For some reason a ludicrous whinge about radio presenter Jeremy Vine saying he had man flu has made the news.
He was apparently reported for political incorrectnes under the BBC's equality and diversity rules.
He referred to his man flu while talking to Dr Sarah Jarvis about whooping cough and other illnesses common in the 1800s. Vine explained on Twitter:
Oh great, someone's reported me under the BBC Equality and Diversity Code because I told @DrSarahJarvis yesterday I had man flu.
The BBC confirmed that a complaint had been received, and a Radio 2 spokesman later said no further action will be taken. The broadcaster investigates possible breaches of standards, but does not investigate minor, misconceived, hypothetical,
repetitious or otherwise vexatious complaints .
A Radio 2 spokeswoman said:
Jeremy was clearly making fun of himself, no BBC policies have been breached and the complaint has been dismissed.
A few viewers have vented their 'fury' at the BBC after this week's episode of Doctor Who showed a plane being
shot out of the sky by a missile.
The super sensitive tweeters claimed the timing of the episode was insensitive given the terror attack on the Russian plane flying out of Egypt.
In the episode a shapeshifting alien takes the form of Clara Oswald and shoots at the plane with the with the intention of killing the doctor and all of the others on board The missile is seen hitting the plane before it explodes and is brought to
the ground where viewers were shown the burning wreckage.
The Daily Mail dredged up a few trivial tweets:
Surprised the BBC would show a plane being shot down given recent events #doctorwho
Given the situation in Egypt, perhaps blowing up a plane on this week's episode of Doctor Who was not wise.
Can't believe #doctorwho showed a plane being shot out of the sky given the current news #insensitive.
A BBC spokesman responded:
The episode was clearly signposted as science fiction set in a fantasy world and no one died in the scene.
Update: Official BBC response: Gotcha, it was a military aircraft, not a commercial airliner
We received complaints from viewers who felt that scenes showing the destruction of an aeroplane were inappropriate in light of recent events.
We're aware that elements of drama programmes can sometimes bring to mind real events, and we always think very carefully about this.
In this case, though, the story was presented as a science fiction fantasy, far removed from the real world. The episode didn't depict a passenger-carrying commercial airliner - it was a military aircraft on official business - and both the
Doctor and his companion survived.
With this in mind we didn't feel the scenes would be outside of most viewers' expectations for the programme, but we appreciate the differing feedback we've received.
Update: Complaints to Ofcom will surely be made into paper planes for crashing into the waste bin
Ofcom has decided against launching an investigation into the plane crash episode of Doctor Who. A spokesman said:
We received a number of complaints that it was insensitive to broadcast this episode, which featured a plane being shot down, so close to events in the Sinai peninsula. In our view, the science fiction nature of Doctor Who and the storyline
created a sufficient distinction from recent events. We therefore will not be taking the matter forward for investigation.
The BBC responded to a complaint without informing viewers what the
complaint was about. The BBFC said:
Strictly Come Dancing,
BBC One, 24 October 2015
We received complaints from viewers unhappy with Bruno Tonioli's use of strong language during this episode.
We're sorry for any offence caused by Bruno's remark during the live show. Bruno made the comment in the heat of the moment, and apologised immediately when he realised what he had said. Tess also apologised to viewers, as did the Strictly team
on Twitter. The remark was removed from the iPlayer version of the show.
In fact Bruno said 'bollocks'. When passing his verdict on Jay and Aliona Vilani's dance, he shrieked: Oh yeah! those are the bull's bollocks! Tess Daly then apologised to viewers, telling them: I would just like to apologise for Bruno's
language there, he got a little over-excited .
Newspapers generally reported that Ofcom had dismissed complaints about the pre-watershed use of the word 'bollocks' with the inference that it was OK to use pre-watershed. However an Ofcom TV censor has written to the Times to clarify that in
fact the word 'bollocks' is not OK before the watershed, it's just that the Strictly Come Dancing presenter grovelled enough that the programme was let off from the transgression of the censorship rules.
In a letter to The Times, Ofcom's Director of Content Standards, Licensing and Enforcement, Tony Close, explained the TV censor's decision:
In deciding not to pursue complaints about Strictly Come Dancing, we took into account the live, accidental nature of the incident and clear recognition by the other judges and presenter that this was unacceptable.
