BBC and BBC Trust Watch

 2016



  Strictly Censorship...

Ofcom publishes further details about how TV censorship of the BBC will work


Link Here 10th December 2016

Ofcom logoOfcom has set out how it will take on regulation of the BBC from next April.

This will see the biggest reform of the governance and regulation of the BBC since it was founded.

The Government has decided that a new BBC unitary board will govern and run the BBC, and ultimately be responsible for editorial and management decisions.

Ofcom will become the new external regulator of the BBC. Our job will be to hold the BBC to account.

We have published a statement explaining how we will prepare to undertake our new regulatory duties from the planned effective date, 3 April 2017.

Ofcom's approach to regulating the BBC

As the new external regulator, Ofcom will bring its experience of regulating the wider broadcast and communications sector at a time of increasing convergence.

Ofcom already has roles across many of the BBC's services, from content standards to competition. These new responsibilities broaden the scope of Ofcom's existing work.

Regulation of the BBC will sit within Ofcom's existing teams and will focus on three core areas as laid out in the Charter: content standards; protecting fair and effective competition; and reviewing the BBC's performance.

In order to carry out our new duties effectively and efficiently, and to provide clarity to audiences and the wider sector, we will :

  • Proceed from our principal duty -- as with all our work, our principal objective is to further the interests of citizens and consumers;

  • Recognise that the BBC is the cornerstone of public service broadcasting in the UK -- the BBC has a special status, but we won't give it special treatment;

  • Recognise that responsibility for governance lies with the new BBC Board -- it is for the BBC Board, rather than Ofcom, to determine how to deliver the mission and purposes defined in the Charter. The Board must set the BBC's editorial guidelines. We will hold the BBC to account;

  • Make good use of our depth of knowledge and experience -- we have experience of regulating the broadcasting sector, as well as existing roles in relation to the BBC in the key areas of content standards, competition and performance;

  • Consult widely -- ensure the views of citizens, consumers and stakeholders feed into our work; and

  • Be clear about our expectations and requirements of the BBC -- provide clarity on how we will address issues if things go wrong, to provide certainty to the BBC, its audiences and the wider sector.

Public consultations

In the coming months, Ofcom will develop an 'Operating Framework' for the BBC. This will ultimately contain all of the elements of our regulation across the BBC's content standards, competition and performance.

The Operating Framework will set out the regulatory tools that Ofcom will use to hold the BBC to account. There will be separate consultations on the finer details of our role over the coming, which fall into the following broad categories:

1. Content standards

Viewers and listeners should be able to trust what they see and hear. They should know that steps have been taken to avoid unjustified offence, and that protection from harmful content is in place. Ofcom will set content standards for the BBC so that its viewers and listeners are adequately protected.

The previous Charter and Agreement gave Ofcom shared regulatory oversight of some of the BBC's content standards with the BBC Trust, which will close when Ofcom takes on its new role. The new arrangement hands Ofcom regulatory responsibility for content standards on BBC broadcasting and on-demand programme services including, for the first time, for the accuracy and impartiality of BBC news and current affairs programmes. Ofcom will be updating the rules in its Broadcasting Code to fulfil these new responsibilities.

Ofcom will also create procedures for handling complaints about BBC content standards, and for conducting our investigations and sanctions.

Additionally, we will publish procedures explaining how audiences will be able to obtain an independent opinion from Ofcom on whether the BBC has observed relevant editorial guidelines for online material in its UK Public Services.

2. Protecting fair and effective competition

Fair and effective competition is good for viewers and listeners. It can increase choice and stimulate investment and innovation -- ensuring the provision of a wide range of high-quality and varied programmes, and different ways to access them.

Ofcom will assess the effect of the BBC's activities on audiences and the UK media sector, and set rules as to how the BBC should behave.

We will also impose requirements on the BBC to avoid the relationship between its public-service activities and commercial subsidiaries distorting the market, or creating an unfair competitive advantage for the BBC's subsidiaries.

3. Performance -- holding the BBC to account

Ofcom is currently developing a set of tools to regulate the BBC's performance. This will include an Operating Licence for the BBC's UK public services and may include any performance measures we consider appropriate, further to those set by the BBC, we will consult on this over the course of next year.

As explained in the Charter, we will have a particular focus on assessing the distinctiveness of the BBC's output. We will also hold the BBC to account in relation to its obligations to serve audiences in all four of the UK's nations and for diversity.

