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19th December   

Pop My Cherry...


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Vivienne Pattison hypes Coronation Street
Link Here

Coronation Street 1980s Disc BoxDespite being one of Britain's most controversial celebrities, Katie Price – aka Jordan – is deemed so socially important a new Coronation Street plotline features one of the characters wanting to emulate her.

Rosie Webster, played by actress Helen Flanagan, stuns her family when she decides she wants to be the new Jordan.

The character, who is 18 in the show, has a test photo shoot, dressed in 'provocative' outfits. In one photograph, she wears a white and red cheerleader's top, with the words: Pop My Cherry emblazoned on the back. While in another, she wears a corset and thigh high stocking as she hitches up her skirt.

Vivienne Pattison, from Mediawatch-UK, said: This is a pre-watershed programme – but I don't think this is suitable viewing before the watershed.

 

13th December   

Impaired Moral Judgement...


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Vivienne Pattison whinges at the limited age verification on iPlayer
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iPlayerNutters of Mediawatch-UK are demanding stricter controls on broadcasters' websites which supposedly allow children to watch adult programmes containing sex, violence and bad language.

The group points to programmes available to watch via the internet which it claims are unsuitable for children, including the violent and sexually-explicit vampire drama True Blood and another drama series, Misfits, both on Channel 4; the BBC's Spooks and The Graham Norton Show ; and ITV's American drama Gossip Girl.

Although the shows are only broadcast on television after the 9pm watershed, they can be watched online at any time of day.

The main broadcasters' websites allow parents to set up a password which is need to watch adult content. However, Mediawatch says this opt-out system should be replaced with one where people have to actively opt in to see adult content, as the majority of parents never view the websites.

Vivienne Pattison, the new director of Mediawatch UK said this would be a simple change which would ensure children are properly protected.

Pattison accused broadcasters of paying lip-service to the need to protect children. She said: The technology has moved ahead of the regulation and that's the problem. Ofcom's most recent research found that fewer than a third of parents use parental controls or are confident about how to use them. And often it's children of parents who cannot or will not do something about it who are the ones you are most concerned about.

Standard practice on television websites is to include warnings about content, ask viewers to click a box saying they are over 16 or 18, and allow parents to set up a password which must be used to see adult programmes. The process takes seconds.

Pattison said programmes containing sex and violence should be restricted automatically, with all viewers having to set up a password to access them: This is a really obvious one, it would be simple to do and we hope to campaign on it big next year, she said.

Mediawatch UK has also questioned the legality of online television services in the light of a new law which comes into force this week. The Audiovisual Media Services (AVMS) Regulations 2009, which take effect on December 19, require that under-18s should not be able to normally see or hear material which might seriously impair [their] physical, mental or moral development . Pattison said: It very clearly says children should be protected from undesirable material, which currently I do not think they are.

Ofcom is preparing to announce what practical changes broadcasters will need to make to comply with the new rules, but a source at the regulator said the legislation was unlikely to make much difference to the main players .

Broadcasters are resistant to the idea of imposing an initial block on adult programmes, saying it would represent a commercial barrier and would be a nanny-state measure.

 

10th December   

Bitching about Bollocks...


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Vivienne Pattison whinges at mild language on daytime TV
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Experience Divine Bette MidlerNutters say too many incidents of bad language and inappropriate material are capable of being seen by children before the 9pm cut-off.

On Tuesday, art critic Brian Sewell, a guest on The Alan Titchmarsh Show , which starts at 3pm, said of Victoria Beckham: I have great respect for David Beckham but his wife is ghastly. She is just a common little bitch. Alan Titchmarsh apologised to viewers shortly afterwards.

Later during The One Show , which starts at 7pm, actress Bette Midler blurted out the word bollocks as she was being interviewed.  She was talking on the BBC show about how happy she was to be visiting the UK. She said: This is a kind of fabulous place and I am always happy to come. She then added: Oh bollocks .

Vivienne Pattison, director of pressure group Mediawatch-UK, said: We know that audiences do not like this kind of language. It should be made clearer to guests that swearing is not allowed.

Pattison added: Obviously in live TV things happen and we know how difficult that is and the presenter has to get out of that very quickly. But I am concerned that it is still happening.

I certainly think that it should be made clearer to guests that swearing is not allowed. It is quite extraordinary that they are not allowed to swear on these shows in the States and yet they come over here and do it. It is down to the editors on live TV show to let their guests know that this is the case.

Conservative MP, Philip Davies, who sits on the culture, media and sport select committee, also expressed concerns about the incidents: I completely understand the anger of viewers, particularly if they are watching something with their children. It is totally unacceptable. Parents will be rightly angry to be subjected to this when we do have watershed. Maybe the broadcasters can do more.

 

10th December   

A Variety of Innuendo...

Whinging about Patrick McGuinness at the Royal Variety Performance
Link Here

Paddy McGuinness Plus You LiveThe Daily Mail reports that audience members including the Queen and young children were left 'stunned' after comedian Patrick McGuinness delivered a number of sexual innuendoes during his stand-up routine at the Royal Variety Performance.

McGuinness made references to his genitalia and included a jibe at presenter Paul O'Grady's sexuality. He arrived on stage mid-way through the show. Part of his act included a spoof guide to living in the north of England, which he directed at the Queen and Prince Philip.

Using a pointer as a prop for the sketch he welcomed the Monarch before saying: I know what you're thinking. I've got a small pointer. But my girlfriend always tells me that the smallest acorns make the biggest oaks.

It drew muted reaction from the 3,000 audience members before he addressed the Queen once again and made a remark about the sexuality of Paul O'Grady. In reference to the openly gay Liverpool-born presenter, he told her: You may be the Queen of our country, but we've got our own queen here in the north. Paul O'Grady. Royal audience: The Queen

Now ITV producers say that they are considering whether or not the offending material breaches the company's guidelines and if it is unsuitable for a family audience.

Nutter groups have said ITV must cut the smutty gags from the show ahead of its broadcast at 7.30pm next Wednesday.