We also recognised the swift and sincere apology by the presenter.
We continue to enforce the watershed to protect audiences and will take swift, robust action when broadcasters get it wrong.
We received complaints from viewers who felt that some of the content of Cuffs wasn't appropriate for an 8pm time slot.
Cuffs is an ambitious new drama for the 8pm slot on BBC One, and aims to reflect the reality of police work and the challenges facing the police force. This means it will sometimes tackle difficult issues. We took care to make potential viewers
aware of the nature of the series, through trails and pre-publicity, so that people could make an informed decision as to whether they wanted to watch.
At the same time, we're aware of our responsibilities to our audience and, as with all programmes, a great deal of thought went into appropriate scheduling. The content and placing of Cuffs was carefully considered at a senior level and we felt it
was not beyond general audience expectations for a drama of this nature at 8pm. That said, we accept that tastes vary enormously and that some viewers might have a different point of view.
The BBC has suspended a radio DJ who said breastfeeding in public was unnatural and must be stopped .
Radio Solent DJ Alex Dyke said during a phone-in on his Wednesday morning show that only librarian-type, moustachioed women breastfed in public and men who were not repelled by breastfeeding were wimps . He also said yummie mummies wouldn't feed their children in public because they
know it is not a good look and formula milk is just as good . He went on to say:
My point was fat chavvy mums with their boobs out on buses isn't a good look. A classy discreet mum is absolutely fine. It was ok in the stone age when we knew no better, when people didn't have their own teeth, but now I just think a public area is not
the place for it and fellas don't like it.
A BBC spokesperson said:
Following unacceptable comments made on air yesterday, Alex Dyke has been suspended pending an investigation, so he will not be on air tomorrow.
The BBC has also removed the show from iPlayer. It is not yet clear whether Dyke has been sacked or suspended, but given the ranking of offence on the PC list of serious crimes, then surely he will be sacked.
During his Thursday morning show, Dyke issued an apology:
Yesterday on the show I spoke about breastfeeding. The comments I made during the broadcast were unacceptable and I would like to apologise for any offence caused.
But apologies are never enough these days, and the PC lynch mob always bays for extreme sanctions. A petition calling for Dyke to be taken off air received about 6,000 signatures, whilst the Telegraph reported that Dyke's show had received hundreds of
comments on social media and on parenting forums.
TV and radio censor Ofcom said it had received 14 complaints and had requested a recording of the show to assess whether to investigate. The BBC declined to say how many complaints it had received, citing a policy to withhold numbers when it suspects lobbying or media coverage
has encouraged people to complain.
Alex Dyke, BBC Radio Solent, 12 August 2015 BBC Logo
We received complaints from listeners who were unhappy with comments Alex Dyke made during a phone-in on breastfeeding on his programme.
It has been made clear to Alex Dyke that comments he made during a phone-in on breastfeeding on his BBC Radio Solent show this Wednesday 12 th August were unacceptable. He has since made the below on-air apology on Thursday 13 th August, and has not been
on air today: Yesterday on the show I spoke about breastfeeding. The comments I made during the programme were unacceptable and I would like to apologise for any offence caused.
BBC bosses have been finalising contingency plans in case they can't air a lot of Kanye West's set from Saturday night's Glastonbury headline slot because of strong or 'offensive' language.
They want to avoid a repeat of ITV's embarrassment which saw the channel mute the audio during his performance of All Day, due to repeated mentions of the word 'nigger'. A BBC source said:
The set list can change at the last minute, so who knows what Kanye could say on stage?
There are contingency plans in place. A warning will be broadcast ahead of his set, advising viewers to expect bad language, but as he comes on at 10.15pm there's hope it will be acceptable post-watershed.
Given his excessive swearing at the Brits, there will be a lot of nervy execs during his performance.
Given the post-watershed hour, the BBC decided not to bleep Kanye West for his Glastonbury performance, the BBC did though embarrass itself over a puerile attempt at censoring the strong language for the subtitles.
BBC Subtitles tried a new approach by replacing offensive words with words that sounded similarly but didn't include profanity.
This way, they got motherducker and shut the lock up and ligger / ligga and so, so many more hilarious words. Whoever was working on BBC Subtitles that night eventually lost heart and replaced all with the generic [HE
These ludicrous substitutions certainly amused some viewers and fun was to be had by all on Twitter.