As part of the approach to performance, we expect to carry out both ad hoc and periodic reviews of the BBC's services.

 

  In an effort to demonstrate just how grown up and sophisticated we've become...

...Ofcom has added its voice to the lynch mob of censors whingeing at a joke about the Queen


Link Here 22nd November 2016

dont make me laughDon't Make Me Laugh
BBC Radio 4, 21 April 2016, 18:30

Don't Make Me Laugh is a comedy show, hosted by David Baddiel. A panel of comedians taking part in the programme are asked to talk about why a subject is not funny, without making the audience laugh. If the audience does laugh, the subject passes to the next contestant.

Ofcom received 12 complaints about the episode broadcast on 21 April 2016 which featured a discussion about the Queen and sex. Complainants considered that references to the Queen in the programme were offensive and inappropriate. A number of complaints referred to the fact that the programme was broadcast on the Queen's 90th birthday.

The panel of comedians on this programme were Russell Kane, Sara Pascoe, Omid Djalili, and Adam Hess.

Round two of the show was introduced by David Baddiel:

In an effort to demonstrate just how grown up and sophisticated we've become, I would like you Russell Kane to tell us why there is nothing funny about the fact that Announcer: the Queen must have had sex at least four times [laughter from the studio audience].

The panel of comedians responded by making a number of personal comments about Prince Philip and the Queen. For example, Russell Kane said the following:

Four times we have to think of republicanism as we imagine four children emerging from Her Majesty's vulva and for me [audience laughter].

Ofcom considered its Rule 2.3:

In applying generally accepted standards broadcasters must ensure that material which may cause offence is justified by the context.

Ofcom Decision: Breach of rule 2.3

Throughout this segment of the programme, the panel made a number of comments about the Queen in an effort to explain why the subject of that round of the programme was not funny. We considered that comments about the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh were made in a mocking way, which would have been perceived by many listeners as humiliating and intrusive. Ofcom took into account that the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh are public figures with wide exposure in the media. Nonetheless, we considered that the mocking and demeaning tone of these comments made them capable of causing offence. The potential for offence was increased by the fact that these remarks were broadcast on the Queen's 90th birthday.

Ofcom took into account that audiences expect some comedy programming to be challenging and to push at boundaries. However, the reaction of the audience to comedy material is subjective and can vary widely. In this case, the jokes about the Queen were made in a way that was mocking and demeaning. The fact that these jokes were made on her 90th birthday, in Ofcom's view, would have considerably increased the level of offence for many listeners. Furthermore, the level of potential offence was also increased to some extent by the fact this programme was pre-recorded, so that the BBC's editorial decision to broadcast this content on this day was likely to have been perceived by listeners as deliberate and not the result of for example an inadvertent misjudgement made during a live programme.

In Ofcom's view, it is likely that Radio 4 listeners would not have expected comedic content about the Queen of this strength and directness to be included in a Radio 4 comedy programme broadcast in the early evening on her 90th birthday.

We considered also that, for all these reasons, any listeners who had come across this content unawares may well have been surprised and disconcerted to hear it broadcast on Radio 4 at this time, on the Queen's 90th birthday.

The broadcast of this potentially offensive material was not justified by the context, and there was a breach of Rule 2.3 of the Code.

 

  Censorship denied...

Extremist's libel claim against the BBC's Sunday Politics for describing him as an extremist turned down by court on the grounds that the BBC's comment were true


Link Here 28th October 2016

Old BaileyA libel claim brought against the BBC by Chief Imam, Shakeel Begg, has been dismissed today.

Begg, the Chief Imam at Lewisham Islamic Centre, sought damages against the BBC for libel in respect of a broadcast of Sunday Politics presented by Andrew Neil on BBC One, 3 November 2013. He denied being an extremist speaker who had recently promoted and encouraged religious violence by telling Muslims that it would constitute a man's greatest deeds.

Today in a written judgment The Honourable Mr Justice Haddon-Cave dismissed the claim stating that:

Shakeel Begg was something of a Jekyll and Hyde character whose speeches and postings, represent an overwhelming case of justification for the BBC, and that he clearly promotes and encourages violence in support of Islam and espouses a series of extremist Islamic positions.

A BBC Spokesperson said:

We were right to stand by the journalism of Sunday Politics. The judge has concluded, based on the evidence, that Imam Begg has preached religious violence and an extremist worldview in his remarks.

The trial took place between 27 June and 1 July 2016. The BBC defended the case on the basis that the broadcast was substantially true relying upon evidence from six speeches given by Begg to a variety of Muslim audiences between 2006 and 2011.