McGuinness continued with his set before proclaiming the virtues of a local Indian restaurant telling the gathered crowd: You haven't lived until you've had eight of Ahmed's peshwari balls in your mouth. The gag was again greeted with nervous laughter.

A spokesman for ITV said that the show would be edited to adhere to strict pre-watershed guidelines but said it was too early to say whether McGuinness's comments would be cut: The Royal Variety Performance transmits at 7.30pm and programmes comply with all regulatory guidelines. In addition, the performance is recorded as live, but is edited so that it fits into the allotted running time.

A spokesman for Mediawatch UK, who campaign for responsible broadcasting, said that it hoped ITV would ensure the programme was suitable for a family audience.

Vivienne Pattison said: Broadcasters make a big deal about the watershed in order to protect children and I'd like to see that taken seriously. I'd like to think ITV will take all the necessary steps to make sure that the Royal Variety Show is suitable for a pre-watershed audience.

A spokesman for Buckingham Palace refused to say whether the Queen had been offended by any of the comments made on stage by McGuinness.

 

20th November   

Yes! Yes! Yes!...

Nutters have an orgasm over teatime clip from When Harry Met Sally
Link Here

BBC Radio Solent logo A BBC presenter used his teatime show to broadcast an audio clip of a woman in the throes of an orgasm.

DJ Steve Harris played the ten-second recording of oohs , ahhs and yes! yes! yes! when talking about the new drug flibanserin, described as a female equivalent of Viagra.

But his decision to use the clip of actress Meg Ryan in a famous scene from the film When Harry Met Sally left a few nutters whingeing

Steve Masters, editor of the website ukparentslounge.com and father of girls aged 12 and seven, said: Sometimes it's easy for radio presenters to forget their audience but they ought to know better than to play such content at this time of day. On my scale of acceptability, as a parent, I think a bit of rudeness you can get away with, but lewdness you can't.

Vivienne Pattison, director of campaign group Mediawatch UK, said the BBC had made a serious error of judgment: Parents driving in their cars having just picked up their children from school would have been horrified to hear the clip. It boils down to a decision taken by the producers of that particular show. The BBC have a serious responsibility to their audience but this was totally inappropriate for that time slot.

The clip was broadcast on BBC Radio Solent, which covers Hampshire, Dorset and the Isle of Wight, at 4.20pm on Monday.

Harris played it immediately after asking listeners: What would you say if I asked if you were interested in a female version of Viagra?   As the screams of pleasure stopped, he joked: I thought that might get an enthusiastic response. He then discussed flibanserin with a health reporter. But when he returned to the subject after playing a record, Harris was more coy, saying: I think we will stop this now. This is, after all, a family show.

Last night the BBC said: It wasn't our intention to offend. This was a lighthearted intro to an informative discussion utilising one of the best-known film clips of the last 20 years. We've had not a single complaint or comment.

 

20th November   

Updated: Nutters Pissed...

School kids try ethanol after seeing the idea on Waterloo Road
Link Here

Waterloo Road Autumn Term part Six pupils were taken to hospital after drinking ethanol the day after watching similar scenes in the BBC drama Waterloo Road .

Five girls and a boy, aged 14 and 15, saw the scenes in which a teenager drinks some of the pure alcohol stolen from a science department.

The next day, the students did the same thing, stealing the liquid during a science lesson and spiriting it away to drink.

The alarm was raised by a member of staff at Aldridge School in Walsall, a specialist science college. The pupils had confessed to the teacher and also later told headteacher David Mountney they had watched the episode of Waterloo Road the day before. In the TV show featuring a fictional school, the girl drinks the ethanol hoping it will cure her hangover but it makes her violently ill.

A small amount of the chemical is the same as a large number of normal alcoholic drinks and the immediate effects are nausea, vomiting and intoxication. In large quantities, it can cause almost immediate loss of consciousness and even death.

Three ambulances and a paramedic in a rapid response vehicle were sent to the school to take the pupils to hospital. After blood tests, they were allowed home and were back at school yesterday.

Yesterday, the BBC was criticised for screening the disturbing scenes before the 9pm watershed. A parent living near the school, who declined to be named, said: I was watching the programme and I thought someone would copy it. It never should have been screened because children are very impressionable.

The BBC should be punished for this - it could have turned out so much worse. Vivianne Pattison, director of television watchdog Mediawatch, said it was worrying that a screen plot had apparently led to the pupils' actions. People say TV does not have any effect on real life and then something like this happens, she said.

Broadcasters keep saying viewers can tell the difference between TV and reality but this shows this is clearly not the case. They need to know that what they put out does have an effect, especially on young minds.

A BBC spokesman defended the content of the programme and insisted it had dealt with an important issue; Waterloo Road has always tackled serious issues of the day in a responsible manner. Wednesday's episode clearly showed the dangers of using ethanol and did not glamorise it in any way. Each storyline is thoroughly researched using experts within their respective fields.

Update: Another Round of Drinks

20th November 2009. Based on article from dailymail.co.uk

Four schoolgirls are said to have become seriously ill after drinking ethanol when copying a scene from the BBC drama Waterloo Road .

It is the second time within a week that pupils have imitated what they've seen on TV.

In this latest incident the youngsters, who are thought to have found the potentially lethal neat alcohol in their school's science lab, reportedly mixed it with Ribena.

The pupils at Highfield School in Letchworth, Hertfordshire, are believed to have complained of stomach and head pains and were taken to hospital.

One parent from Letchworth told the Daily Mirror: Everyone here thinks they must have watched Waterloo Road and tried to imitate it.

Vivianne Pattison of television watchdog Mediawatch said: Broadcasters need to know what they put out has an effect.

A BBC spokesman said: Last week's episode clearly showed the dangers of using ethanol and did not glamorise it in any way.

 

11th November   

Update: Call of Nutter Duty...

Low grade comments about the game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
Link Here

Vivienne Pattison My View by Vivienne Pattison, Head Of Mediawatch-UK

There are numerous studies linking exposure to violence in entertainment with violent behaviour. Vivienne Pattison

Bearing in mind the cost to society - and the misery of the victims of violent behaviour - if there is the slightest possibility that violent games can cause harm, is this worth the risk?

