The family of Andrew Sachs have appealed to the veteran actor in an effort to heal a feud which is still ongoing more than five years after it erupted as a result of the “Sachsgate” scandal.
In a letter to The Times, the father of model and actress Georgina Baillie said that she has continued to be effectively frozen out by her grandfather after she was the subject of a prank call which led to Jonathan Ross being suspended from the airwaves and the resignation of BBC executives.
Ross and his friend Russell Brand left lewd answerphone messages for Sachs about comedian Brand’s relationship with Baillie which were then broadcast on Radio 2 after being cleared by the corporation.
Now her father Charles Baillie has written an open letter which lays bare the effect the incident still continues to have on his family, and saying he prayed Sachs and his wife Melody would “resume normal relations” by accepting his daughter’s apology.
His letter came in response to a recent interview in which the actor – known to TV viewers for his role as bumbling waiter Manuel in the sitcom Fawlty Towers – said she had not made an effort to repair the damage.
He wrote: “They know really that Georgina has tried regularly to get back in touch over the past six years and her efforts were always rejected – except once, a year ago.”
He outlines how she was “invited back into the fold” on that occasion for a family gathering, but the invitation was then rescinded – possibly because of publicity surrounding an appearance by Brand on Ross’s ITV chat show at around the same time.
Charles Baillie concludes in his plea: “All I can pray for is that Grandad and Grandma Sachs will call Georgina, accept her apologies and resume normal relations. “They are so loved and missed and all are poorer for not being in each others’ lives.”
Brand resigned from his Radio 2 show over the incident and Ross – one of the highest paid stars on the corporation’s books – announced he was quitting the BBC shortly after serving his suspension. The then Radio 2 controller Lesley Douglas resigned from her post as a result of the scandal.