 

  No royal pardon for David Baddiel...

Radio 4's Don't Make Me Laugh axed, as perhaps jokes about the Queen's sex life were a little bit too funny for the BBC


Link Here 6th October 2016
dont make me laughBBC Radio 4 has axed Don't Make Me Laugh hosted by David Baddiel after 'outrage' over jokes about the Queen's sex life on her 90th birthday .

One pre-recorded episode, which aired at 6.30pm on the day of the Queen's 90th birthday, included the subject The Queen must have had sex at least four times .

The BBC received about 120 complaints about the show and the corporation's governing body, the BBC Trust, ruled that the panellists' comments were personal, intrusive and demeaning .

It is understood that the BBC's decision to drop the series was not based on the BBC Trust ruling and is keen to work with Baddiel again in the future.

 

  Ofcom press censors...

The government and Ofcom discuss censorship powers for text based internet news


Link Here 10th September 2016
bbc news website logo Under the BBC's new 11-year operating agreement, known as its royal charter, its governing body -- the BBC Trust -- will be axed next year and censorship powers will be handed to Ofcom.

But industry sources have told us that this has presented a dilemma around online news, which has become a focus of recent discussions between the BBC, government, and Ofcom.

Abolishing the BBC Trust will effectively create a loophole in censorship powers, meaning the BBC will not be accountable to an independent body for the text articles it publishes on bbc.co.uk/news. Ofcom does not have the power to regulate online news text and, in the case of the BBC, is reluctant to do so. It has no experience of regulating online text and is only set up to regulate video content.

Sources also said that Ofcom has made clear to the government that taking on this task for the BBC could set a tricky precedent. They expressed concern that if Ofcom begins regulating bbc.co.uk/news, the door is then open for these powers to be extended to other broadcasters and publishers. Would you end up with Ofcom regulating Mail Online? asked one person with knowledge of the matter.

Discussions are ongoing and no decisions have been made. An Ofcom spokesman said: We're still in discussions with the government on how the content of the white paper will be delivered.

A Department for Culture Media & Sport (DCMS) spokesman said the BBC's draft charter will make clear how we are addressing this issue when it is published later this month.

 

  Hunting for redress...

BBC Trust investigates presenter who refered to the hunting and shooting lobby as the 'nasty brigade'


Link Here 9th August 2016
bbc wildlifeTV presenter Chris Packham is being investigated by the BBC Trust after describing those involved in hunting and shooting as the nasty brigade .

The Springwatch host made the comments in an article in last October's edition of BBC Wildlife magazine.

The Countryside Alliance complained that he was breaking rules by using his position to spread propaganda . Chief executive Tim Bonner said:

It is bad enough that a BBC magazine should print such blatant political propaganda, but worse that it comes from the pen of one of its high-profile employees.

Packham responded by accusing his critics of trying to neutralise him and others who oppose grouse shooting. In the monthly column, the naturalist wrote that conservation groups were hamstrung by outdated liaisons with the 'nasty brigade' and can't risk upsetting old friends in the rural and shooting communities.

A spokesman for the BBC Trust confirmed an investigation was launched in July  He said:

The editorial standards committee considered a complaint in July and we expect to publish a decision in September.

Update: Cleared

26th December. See  article from theguardian.com

BBC TrustThe BBC Trust has has cleared a column in BBC Wildlife magazine by presenter Chris Packham that the Countryside Alliance claimed breached corporation guidelines on bias.

In his monthly column in the BBC magazine, the Springwatch host said that some wildlife charities were hamstrung by outdated liaisons with the 'nasty brigade' and can't risk upsetting old friends .  The column specifically named the RSPB and the Wildlife Trust for not speaking out against what he said was the UK government's attempt to make hunting foxes with packs of dogs in England and Wales ... easier.

Countryside Alliance chief executive Tim Bonner subsequently accused Packham of blatant political bias over the article and called on the BBC to sack him.  The Countryside Alliance lodged a complaint with the BBC which was considered by the trust's editorial standards committee.

In its ruling the trust said Packham was a freelancer and did not count as staff or a regular BBC presenter or reporter, nor was he working in news or current affairs, and thus was not bound by strict rules against expressing opinions on public policy issues.

It also said the piece had been clearly labelled as opinion, that the publication's new editor would not have used the term nasty brigade and that both the organisations named by Packham had been given the right to reply prior to publication.