We know that violent games with 18 Certificates are being played by children.

Do we really want to find that we are training a new generation to be killers?

 

12th October   

Pattison and Brazier...

Comedy nutter act whinge about Saw VI
Link Here

Saw VI Theatrical Release Nutters are urging councils to bar horror film Saw VI as 'concerns mount' over its grisly content.

The certificate 18 movie, which has shocking scenes of murder and torture, is set for release at Halloween.

However local authorities are able to block films and Tory MP Julian Brazier has urged them to ban Saw VI .

He said: The British Board of Film Classification is passing more and more violent films.

But councils do have the power to ban such films and I welcome any taking this tough line.

Vivienne Pattison, director of Mediawatch, called for tighter controls. She said: Studies link exposure to film violence with violent behaviour. If there is the slightest chance that media violence can cause harm, is it worth the risk?

[always worth considering parallels with religion. Studies link exposure to religion with violent behaviour. If there is the slightest chance that religion can cause harm, is it worth the risk?]

But Sue Clark of the BBFC said: We believe adults should be free to choose their own entertainment.

 

24th September   

Better Standards in Soundbiting...

Mediawatch-UK appoint Vivienne Pattison as director
Link Here

Vivienne Pattison Mediawatch-UK have issued a press release about their new director, Vivienne Pattison:

Mediawatch-uk, the campaigning organisation which fights for decency and standards in the media, announced today that it has appointed Vivienne Pattison as its new Director.

Vivienne, previously an Account Director at Midas Public Relations, will be building on the work of her predecessors and providing an independent voice for those concerned about taste and decency issues.

She will ensure that mediawatch-uk maintains its reputation for principled protest, informed comment and reliable research

mediawatch-uk monitors broadcast output, publishes reports about programme content and responds to Government and other consultations on broadcasting policy, as well as arguing for parliamentary accountability for broadcasters and greater public involvement in broadcasting policy issues. mediawatch-uk plays an important role in promoting media literacy and in initiating discussion and debate.

mediawatch-uk Acting Chairman, John Milton Whatmore said: I am in no doubt that in a media environment, the technology of which is changing faster than ever before, the need for mediawatch-uk is more apparent than at anytime during the last 50 years. I believe that, in Vivienne Pattison, mediawatch-uk has the person to meet the challenges of ensuring that the Media is responsible for what it produces, and in safeguarding what the general public can reasonably expect from such sources .

Vivienne Pattison said mediawatch-uk performs a vital role in creating good media values and seeking to protect the young and vulnerable from offensive and harmful material. Gordon Brown has expressed personal concern about the violence and pornography that children and young people are easily able to access and I am looking forward to working with government and regulators to press for better standards in broadcasting.

Outgoing mediawatch-uk Director, John Beyer said: I am delighted that Vivienne has taken over the role of Director. It remains essential that there is an effective voice speaking up for the viewer and listener in the digital age. I believe that Ofcom is failing to represent the interests of consumers and that is why mediawatch-uk will remain a crucial organisation in the future.

The Melon Farmers welcome Vivienne to her new role and look forward to being amused by continued sound bite nonsense. John Beyer will be a tough act to follow, setting the highest standard of puerile ideas such as ASBOs for TV and imprisoning porn viewers for 3 years.

 

13th September   

Update: Bollox TV Strong Language Survey...

The Telegraph counts the words and provides Beyer with a platform
Link Here

Telegraph logo In 25 post-watershed programmes monitored last week, 'serious' expletives – 'fuck', 'shit' and 'piss' – were used a total of 155 times. When a similar monitoring exercise was carried out a year ago, the words were used only 127 times.

Of the programmes monitored last week, the one with the most swearing was Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares USA , in which the 'fuck' was used 63 times and other 'serious' expletives 18 times. There were a total of 103 swear words used. Other major 'offenders' were the film Stripes starring Bill Murray on Channel 5, which had 14 uses of 'serious' expletives, BBC1's Traffic Cops , with 12, and BBC2's The Last Days of Lehman Brothers , with 11.

John Beyer, the director of Mediawatch-UK, said: Broadcasters are not really responding to the public concern about swearing on television. What happened last year was largely thanks to The Sunday Telegraph. A lot of the comments made by Michael Grade and Jana Bennet were responding to the public concern there was. What your results show is broadcasters have paid lip service, made all the right noises, but they haven't actually done anything to reduce the level of swearing.

He accused the Government and industry regulator Ofcom of ignoring the situation: With the government not prepared to intervene and with Ofcom failing to really enforce its code on swearing, there's little that an ordinary viewer, who continues to be offended by this language, can do. I just think it's a situation that's out of control.

A spokesman for the regulator said: We regularly carry out research on viewers' attitudes, including to swearing on TV and radio. The results have not varied much in recent years. Most people on balance are reasonably satisfied about the amount of swearing on TV and radio, with older viewers and listeners more concerned and younger ones less so.

Channel 4 defended the use of swear words, saying it had an alternative public service remit and at times will transmit content of a stronger nature which may not appeal to all viewers and that people knew what to expect from notoriously foul-mouthed chef Gordon Ramsay.

A spokesman for the channel said: Channel 4 strives to reflect social reality and strong language is part of that reality; potentially offensive language can feature when scheduled responsibly, preceded by a warning and justified by context; strongest language is not broadcast before the watershed. We are confident that our target audience and regular viewers have the right expectations of Channel Four content, and we have a strong track record on compliance.

The BBC also said swearing had a place on television. For the BBC, it is not about quotas or stopping the judicious use of strong language, but rather avoiding gratuitous use and looking hard at context in terms of channel, genres of programme, time slot and audience expectation, a spokesman for the corporation said.

 

8th September   

Selfish...

Mediawatch-UK respond to Ofcom consultation about the Programme Code
Link Here

Mediawatch-UK banner Ofcom, the TV censor has just closed a consultation on the wording of its programme code.