Meanwhile 44 whinged to TV censor Ofcom about the strong language.
We received complaints from some viewers who were unhappy with some of the language used by Kanye West during his headline set.
The performance was broadcast after the watershed and clear warning notices were given that it may contain strong language -- both at the start of the show and again, with a caption placed on screen just as Kanye's act started.
Test Match Special is well known for easy going banter, but the BBFC threw a hissy fit when Geoff Boycott joked that
England cricketer Stuart Broad wasn't smacked enough by his mother when he was little.
This ludicrously prompted an inquiry by the BBC Trust after a listener complained that it somehow condoned physical abuse of children.
Boycott was joking to Henry Blofeld about Chris Broad's tendency to think he is always right when being quick to use up limited reviews of umpiring decisions. Boycott said:
His mum didn't smack him enough when he was little, I reckon. See I grew up in that [era]. No political correctness then. You got a little clip from your mum. That sorted you out.
A listener, who also could have done with a few more parental smacks, complained after the broadcast it had condoned the physical abuse of children and said the comments were insensitive and inappropriate .
The complaint was rejected by the BBC's editorial complaints unit, saying Blofeld and Boycott were very well known to the audience and had well-established characters .
The complaint was later escalated to the BBC Trust, but trustees ruled out an appeal saying it had little chance of success. It acknowledged the seriousness of protection of children but said the audience would have understood that there
was no serious intent behind the remark . It said it was clear that the remarks were made in the context of criticising the behaviour of the player who appealed to the umpire that a cricketer was out in circumstances when it was evident he
was wrong .
The BBC explains its commendable policy in a blog post:
Since a European Court of Justice ruling last year, individuals have the right to request that search engines remove certain web pages from their search results. Those pages usually contain personal information about individuals.
Following the ruling, Google removed a large number of links from its search results , including some to BBC web pages, and continues to delist pages from BBC Online.
The BBC has decided to make clear to licence fee payers which pages have been removed from Google's search results by publishing this list of links. Each month, we'll republish this list with new removals added at the top.
We are doing this primarily as a contribution to public policy. We think it is important that those with an interest in the right to be forgotten can ascertain which articles have been affected by the ruling. We hope it will contribute to
the debate about this issue. We also think the integrity of the BBC's online archive is important and, although the pages concerned remain published on BBC Online, removal from Google searches makes parts of that archive harder to find.
The pages affected by delinking may disappear from Google searches, but they do still exist on BBC Online. David Jordan, the BBC's Director of Editorial Policy and Standards, has written a blog post which explains how we view that archive as a
matter of historic public record and, thus, something we alter only in exceptional circumstances. The BBC's rules on deleting content from BBC Online are strict; in general, unless content is specifically made available only for a limited
time, the assumption is that what we publish on BBC Online will become part of a permanently accessible archive. To do anything else risks reducing transparency and damaging trust.
One caveat: when looking through this list it is worth noting that we are not told who has requested the delisting, and we should not leap to conclusions as to who is responsible. The request may not have come from the obvious subject of a story.
Government sources have denied reports that media regulator Ofcom was set to take over regulation of the BBC.
The forthcoming green paper on the BBC is likely to call for the abolition of the BBC Trust without backing an alternative regulator, according to sources close to the government.
There is going to be an open consultation, said one source. To say a decision has been taken is just nonsense.
Options for alternative regulatory structures are likely to form part of the green paper set to be published before parliamentary recess on 20 July. The consultation exercise is likely to include a cross section of people within the industry as
well as the public.
According to sources, there are due to be four or five key themes that the green paper will explore, including governance and, perhaps more controversially, privatisation or part-privatisation of BBC Worldwide .
When BBC Films announced it was to remake Swallows and Amazons, it stressed that the production would stay true to Arthur Ransome's classic. At least as far as political correctness would allow. The pluckiest of the Walker children has been
renamed after it was decided a character called Titty would offend the easily offended, and so the character has been renamed Tatty.
Ransome based the characters on a real-life family, the Altounyans. One of their number, Mavis, was nicknamed Titty after the Joseph Jacobs' children's story Titty Mouse and Tatty Mouse.
Christine Langan, head of BBC Films, alluded to the ludicrous political correctness and commented that the film harks back to a pre-health and safety generation .
