stunt, and lost perspective of "reality" when they left near-the-knuckle messages.
The pair reflected on their behaviour and told how it brought them close as friends as Brand appeared on an edition of The Jonathan Ross Show to be screened on ITV tomorrow.
They caused a furore in 2008 when they left smutty messages on veteran actor Andrews Sachs's answerphone during a pre-recorded Radio 2 show. It led to the departure of the station controller, and both Brand and Ross left the BBC as a result.
Ross said: "Let's deal with this, because we're both keen to put this behind us. People, I think, are perhaps curious as to how we felt about it afterwards. We did both regret the furore that we caused, and also the hurt it may have caused Mr Sachs and his family."
Brand added: "Obviously we regretted it because it became difficult to distinguish the media phenomena from the obvious impolite act. I consider myself quite a polite person right, but sometimes you get excited when you're doing a joke. You know when David Attenborough, he was saying when the camera men are filming an animal and they sort of think 'this is brilliant' and they forget it's actual reality -- I sometimes think like that with comedy.
"I'm doing the joke, and I think 'this is brilliant, this is brilliant' and then you sort of realise, 'oh that's reality with real consequences'. I went 'oh it's only a joke' -- I didn't realise that we were part of the frequency of reality."