Ofcom did say that the consultation was about the wording and that essence of their TV censorship will stay unchanged. But that hasn't stopped Mediawatch-UK from sending a its usual arrogant response that everything should be banned outside of their very own blinkered tastes.

Mediawatch-UK spout:

Indeed, mediawatch-uk would argue that in some respects standards are now very much worse because of the ill-defined Code and the way broadcasters have been able to interpret it in their own interests. Far too much emphasis has been placed on ‘freedom of expression' with little or no emphasis on the corresponding responsibilities that should flow from these freedoms.

We sympathise with Ofcom whose endeavours to enforce their Code have been made more difficult by broadcasters who have little or no regard for it. In particular we criticise the pornography industry for constantly seeking to undermine the Code and to thwart efforts to effectively regulate them.

...

We would suggest that there is only one sure way of effectively protecting the under-18s and that is not permit ‘adult sex' material on television at all. (4.30) It is no justification to argue that such material is shown at the Cinema and is easily accessible on the Internet and should, therefore, be permitted on TV!

We would also observe that if the Obscene Publications Act 1959 were to have fulfilled Parliament's intention to "strengthen the law" much of the material in this category would be illegal and the numerous regulatory and other problems associated with it would not arise. It is not enough to hope that "potential harm and/or offence for all viewers would be lessened".

It is simply astonishing, given that Video on Demand facilities have become so well established, that Ofcom continues to rely on ‘the Watershed' as a primary means of protecting people from "images and/or language of a strong sexual nature".

And on the subject of violence on TV:

It is evident that the existing Code is failing to constrain unnecessary violence despite requiring that "programmes must not include material, which, taking into account the context, condones or glamorises violent, dangerous or seriously antisocial behaviour."

We believe the interpretation of this Rule is far too narrow and focuses solely on incitement. It is also based upon the false assumption that viewing violence and anti-social behaviour has no influence. This section of the Code should be reviewed urgently and the above assumption reversed.

We also believe it is essential, in order to promote public understanding, that "antisocial behaviour" ought to be defined in the Code. A good starting point would be the Home Office paper ‘Defining and measuring antisocial behaviour' (Development and Practice Report No 26) (Crime and Disorder Act 1998).

We note that portrayals of smoking tobacco are now being actively discouraged by not being presented in programmes. The clear assumption is that portraying smoking encourages viewers to take up the practice. Accordingly, we believe that antisocial behaviour, as portrayed on television, should also be discouraged in the same way. The Code should, therefore, clearly define what constitutes antisocial behaviour for the purposes of the Code.

 

6th September   

Offsite: Is 'Compliance' Fucking Up TV?...

If I watch a crime show on TV, will it make me break the law?
Link Here

This Life Compliance. It's a spooky word, like some kind of euphemism employed by the Ministry of Torture in a totalitarian regime. If a female is compliant you imagine her as a limp doll that might be anyone's for the taking. But compliance, apparently, is big in television. And Jimmy Mulville and Stephen Fry have been making industry headlines by lambasting broadcasters at the Edinburgh TV Festival for what they call the box-ticking culture of compliance in television.

The pair were taking part in a session entitled Is Compliance Fucking Up TV? when they put the cat among the pigeons. Fry said he wanted compliance to fuck off and Mulville, the producer of Have I Got News For You , referred to a culture of fear at the BBC.
Related articles

Compliance with what, you may ask. Compliance with stupidity, was Stephen Fry's take. In fact, compliance refers to compliance with various industry rule books such as the BBC's and Ofcom's editorial guidelines.

...Read full article

 

31st August   

Filthy Fun...

Nutters get wound up by Jimmy Carr
Link Here

Jimmy Carr DVD Comedian Jimmy Carr is in trouble with stopwatch wielding nutters for swearing once every 60 seconds in his 90-minute stand-up show.

He used the F word 36 times and the C word four times in the first hour of the Channel 4 show.

Jimmy Carr In Concert was broadcast an hour after the 9pm watershed on August 22 and caused further nutter 'outrage' by containing jokes about the Paralympics, incest and homosexuality.

A spokesman for the watchdog group Mediawatch-UK (identified as John Beyer on the Mediawatch-UK website) said: This is a disgrace. It is typical of Channel 4 not to take any notice of guidance surrounding bad language.

Carr also defended his friend Jonathan Ross as a national treasure after the presenter was suspended for making obscene prank phone calls to actor Andrew Sachs.

Conservative MP Ann Widdecombe  said last night: His idea of wit is just a barrage of filth.

Carr has previously refused to apologise for his material. He said: It's not for the easily offended. It's not even for people that are difficult to offend. It's for people who are without a moral compass.

A spokesman for Channel 4 said the show had been broadcast after the watershed and contained a strong language warning.

 

28th August   

Quickstep to Retirement...

MediaWatchWatch report that Beyer will waltz off at the end of September
Link Here

Strictly Come Dancing MediawatchWatch report:

With “Massah” John Beyer stepping down as director of Mediawatch-UK at the end of September, it is left to us to sadly savour the last words of The Dail Mail's favourite rent-a-gob, as we would savour the final drops at the bottom of a glass of fine malt whisky.

The latest “row” conjured up by a reporter's phone call to the Sage of Ashford concerns the BBC's choice of Martina Hingis as a contestant in the popular show Strictly Come Dancing.

Hingis tested positive for cocaine in 2007 – although she has always protested her innocence.

Beyer's whinge was not one of his brightest moments:

This is a family show that is targeted at a family audience.

The danger is that this decision would tend to minimise the seriousness of her drug-taking, which resulted in a ban on her playing.

The BBC could have put in many other personalities who I'm sure would love to take part in the show and they could have chosen someone without that record. The question is whether it sets a good or bad example.

Let's hope Beyer spends his last month in office coming up with a better swansong. He has excelled in the past eg for suggesting that all bog standard porn owners should be put in prison for 3 years. And don't forget his classic call for an AntiSocial Behaviour Order (ASBO) for TV

 

28th August   

Update: None of Our Effing Business...