Gardeners have ridiculed the BBC after a presenter apologised for Alan Titchmarsh using the term bastard trenching on the Breakfast Show . Titchmarsh used the term while explaining the practice of double digging, a technique used to
improve soil drainage. He said:
There's also another name for it, which sounds dreadful, it's called 'bastard trenching' and by the end of it you realise it's a very fitting name for it.
Moments later, presenter Louise Minchin told viewers:
We just have to apologise for some of the language that was used in the last couple of minutes.
Titchmarsh protested saying:
Oh no, no, no, no, it's a term in a gardening book. I shan't repeat it, but it's not offensive at all.
Gardeners and viewers expressed their incredulity at the BBC's apology, with some rightfully noting the BBC as utterly ridiculous and pathetic .
Titchmarsh said he had been bemused by the BBC's apology but added that he was rather heartened that almost everybody said 'oh, how ridiculous' as that was my reaction as well.
A BBC spokesprat defended the show's decision to apologise to viewers for using a gardening term:
For those viewers who had missed Alan Titchmarsh's earlier explanation regarding the gardening term, we decided to say sorry as courtesy in case there was any offence caused.
The BBC were a little bit PC and refused to specify what exactly was being complained about in the broadcast of The Wrong Mans . It seems likely that it was the Season 2 episode: Action Mans + Wise Mans. The words to the Twelve Days
of Christmas are interrupted by screeching tyres and a siren, resulting in a shocked utterance: Jesus fucking Christ!
The BBC comments:
A viewer who had otherwise enjoyed this post-watershed comedy thriller complained about a sequence in which a character expressed astonishment by coupling Jesus Christ with one of the strongest swear-words.
Research makes clear that viewers and listeners find the combination of the strongest swear-words with holy names significantly more offensive than either when used separately. The phrase in question calls for stronger editorial justification than
was apparent in this case.
The finding has been shared with BBC Television's Compliance Managers and senior management. They have been reminded that any proposal to use the phrase in question would require very strong editorial justification.
George Osborne has signalled that he favours the handover of BBC regulation from the BBC Trust to the current media censor Ofcom. Speaking to the Radio
Times, Osborne said:
The trust arrangement has never really worked. I've never understood why the BBC is so frightened of regulation by Ofcom. It's not as if ITV is poorly regulated. Ofcom has proved itself to be a robust regulator.
The BBC Trust was established in 2007, taking on the responsibilities formerly exercised by the board of governors for setting a strategic direction for the BBC and exercising oversight of its work in the supposed interests of licence-fee payers.
On 2 February 2014 Top Gear broadcast an item comparing hatchback cars from the 1980s with their modern equivalent. The presenters each chose a car. Richard Hammond's choice was a Vauxhall Nova, which the other two presenters felt was inferior to their
cars and comments were made about this in relation to Richard Hammond's lack of style. When they arrived at the motor circuit to race their cars, Jeremy Clarkson stated:
We arrived at the terrifying Shelsley Walsh Hill Climb. Germany has the Nurburgring, America has Pikes Peak, we have this. It's more than half a mile long and at the bottom of this fearsome river of tarmac we were given more details of our challenge.
Sometime later, after the other two presenters had completed the circuit, a voice-over from James May said As I pondered on that, Jeremy prepared the course for Hammond's Nova. Jeremy Clarkson was then seen putting up a placard on a wooden hut on
which Pikey's Peak was written. Richard Hammond was then shown driving his car up to the start line.
The initial complaint stated that the sign had no relevance to the programme and was:
Grossly offensive and racist to a minority community, the Gypsy Traveller community. They are one of the 9 protected characteristics within the Equality Act 2010 and do not deserve to be treated like this, especially not on national TV.
The complaint was escalated through the full and long BBC complaints procedure until reaching the rarely achieved appeal to the BBC Trust, who concluded:
The Appeal Committee wish to state that it had carefully considered the case made by the complainants and the information they provided, and had accepted that the word pikey did have the potential to be deeply offensive to the Gypsy and Traveller
communities, most notably when specifically attributing negative characteristics to these minority groups. The Committee was also mindful that some words, including pikey , can be used in an abusive context. The Committee therefore advised
programme makers to bear in mind the potential for offence this word may have in some circumstances and advised extreme care and sensitivity when employing it in programming. Although the Committee accepted that the word pikey has evolved to have
a meaning distinct from the Gypsy and Traveller communities, it nevertheless advises considerable caution in its use.
