Jonathan Ross’s suspension ends tonight with the first Friday Night with Jonathan Ross in three months, and it looks like it’s going to be a corker. Tom Cruise, Stephen Fry and, er, Lee Evans are his first guests, and reports from last night’s filming say that whilst Ross does seem sincerely sorry – apparently his opening monologue recognises his “responsibilities as a broadcaster” and an apology for “any hurt caused”.
However, Jonathan Ross wouldn’t be Jonathan Ross if he weren’t a little cheeky. His first words are “so, where were we?” and he goes on to tell Tom Cruise that if he ever needs a break from filming then Cruise should just go on a night out with Ross and Russell Brand. To a Ross-supporter like myself, who felt the whole Daily Mail-driven, humourless, hypersensitive debacle was a bit of a farce and more insulting than anything Brand or Ross could have said, it’s good to know that he hasn’t been totally ground under the heel of the man.
But then, what would be the point? Ross is the £18 million man because people like him, and his irreverent style. That’s why his show is one of the most-watched on TV. Obviously, with that sort of exposure there is an inherent responsibility, but if you ask a comedian to push boundaries then occasionally they will break.
His opening show is bound to cause controversy, though, and split opinions. From what we’ve heard, he doesn’t tone down the language at all – a particular thorn in Middle England’s side – and enlists the support of his stellar guests. At one point, Stephen Fry even comments that he is “glad to help [Ross] off the naughty step”. Some of the audience members said that he was swearing so much “it was like he had Tourettes” whilst others said he was effin’ and blindin’ as if to “prove a point”. Others said it was just good to see Ross back, and in fine fettle. Andrew Sachs, on the other hand, made a blanket statement that he doesn’t like Ross’s show, saying that it’s “not an interview show. It’s the Jonathan Ross show”….and that’s a bad thing? The terrible truth is that most people, celebrity or not, are boring. For an on-screen interview to be interesting, at least one of the participants needs to have dollops of charisma. That’s why Lily Allen and Friends or the Charlotte Show Church are so irretrievably awful and embarrassing.
So, from OntheBox.com, welcome back Wossy. Long may you prosper.
By Chris Harding