Government responds to Mediawatch-UK petition against swearing on TV
Link Here

10 Downing Street logo John Beyer of Mediawatch-UK initiated a petition on the 10 Downing Street website against swearing on TV:

We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to make urgent representation to the Broadcasting regulator, Ofcom, the broadcasting institutions operating in the UK and film regulators, asking them to stop the use of unnecessary swearing and bad language in their productions (including those available for downloading from websites) and to urge providers of user-generated content to take similar action.

Beyer explained further:

Concern about the volume and nature of swearing on television made headlines when in November 2008 Michael Grade, the Executive Chairman of ITV, observed that swearing had become “unrestrained” and “indiscriminate”. He also stated that people do not want to hear those words.

In May 2008 the Radio Times conducted an opinion poll, which found that 69% of people believed there is too much swearing on TV. In November 2008 the Sunday Express launched a Clean Up TV Crusade focusing on the excessive use of swearing and the Sunday Telegraph conducted a poll which found that 56% of people thought the f*** word should never be used on TV.

The Office of Communications (Ofcom) in its Communications Market reports for 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007 found that the majority of people believe there is too much swearing on TV.

mediawatch-uk believes that swearing on TV has reached such proportions that it is threatening the English language, that it is undermining the Government's policies on Education to improve communication skills and hindering initiatives to restore respect and civility to our society.

The petition closed with 5917 signatures and therefore received a response from the government:

The Government believes that it is important that we have high standards across our broadcasting sector particularly in public service broadcasting. However, it is a long-standing principle that the Government does not interfere in programme matters, either on arrangements for scheduling or on content, as it is important to maintain the principle of freedom of expression which political interference could undermine.

For this reason, Ofcom, the BBC Trust and S4C are independent of the Government and are responsible for safeguarding the public interest in broadcasting. They set out the rules and guidance with which broadcasters must comply. Within this framework, it is the broadcasters' job to make judgements about what individual programmes should contain and the time at which they are broadcast.

 

7th August   

Repeat Whinges...

20% of older viewers frustrated at violence and strong language but 60% at repeats
Link Here
John Beyer

  This whinge was first aired on
1st July 1967

Research by media regulator Ofcom found that 46% of older viewers think that content quality and the range of programmes that channels offer has worsened. More than 20% of pensioners claimed that falling standards were the result of broadcasters screening more violence and bad language in their shows.

And of the 2,000 over-65s surveyed, the majority of 62% cited the steady rise in the number of repeats being screened on mainstream TV as a key reason for their frustration.

John Beyer, director of lobby group Mediawatch-UK, said:

Ofcom's findings show how strongly people feel about issues of taste, harm and offence.

Over the past few years we have seen TV audiences increasingly state their dissatisfaction with the broadcast output - and it seems no one is doing anything about it.

I am calling on Ofcom to take seriously their own research and the complaints, and show they are listening to viewers' concerns.

Comment: Haven't They Got a Remote Control

From Dan

So people over the age of 65 don't like the swearing and violence that comes out of programmes that young people watch.

Can they not find something more to their tastes or is TV going to have to be censored in order to please the moaning old fogey mob?

 

28th July   

Update: Antichrists Beyer and Widdecombe...

Beyer suggests that local authorities should ban Antichrist
Link Here  full story: Extreme Cuts...Lars Von Trier sexual violence causes a stir

Antichrist DVD From the Sunday Express:

There were growing calls last night to ban a controversial film that shows the mutilation of female and male genitalia, scenes of graphic sex and a toddler falling to his death.

Tory MP Anne Widdecombe led the condemnation branding the film, truly revolting.

As disbelief grew that the explicit and horrifying film had been deemed fit for our cinemas, campaign group mediawatch-uk called on local councils to view the film and decide if it is suitable for showing in their area.

John Beyer, its director, said: There are explicit scenes of masturbation, real sexual activity, mutilation and part of it are filmed in black and white to accentuate the theme of darkness. I would call upon every local authority to watch this film and if they are unhappy with what they see, they should withdraw it from cinemas straightaway.

Ms Widdecombe said the film is no different to hardcore pornography.

 

14th July   

Beyer's Watercolour Bollox...

Having a whinge at nude posing for Life Class
Link Here  full story: Life Class...Whinges about nude artist models on daytime TV

Life Class Ofcom received dozens of complaints after fashion model Kirsten Varley was seen posing for artist Gary Hume on Channel 4 at lunchtime

She stripped off and posed for artist Gary Hume in the programme Life Class: Today's Nude .

The programme saw the camera lingering on the model's naked form as the artist talked through the process of drawing her. But the show which was filmed at Hume's studio has sparked a 'backlash' from nutters.

John Beyer, of TV pressure group Mediawatch UK, questioned showing the programme at lunchtime.

He has referred the matter to media regulator Ofcom after being contacted by 'concerned' parents: I have had complaints about this. Obviously people feel this is not really suitable for daytime TV when they have got children at home. One was particularly incensed because his child was at home and thought it was not appropriate. It's a pity Channel 4 cannot revive its Watercolour Challenge show.

One viewer who was in her sick bed watching daytime TV, said: It nearly gave me a relapse. It was adult viewing, not for screening in the middle of the day.

Channel 4 has defended the programme, insisting it was not gratuitous and saying it was meant to help artists capture the beauty of the human body.

 

5th July   

Bye Bye Beyer Goodbye...

John Beyer to step down from Mediawatch-UK
Link Here
John Beyer

   A voice whingeing in
the wilderness

John Beyer has announced his retirement from Mediawatch-UK

The many hundreds of responses from members to the news that I have decided to retire from mediawatch-uk after 33 years were over whelming and very humbling. Speaking at the Annual General meeting in May, John Beyer said:

There were just so many letters and messages that it was impossible to reply to each one personally. The gifts that so many people sent were very generous and the messages that accompanied some of them were very touching and will always be greatly treasured. Above all, these showed that mediawatch-uk is rather like an extended family with a unity of purpose that binds us all together.

In his reflection on his time with mediawatch-uk John said: The challenges now are far greater than when Mary Whitehouse pioneered the campaign in the 1960s. In those days there were just two TV channels and a handful of radio stations. There was no internet, no computer games, no satellite or cable TV and video recorders were confined to the TV studios.