 

  Tens more TV censors at Ofcom...

Ofcom boss plans on extra staff for the upcoming extension of remit to cover censorship of the BBC


Link Here 23rd July 2016
sharon whiteA new BBC charter will come into force next year which hands over much of the censorship and complaints handling to Ofcom.

Commenting on the plans for this new job, Ofcom's chief executive Sharon White says the new unitary board at the BBC must be strong enough to act as the first port of call for any complaints so that the regulator could be the backstop for the most serious issues: It will be for the BBC to deal in the first instance with accuracy and impartiality.

That means that despite the BBC attracting 10 times as many complaints as the total for the public service rivals currently overseen by Ofcom -- 250,000 v 25,000 -- White only expects investigations handled by her organisation to roughly double to about 500 a year. She is planning to appoint tens more people to cover the expanded role.

White also says she is opposed to making the regulation of its online content a statutory duty and that the BBC will simply be integrated into its current responsibilities for regulating all other public service broadcasters. She said:

We recognise that the BBC has special status, but we are not planning to give it special treatment. The advantage of [this] is it has to to be consistent and fair with the decisions we would take on ITV, Sky or C4.

White says she was personally very wary about new legislation to give Ofcom greater power to regulate the BBC's online content. Currently, it is regulated by the trust while there is no formal oversight of written content from other broadcasters. While the government white paper stressed that there would be no diminution in the degree of oversight on website text , White is keen to avoid statutory oversight, which would make Ofcom the first government-appointed regulator in the UK to regulate written content online.

 

 Updated: Four old jokes...

BBC ticks itself off for rude royal jokes on the Queen's 90th birthday


Link Here 19th July 2016
radio 4 comedyComic Russell Kane's gag about Her Majesty's private anatomy on the Radio 4 panel show Don't Make Me Laugh wound up a few listeners. There were also jokes about the monarch using the toilet.

Host David Baddiel later apologised for the jokes and blamed the BBC for rescheduling it to go out on the Queen's birthday. He said the pre-recorded comedy had been lined up for next week, but bungling schedulers moved it forward to the day the Queen celebrated her 90th birthday.

One round of the panel game, broadcast at 6.30pm challenged guest comics to speak on the subject: There's nothing funny about the fact the Queen must have had sex at least four times. Kane said:

For me this is just a quadruple representation of why inherited power is so dangerous.

Four times we have to think of republicanism as we imagine four children emerging from Her Majesty's vulva.

The Queen having had sex at least four times is no laughing matter whatsoever because we're forced to imagine Prince Philip and his work in the creation of those children.

BBC executives soon after the broadcast apologised, cancelled repeat broadcasts and moved the show to a light night slot at 11pm.

The BBC Trust have now investigated the programme and have just published their report saying:

The programme attracted a significant number of complaints from listeners concerned both about the content and the timing of the output and the BBC published an apology on its Corrections and Clarifications page the following day. The Executive was asked whether it considered the output was a serious breach of the Editorial Guidelines. The Executive confirmed that it did and provided the Trust with a written report into the breach. This found there had been a failure of editorial judgement and of compliance.

Trustees considered that this output included personal, intrusive and derogatory comments which had exceeded the expectations of the audience. The offence felt was compounded by the date of the programme's transmission. They agreed with the BBC Executive that the date and timing of the broadcast had heightened the offence caused but, while accepting that they could reach a judgement only on the specific circumstances of this case, they found it hard to imagine circumstances in which this broadcast at any time or on any day would not have given rise to significant unjustified offence.

Trustees considered this was a serious breach of the Editorial Guidelines for Harm and Offence.

Update: Ofcom to stick its oar in too

19th July 2016. See  article from chortle.co.uk

Ofcom logoOfcom is to investigate Radio 4 panel show Don't Make Me Laugh over jokes about the Queen.

Eleven listeners complained to the broadcasting watchdog over the episode which aired on the Queen's 90th birthday in April and asked the comedian panellists to speak on the topic: The Queen must have had sex at least four times.

 

  Twats at the BBC...

The BBC Trust upholds a complaint about a light hearted use of the word 'twat' before the watershed


Link Here 13th June 2016

dont tell the brideDon't Tell the Bride
BBC3,25 January 2016 (8.00pm): Finding by the Editorial Complaints Unit

In an exchange between the bride and her elder sister, the word twat was used. A viewer complained that this was inappropriate before the watershed, and should at least have been preceded by a warning.