Finally the Committee noted that the complainants wanted the Editorial Guidelines to directly address the possible dual usage of the word pikey . The Committee considered that this was not necessary because the Editorial Guidelines were
India's home minister has said that the government would act against the BBC after it ignored a court order and aired a
documentary about a fatal gang rape in which one of the attackers blames the victim.
India's Daughter by British filmmaker Leslee Udwin was to have been shown on Sunday, International Women's Day, in India as well as in Britain, Denmark, Sweden and several other countries.
Indian police and the government got a court order that attempted to halt the screening. Indian authorities wrote to the BBC calling for the film not to be broadcast or posted online anywhere in the world, but the BBC brought it forward to air on
The BBC said in a statement that it had moved the screening time forward given the intense level of interest and to enable viewers to see this incredibly powerful documentary at the earliest opportunity.
In a letter written by the BBC's director of TV Danny Cohen and obtained by The Independent, the broadcaster said it:
Appreciates [the government's] concern but said that the film represents an important account of an event that galvanised Indian opinion to ensure such tragedies are not repeated.
Indian viewers cannot see it on the BBC's website, but it could be seen on YouTube.
In the film Mukesh Singh, who was among four men convicted and sentenced to death for the 2012 rape and murder, said a girl is far more responsible for rape than a boy . Mukesh Singh is one of the men sentenced to death for the 2012 Delhi bus rape
A decent girl won't roam around at 9 o'clock at night. ... Housework and housekeeping is for girls, not roaming in discos and bars at night doing wrong things, wearing wrong clothes.
Leslee Udwin, the director of the documentary, said banning the film had brought India into disrepute by obstructing free speech.
The director of a documentary about the gang rape and murder of a woman in Delhi has said India committed international suicide by banning the film and asking for YouTube to remove all links to it.
The film, India's Daughter , was broadcast in Britain last week on BBC4 and many YouTube users have posted a recording of the programme on the site. It is available until Wednesday night in the UK on iPlayer .
Indian police said the ban was imposed as comments in the film by one of those convicted of the crime created an atmosphere of fear and tension.
Parliament's Culture, Media and Sport Committee's has published a report on a wide range of issues about the BBFC. In
particular the report calls for the BBC to be funded by a tax on all households, not just those watching the BBC.
The document is the result of an 18-month inquiry and may form a key plank in the government's approach to charter renewal.
It provides a scathing assessment of the BBC Trust and calls for the governing body to be replaced by a unitary BBC board -- chaired by a powerful nonexecutive -- and a separate Public Service Broadcasting Commission (PSBC), which will hold the
corporation to account and have wider industry duties.
The MPs put forward a new vision for BBC governance. They said a unitary board should be established, comprising a government-appointed non-executive chairman, a majority of independent directors and a small number of executives, including the
The report also calls for the censorship duties of the BBC Trust to be transferred in their entirety to the current TV censor, Ofcom.
The BBC has responded to a few whiges about the recent BAFTA awards ceremony hosted by Stephen Fry:
BBC One, 8 February 2015 BBC Logo
We received complaints from viewers unhappy with some of Stephen Fry's language while presenting the BAFTAs
The BAFTAs is not a BBC event, but during our coverage of the awards ceremony we try to find a compromise between presenting the events of the night as they happened, while remaining within the expectations of the majority of the viewers at home - which
saw over 5.5 million people tuning in to watch. Attitudes to strong language vary enormously and we considered very carefully how to reflect this.
Stephen, whose irreverence and style is extremely well-known to viewers, has presented the BAFTAs for several years. Any strong language was used after the watershed, and there was a presentation announcement at the start of the programme warning viewers
that the broadcast would contain language of this nature.
We accept that some viewers disagreed with this approach, and this feedback has been noted.
As usual the BBC does not outline what was being complained about. But of course the Daily mail is more than happy to glory in the 'outrage':
Host Stephen Fry made a number of risqe and foul-mouthed remarks during Sunday's award ceremony, which was watched by 5.5 million viewers when it was aired on the BBC.