The greatest difference then, however, is that there was a much stronger public consensus of what was acceptable on TV and what was not. There was greater certainty about what was good or bad taste and what was decent or indecent. Sadly, all that has changed and broadcasting and film have contributed significantly to the erosion of that consensus and the fragmenting of values.

"The ongoing challenge for everyone involved is to reverse the responsibility-free attitudes and behaviour of the permissive 60s, which, combined with a political ideology, had a huge impact on the social, moral and economic development our society and culture. I am confident that mediawatch-uk is up to the challenge. Please continue to support the new team".

 

29th June   

Mediawatch-UK...

Inglorious moral decency campaigners
Link Here

Inglorious moral decency campaigners

 

22nd June   

Update: Mutilation at R18...

Beyer gets his sound bite about Antichrist but Brazier wins the prize for spouting bollox
Link Here  full story: Extreme Cuts...Lars Von Trier sexual violence causes a stir

Antichrist poster Antichrist , which includes graphic unsimulated sex and a scene of genital self-mutilation, has been authorised for release with no cuts by the BBFC.

John Beyer, the director of Mediawatch-UK predictably condemned the BBFC's decision to give Antichrist a mainstream rating:

Films of this sort, with such extreme content, should not be classified for public exhibition anywhere. The BBFC should have declined classification and rejected this film.

We all know that youngsters get into films that are not age appropriate and with a 15-rated trailer, it is being deliberately marketed at a younger audience who will inevitably see the film.

When people are being entertained by mutilation, that is beyond the pale.


Philip Knatchbull, the chief executive of Artificial Eye, which is distributing the film, said:

There is no doubt that Antichrist is a controversial film but it's our duty as a distributor to present the works of talented directors such as Lars von Trier in their original form, exactly as the director intended.

We fully support the BBFC's decision to allow people to make up their own minds about this film.


Julian Brazier the Conservative MP for Canterbury and Whitstable who has campaigned for more film censorship, said:

From the accounts I have heard of Antichrist , this does seem to be one more example of how the BBFC has given up on trying to regulate material which the majority of the public feel is offensive.

Brazier said that an R18 certificate, where films can only be shown in specially licensed cinemas or sex shops, would be more appropriate for Antichrist .

Gainsbourg, the daughter of the British actress Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg, the late French singer, won best actress at Cannes for her role in the film. She has defended von Trier against accusations that the film exploits women. She said:

He is depicting women of course with violence and very hard sex and pain and suffering, but I don't think that he is judging women in a negative way.

Von Trier, who wrote the film while suffering from depression, has said of Antichrist :

The film does not contain any specific moral code and only has what some might call 'the bare necessities' in the way of a plot.

In any case, I can offer no excuse for Antichrist . Other than my absolute belief in the film.

 

18th June   

Update: Sweden Follows the BBFC Lead...

Beyer wants to see bits cut out, so BBFC kindly oblige and leave Antichrist uncut
Link Here  full story: Film Censorship in Sweden...Looking to end mandatory state film censorship

SBB logo Last week, Sweden announced that it will disband its Statens Biografbyra censorship board altogether in 2011, 100 years after it was founded. From then on, there will be no restrictions on films released in the country unless they break laws governing such areas as child pornography, although the current age-related rating system will remain.

John Beyer of Mediawatch, the successor to Mary Whitehouse's National Viewers' and Listeners' Association, suggested the BBFC's increasingly light touch in recent years made it not so very different from the new Swedish organisation.

The BBFC no longer 'cuts bits out of films' but provides information about films so that members of the public can make up their own minds about what films they want to see or avoid. The Swedish government evidently want to do just what the BBFC has been doing for some years.

In our opinion the BBFC has become far too lax in what it permits for public exhibition and there has been a gradual shift in what they regard as acceptable so that what would have been regarded as 18 a few years ago is now thought suitable for 15. Their 12A certificate allows very young children, accompanied by an adult, to see some very unsuitable material. The board is pretty much unaccountable and for this reason we supported Julian Brazier's private member's bill last year to make the board accountable to parliament through the select committee system.

Comment: Letting the public make up their own minds

From Dan

"The BBFC no longer 'cuts bits out of films' but provides information about films so that members of the public can make up their own minds about what films they want to see or avoid."

Oh how disgraceful and disgusting! How dare the BBFC let members of the public make up their own minds about films they want to see?

Instead they should have John Beyer and Mediawatch UK making up the public's minds for them.

"Their 12A certificate allows very young children, accompanied by an adult, to see some very unsuitable material."

Oh yeah very young children, accompanied by an adult are being allowed to see explicit violence and hardcore porn! Yeah right!

"The board is pretty much unaccountable."

Pretty much unaccountable to Mediawatch UK and Tory middle middle England who believe they know what is and is not good for the public to see. Let's keep it that way!

 

27th May   

Pissed Off with Petty Whinging...

BBC receive 12 complaints over the used of 'pissed off' on the Archers
Link Here

Archers logo An episode of Radio 4's flagship soap The Archers has infuriated a few fans by including an outburst of bad language.

Listeners have complained after Matt Crawford told his arch rival Brian Aldridge to 'piss of' during a drunken encounter in a bar.

It is understood to be the first time such language has been broadcast on The Archers and fans have posted messages on its own website saying it does not fit with the context of the show.

Moderators who are responsible for monitoring the content of the official Archers website have removed some postings which repeat the offending phrase.

Jon Beyer, the director of Mediawatch UK said: I think people generally speaking expect better than this from The Archers. The audience for The Archers is what it is and they would not expect to hear language like this in the programme.

The episode was first aired at 7pm on May 15 and then feature in the omnibus edition last Sunday morning.

A BBC spokesman confirmed the corporation had received 13 official complaints. He added: The Archers always gives a lot of consideration before using any potentially offensive language in the programme and it is used very sparingly. However the programme has a reputation for being as realistic as possible, and the use of the phrase was appropriate to Matt's character and the situation he found himself in.

