LONDON (AP) -- The BBC has been fined by Britain's broadcast regulator for lewd phone calls made by TV personality Jonathan Ross and comedian Russell Brand.

Ofcom ordered the BBC to pay 150,000 pounds ($219,000) Friday for an on-air routine last year in which Brand and Ross left recorded messages for the elderly actor Andrew Sachs saying crudely that Brand had had sex with the actor's granddaughter. The two later joked on-air that Sachs might hang himself over the news

The calls to Sachs — best known for playing Spanish waiter Manuel in the 1970s program, "Fawlty Towers" — sparked few complaints initially, but drew thousands after a newspaper reported on the episode.

Brand resigned from his BBC radio show after the incident, and Ross was suspended for three months.