Outcome: Complaint Upheld

Although not among the terms characterised by the Editorial Guidelines as the strongest language (which must not be used on television before the watershed), the word twat is unusual in having an innocent meaning for some viewers but an obscene meaning for others. On this occasion it was used in an affectionate context and without any sense of aggression, but this was not sufficient to mitigate the offence it is capable of causing to a segment of the audience.

The finding was widely discussed and debated by senior editorial figures in BBC Television and has been noted.

 

 Extract Puck Censorship!...

BBC censors Shakespeare over politically correct concerns that being willing to die for love could be a suicide 'trigger'


Link Here 7th June 2016

midsummer nights dream 2016Russell T Davies revealed this week that he removed one of Helena's lines from his version of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream because he considers it irresponsible to transmit today.

Davies cut a declaration from Helena that she would be willing to die for love, in case, he said, it romanticised the idea of suicide.  He told the Hay literary festival:

I'm deliberately hoping to get young girls watching this and I will not transmit lines in which women are so much in love that they are threatening to commit suicide.

He also removed a line in which Helena asked a man to treat me as your spaniel ; it is not known if this was on the grounds of misogyny or animal rights.

See the article from theguardian.com for additional examples of BBC censorship including changing the character name Titty to Tatty in Swallows and Amazons

 

  Loss of Trust...

TV censor Ofcom set extend its remit to the BBC according to new government white paper


Link Here 13th May 2016

bbc white paper 2016 T he government agrees with the conclusion that Ofcom is the best body to take on full regulation of the BBC. As the regulator for the broadcast and communications sector it looks across the whole of an increasingly interconnected technological and commercial landscape. It already regulates the rest of the broadcasting sector in respect of content regulation, issuing licences, looking at media plurality and competition issues. And under section 198 of the Communications Act 2003, Ofcom already has significant powers to regulate the BBC, insofar as the Charter permits. Ofcom will need to change to take on these responsibilities and there are some important issues for the Ofcom board to consider about how as an organisation it will approach this. The government will make sure Ofcom has the powers it needs to do this. As the Clementi Review summarises, Ofcom would be a strong regulator to match a strong BBC .

Ofcom will be responsible for assessing the performance of the BBC board in meeting its Charter obligations. It will therefore have overall responsibility for regulating the BBC. This will involve:

  • monitoring and reviewing performance including by assessing on a periodic basis the extent to which the BBC is meeting its overall mission and its accompanying public purposes, with powers to remedy any identified failings;
  • establishing a licensing regime setting out regulatory requirements and expectations;
  • regulating editorial standards to ensure the BBC meets requirements in areas such as accuracy, impartiality, harm and offence
  • holding the BBC to account for its assessment of both market impact and public value, alongside regulation of commercial activity; and
  • acting as the appeal body in terms of complaints.

Under the new Charter therefore the BBC will, for the first time, be wholly regulated by an external regulatory body. This will introduce wholly independent scrutiny of what the BBC does, ensuring that it is held to account in delivering its obligations under the Charter and acting in the public interest.

 

  Well It Made Me Laugh...

BBC responds to complaints about jokes about the Queen


Link Here 23rd April 2016

friday night comedy logoA few Radio 4 listeners have complained about a BBC radio comedy which mocked the Queen's sex life on her 90th birthday.

Comic Russell Kane's gag about Her Majesty's private anatomy on the Radio 4 panel show Don't Make Me Laugh wound up a few listeners. There were also jokes about the monarch using the toilet.

Host David Baddiel later apologised for the jokes and blamed the BBC for rescheduling it to go out on the Queen's birthday. He said the pre-recorded comedy had been lined up for next week, but bungling schedulers moved it forward to the day the Queen celebrated her 90th birthday.

One round of the panel game, broadcast at 6.30pm challenged guest comics to speak on the subject: There's nothing funny about the fact the Queen must have had sex at least four times. Kane said:

For me this is just a quadruple representation of why inherited power is so dangerous.

Four times we have to think of republicanism as we imagine four children emerging from Her Majesty's vulva.

The Queen having had sex at least four times is no laughing matter whatsoever because we're forced to imagine Prince Philip and his work in the creation of those children.

Around 120 people had complained to the BBC who published an official response:

While BBC Radio 4 comedy is a broad church and often pushes boundaries, we would like to apologise for this broadcast of Don't Make Me Laugh. We never intended for the scheduling of the programme to coincide with The Queen's birthday and are sorry for the offence caused by its timing and content.