 

20th May   

Update: Swearing by Opinion Polls...

Beyer commissions poll that manages to contradict BBC survey
Link Here

Mediawatch-UK banner A new poll published on 19th May 2009, shows that 73% of people find swearing on TV offensive. The poll, commissioned by mediawatch-uk, was conduced by ComRes who interviewed 1002 GB adults by telephone between 15 and 17 May 2009.

Significantly, the poll also found that 70% believe the regulator, OFCOM, should do more to reduce the amount of swearing on TV. Despite Ofcom's own Communications Market research conducted over recent years, showing that the majority of people believe there is too much swearing on TV, the regulator very rarely upholds public complaints on this issue.

60% of people believe that swearing on TV encourages swearing in daily life and 53% believe that children are not effectively protected from swearing on TV.

Speaking today, John Beyer, director of mediawatch-uk, said: The results of this survey show once again that swearing on TV causes widespread offence and that OFCOM really is not doing enough to allay public concern. We certainly welcome OFCOM's recent criticism of record-breaking programme, Ramsay's Great British Nightmare , but this action is too little too late.

Aware of the latest BBC survey Beyer disputed the finding that people are relaxed about swearing on TV. He said: It may be true that swearing ‘in context' is tolerable but for most people the main concern is with swearing that is entirely gratuitous and has no dramatic or any other context whatsoever.

Moreover, the BBC's findings seem to contradict research carried out by the BBC for Panorama in February which found that 55% of people thought there was now too much swearing, while 68% thought language had worsened in the past five years.


Beyer said: Rather than wasting licence fee payers money on unnecessary surveys, the BBC should be asking itself how swearing in programmes fulfils its Charter obligation to ‘sustain citizenship and civil society'.

Beyer concluded: The time really has come for broadcasters to act decisively on this matter by strengthening the regulations otherwise they know they risk alienating swathes of viewers. In the Digital Age when broadcasting standards matter more and more to viewers and listeners it really is no good ignoring public feeling against swearing on TV.

Comment: Attempt at Discrediting BBC Survey

From Dan

"Rather than wasting licence fee payers money on unnecessary surveys, the BBC should be asking itself how swearing in programmes fulfils its Charter obligation to 'sustain citizenship and civil society'".

The BBC's survey is unnecessary because it doesn't give Beyer what he wants to hear. If the survey had reported the viewers are all up in arms over swearing on TV Beyer would have said that it was very useful and welcomed it.

"We are hopeful that Gordon Brown, who has expressed personal concern about broadcasting standards, will now directly intervene in this situation and call upon broadcasters and film makers to seriously improve standards of literacy in their media productions."

Why should film makers be included in all this? The issue is over swearing on TV and the offence that it may or may not cause to TV viewers. Films have not been talked about and people who do not wish to hear swearing in films can avoid films that contain swearing.

But of course Beyer confuses offence with potential harm and believes swearing should be censored out of everything for the own good of viewers.

What Beyer and Mediawatch UK are worried about is that the results of the BBC's survey which shows viewers are relaxed about swearing (and again we don't know how representative of the entire broad spectrum of tastes and views of the British TV viewing public the survey is) will prevent the regulation to ban swearing on TV completely that he and Mediawatch UK want brought in.

Which is why he is launching into this tirade and why his pressure group have released this press release in order to attempt to discredit the BBC's findings.

At the moment surveys into viewers views on swearing, sex and violence are designed to fit the agendas of those who carry them out and are mainly targetted at certain groups (eg: Mediawatch UK's survey was probably carried out amongst people living in middle England who share their views).

It's time for a survey which will represent the views of all TV viewers and will take into account the broad tastes and views which TV viewers hold.

 

15th May   

Diary: A Nose for the Naughty Bits...

Jonathan Yeo creates collage of Mary Whitehouse from porn
Link Here

Collage of Cliff Richard and Mary Whitehouse The Rathbone, Rathbone Place, Soho London
15 May – 25 June 2009

An artist has produced a portrait of Cliff Richard with morality campaigner Mary Whitehouse out of pornographic cuttings from top-shelf magazines. From a distance, the collage looks harmless. But on closer examination, intimate body parts and various sexual poses become clear.

The portrait goes on display with a price tag of £25,000 at a new West End gallery which opens tonight.

The artist, Jonathan Yeo, told the Standard today he had chosen Mrs Whitehouse, who died in 2001 because he always had a problem with her . Sir Cliff is targeted because anybody who has lived in apparent abstinence deserves a bit of ribbing.

Yeo said: If Mary Whitehouse was still around I hope she would treat this picture as an insult. She equated nudity, bad language and violence as if they were all equally dangerous. I presume Cliff will have a sense of humour about it.

John Beyer, who took over Mrs Whitehouse's campaign, said: To have her memory besmirched is contemptible and passé. He needs to grow up.

But Mrs Whitehouse's son Richard said: It is quite witty really.

 

20th April   

Update: The Lunatics Have Taken over the Asylum...

Jonathan Ross has a dig at Ofcom, John Beyer and the Daily Mail
Link Here  full story: Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross...Winding up Andrew Sachs and Voluptua
John Beyer

 What’s the point of
having a media watchdog,
if the people who fall foul of it
just make fun of it?

The Daily Mail have had a bit of fun in a rant about Jonathan Ross being a little flippant over a statement about the Ofcom fine:

Jonathan Ross remained unrepentant over the Andrew Sachs scandal and made a string of sarcastic remarks and jokes on his Radio 2 show after a damning watchdog ruling into his conduct was read out.

Instead of taking the opportunity to apologise after the Ofcom ruling was detailed before his Saturday morning slot, he made a series of gags and the played Fun Boy Three’s The Lunatics Have Taken over the Asylum.

The ruling was over obscene messages that Ross and Russell Brand left on the 78 year-old actor’s answermachine about his granddaughter Georgina Baillie.

It described the messages as offensive, humiliating and demeaning. The statement continued: The material that was broadcast was exceptionally offensive, humiliating and demeaning.

After the announcement had finished, Ross said: You can never find a pen when you need one, can you? You didn’t get that email address down, did you? I want to get the full thing sent over because I can’t read enough about it.