At one point the comedian told the audience it was pissing down with stars inside, while later he introduced Tom Cruise as Tom fucking Cruise when the Mission Impossible star came on stage to present an award.
The comedian, a regular host of the film awards, also raised eyebrows among audience members after apparently imitating scientist Stephen Hawking's electronically synthesised voice.
The BBC confirmed it had received 293 complaints about language during the show .
The Islamists who committed the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris should be not be described as terrorists by the BBC, a
senior executive at the corporation has said.
Tarik Kafala, the head of BBC Arabic, said the term terrorist was too loaded to describe the actions of the men who killed 12 people in the attack on the French satirical magazine. Kafala told The Independent :
We try to avoid describing anyone as a terrorist or an act as being terrorist. What we try to do is to say that 'two men killed 12 people in an attack on the office of a satirical magazine'. That's enough, we know what that means and what it is.
Terrorism is such a loaded word. The UN has been struggling for more than a decade to define the word and they can't. It is very difficult to. We know what political violence is, we know what murder, bombings and shootings are and we describe
them. That's much more revealing, we believe, than using a word like terrorist which people will see as value-laden.
Kafala's are in line with the BBC's editorial guidelines on reporting terrorism. The guidelines state:
[The BBC] does not ban the use of the word. However, we do ask that careful thought is given to its use by a BBC voice. There are ways of conveying the full horror and human consequences of acts of terror without using the word 'terrorist' to
describe the perpetrators.
The value judgements frequently implicit in the use of the words 'terrorist' or 'terrorist group' can create inconsistency in their use or, to audiences, raise doubts about our impartiality. It may be better to talk about an apparent act of
terror or terrorism than label individuals or a group.
When reporting an attack, the BBC guidelines say it should use words which specifically describe the perpetrator such as bomber , attacker , gunman , kidnapper or militant .
[But such obvious avoidance of attributing terrorists to causes does little except emphasise that the BBC is providing a propaganda slant on the news. It just comes across as politically correct double speak].
The BBC got in a tangle about its own rules banning the representation of the religious character Muhammad in any shape or form , it has emerged
after a Charlie Hebdo cover featured on BBC1's flagship 10pm news on Thursday.
The news bulletin featured library footage of Charlie Hebdo editor Stephane Charbonnier, who was shot and killed in Wednesday's terrorist attack on the French satirical magazine's Paris offices, holding up a special edition of the magazine four
years ago featuring a cartoon of Muhammad on its front page threatening readers with a hundred lashes if you don't die laughing .
It appeared to contradict the BBC's own editorial guidelines which were coincidentally read out on BBC1's Question Time , which followed the news.
Question Time presenter David Dimbleby said: I wouldn't be doing my duty if I didn't read this out from the BBC editorial guidelines. Dimbleby quoted extensively from a section of the guidelines on the use of still photographs and
images which said:
Due care and consideration must be made regarding the use of religious symbols in images which may cause offence.
The Prophet Mohammed must not be represented in any shape or form.
The BBC1 programme also tweeted a link to the BBC guidelines but the page had been censored by Friday afternoon.
The BBC then made up some bollox about the guidelines being in the process of being revised. The BBC said in a statement:
This guidance is old, out of date and does not reflect the BBC's long-standing position that programme makers have freedom to exercise their editorial judgement with the editorial policy team available to provide advice around sensitive issues on
a case-by-case basis.
About 400 viewers have complained after Rita Ora, the pop star, appeared on BBC One with a plunging neckline.
The singer, known for her I Will Never Let You Down song, wore a low-cut dress with a thigh-high split as she attended the launch of BBC talent show The Voice UK . However, her most daring outfit came later in the day when she
appeared on The One Show in a white trouser suit with nothing underneath the blazer.
399 people complained to the BBC. On the BBC's Points of View message board, one whinged:
Isn't it about time the BBC had a dress code? I do not want to see her boobs hanging out on a family programme. I find it quite disgraceful.
And another prude wrote: I am no prude ...BUT... found it totally inappropriate.
The BBC responded on its website:
We received complaints from some viewers unhappy with Rita Ora's choice of attire on The One Show.
The One Show allows guests to choose their own attire and pop stars often opt for something glamorous or striking. The BBC doesn't feel that Rita's outfit would be outside of most viewers' expectations, but we appreciate that tastes vary.