 

  Untrusted Censors...

Government commission report calls for Ofcom to become the TV censors for the BBC


Link Here 2nd March 2016
arms of the british governmentjpg logo The government crusades against the BBC continue with a government commissioned report recommending that BBC censorship should be taken over by Ofcom.

The BBC Trust is flawed and should be scrapped, with governance of the corporation moving to  Ofcom, a report has concluded. David Clementi, who led the 'independent' review. Clementi, previously a deputy governor of the Bank of England, said:

The BBC Trust model is flawed. It conflates governance and regulatory functions within the Trust. The BBC should have a unitary Board charged with responsibility for meeting the obligations placed on it under the Royal Charter and Agreement, and responsibility for the interests of Licence Fee payers.

Regulatory oversight should pass wholly to Ofcom, which is already the public service regulator for the UK's broadcasting industry and has the ability to look at the BBC in the context of the market as a whole. Ofcom would be a strong regulator to match a strong BBC.

The report was  commissioned by the Government as part of the BBC Charter Review process.

 

  Mediawatch-UK recommends...

Woman's Hour season on feminist literature: The Fear of Flying by Erica Jong


Link Here 17th February 2016
Fear Flying Erica Jong Radio 4 is to broadcast a mid-morning adaptation of the seminal feminist novel, Fear of Flying , complete with strong language and sexual descriptions. The BBC said it will will not censor the swearwords or sexual content.

The BBC station will air a five-part adaptation of Fear of Flying, the 1973 novel by the feminist writer Erica Jong , next week.  The first episode, which will air on Monday at 10:45am, features a reference to finger-fucking , and there are also mentions of the zipless fuck , and descriptions of how the central character longs to be filled up with a giant prick spouting semen .

While television has a 9pm watershed, no similar restrictions apply to radio. The BBC says that Radio 4 is an adult network, that listeners will be given a series of warnings about graphic content, and that children will be back at school after half term.

Vivienne Pattison, the director of Mediawatch-UK, said:

This could be on in the kitchen, or the car. A lot of children might hear it. I don't think it is acceptable. Lots of people don't realise there is no watershed on radio, and get quite shocked.

A BBC spokesman said:

Radio 4 is an adult network and the drama slot after Woman's Hour is long established with listeners expecting it to deal with a full range of adult issues which, on occasion, and when appropriate to the situation, include a realistic reflection of strong language.

Fear of Flying is recognised as one of the most seminal, culturally significant pieces of feminist writing from the past 50 years and its broadcast will be contextualised by discussions on Woman's Hour and strong language warnings.

 

  Untrusted...

Parliamentary committee adds to the governments calls for new governance of the BBC


Link Here 12th February 2016
Culture, Media and Sport select committeeThe BBC's governing body, the BBC Trust, has lost confidence and credibility and should be abolished , according to a British parliamentary committee report on the BBC Charter review.

The Culture, Media and Sport Committee report claims that while the BBC is an extraordinary national and global institution , it needs a radical overhaul of its governance arrangements .

On the subject of BBC censorship, the report called for a new complaints procedure that would see all complaints handled initially by the BBC itself, with both industry and editorial issues then escalated to UK TV censor Ofcom.

The chair of the committee, Jesse Norman, said:

Based on more than six months of evidence and testimony, we believe the [BBC's] current structure, including the BBC Trust, needs to be abolished. In or judgment the key functions can and should be absorbed within Ofcom, the industry regulator, with suitable changes.

 

  Dame Edna puts the BBC straight...

Barry Humphries notes puritanism and nervousness of the BBC about comedy


Link Here 5th January 2016
  barry humphriesBarry Humphries , the Australian comedian best known for playing Dame Edna Everage, has mocked the BBC for refusing to let him make jokes about Jeremy Corbyn without also ridiculing David Cameron.

He claims that during talks with the BBC about a guest appearance as Dame Edna on Michael McIntyre's Christmas show, executives insisted on evenhanded mockery. He explained:

I mentioned some ideas to the BBC. I wanted to say something about Mr Corbyn and a faceless, nameless person at the BBC said, 'Then you have also have to say something about Mr Cameron.' As if there wasn't any bias at the BBC at all!

In an interview in the Radio Times he said shows such as Til Death Us Do Part , which ridiculed the racist views of main character Alf Garnett, would no longer be made by a nervous BBC:

It couldn't be done. There is a new puritanism that we are experiencing, a nervousness