He then played The Lunatics Have Taken Over The Asylum and made loaded comments with sidekick Andy Davies that suggested the lyrics were a fitting response.

After the song ended, Ross commented: You know, I’ve never really listened to the lyrics of that before. Davies laughed in the background and added: That was a lucky accident.

Conservative MP, Philip Davies, who sits on the media select committee, said: These comments show Jonathan Ross still does not think he has done anything wrong. He just didn’t seem to understand how angry the general public are about what he did.

A senior BBC insider told the Daily Mail: There are plenty of people at the BBC that would just like to see him go when his contract runs out. Ross just behaves like he has no respect for the people that have put their neck on the line, or lost their jobs, so he can keep his.

Mediawatch director John Beyer said: The BBC should be reviewing his contract. What’s the point of having an official regulator, if the people who fall foul of it just make fun of it?

Once again the corporation opted to defend his behaviour.

A BBC spokeswoman said: We are satisfied Jonathan’s light-hearted comments did not detract from the seriousness of the statement.

 

13th April   

Revealing a Right Tit...

Beyer whinges at nude drawing classes on daytime TV
Link Here
John Beyer

  obsession with sex and nudity

Channel 4 is to broadcast life drawing classes featuring nude models on afternoon television.

The station says it wants to revive interest in more traditional forms of art however the move will cause controversy as the programme will show full-frontal male and female nudity before the 9pm watershed.

Viewers of Life Class: Today’s Nude will be able to sketch models from home, while an expert will give pointers throughout the programme.

The five-part series, called Life Class: Today’s Nude , will air in July, before 6pm.

The idea for the show came from artist Alan Kane who said Channel 4 had no concerns at all : because it's educational and nonsexualised nudity

John Beyer, of viewing standards group Mediawatch-UK, claimed Channel 4 had an obsession with sex and nudity.

But John Whittingdale, the Tory chairman of the Commons culture select committee, said that, in principle, he would not object to nude life drawing classes before 9pm if they were in an educational context and avoided gratuitous titillation.

 

31st March   

Stick 'Em Up!...

John Beyer caught red handed firing dud comments
Link Here

iPhone gun An application which draw a gun image on the iPhone screen has caused 'outrage' among anti-gun campaigners.

The software is available from Apple's iTunes download store, enabling any iPhone or iPod Touch user to transform their handset into a mock firearm.

Makers of the app boast it allows users to experience the sweet release you can only get from a finely crafted firearm – a firearm so smooth and well-balanced it feels like an extension of your own hand.

The applications are known as Bang Bang , Tak Tak and Boom Boom among other names.

Claudia Webbe, the chair of an independent advisory group for the Metropolitan Police's Operation Trident gun-crime force, told the Evening Standard: This is hugely irresponsible in a climate when we are trying to get guns off the streets. I am stunned this game should ever have been allowed to have been made. We have spent years trying to get imitation guns out of shops and this sort of product undermines that effort.

John Beyer of mediawatch UK added: In view of recent events in Northern Ireland and elsewhere, I think anything that glamorises guns and shooting is in extremely poor taste. I would hope that whoever is responsible for this would withdraw it immediately.

Apple is said to have no immediate plans to withdraw the applications.

Comment: STICK EM UP!

John Beyer of mediawatch UK added: In view of recent events in Northern Ireland and elsewhere, I think anything that glamorises guns and shooting is in extremely poor taste. I would hope that whoever is responsible for this would withdraw it immediately.

Can you include our war mongering leaders who think the only way to solve disputes is through guns, shooting and violence Johnny Boy?

Anything that glamourises guns….Should we start banning wild western movies then Johnny?

Claudia Webbe, the chair of an independent advisory group for the Metropolitan Police's Operation Trident gun-crime force, told the Evening Standard: This is hugely irresponsible in a climate when we are trying to get guns off the streets. I am stunned this game should ever have been allowed to have been made. We have spent years trying to get imitation guns out of shops and this sort of product undermines that effort.

It's not really an imitation gun is it? It's still a mobile phone! Anyone who walks in to a shop and holds up a gun and yells STICK EM UP! is just gonna look stupid!

Never let the facts gets in the way of a good rent-a-quote opportunity!

 

8th March   

Offsite: Brand Impact...

Mediawatch-UK post their Spring newsletter
Link Here

Mediawatch-UK logo Putting our commitment where our mouth is!

I am grateful to all of you who support our work. For years mediawatch-uk has been sounding an independent clarion voice, challenging the decline of decent standards on television. It was then, a great encouragement, when our voice was suddenly joined by over 40,000 ordinary people, politicians, celebrities and other media personnel in a unified chorus of objection to the level of swearing on TV, thanks to the antics of Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand.

Suddenly those of us who had been campaigning for years along with those who had protested silently in our chairs for a very long time, felt a surge of people power! There really were others who felt like us - we were reassured that we were part of a majority not a minority - although of course the statistics had always told that story!

Suddenly the number of people joining mediawatch-uk online started to rise; the media was jostling for John Beyer's take on issues of taste and decency; and we were encouraged that all the work carried out on making the new website accessible, interesting and attractive was producing results. People were deciding it was time to put their money where their mouth is! It is important that we maintain the momentum of this campaign.

...Read the full nonsense

 

6th March   

Offsite: John Beyer vs Julian Petley...

Is it time to abolish obscenity legislation?
Link Here
Lord Denning

Lord Denning:  
Much that is obscene has escaped
the reach of the law.

John Beyer to Julian Petley:

In 1972 Lord Denning, then Master of the Rolls, observed that the 1959 Obscene Publications Act had misfired so far as prosecutions are concerned. Much that is obscene, he said, has escaped the reach of the law. This remains the position today.

In criminal cases under this act, jurors are asked not if the material before them is obscene but if an imaginary third party who is likely to see it would tend to be depraved or corrupted. Given that it was parliament's intention to strengthen the law concerning pornography there can be no doubt that the law has failed because of this fundamentally flawed test. Any objective examination of the volume and nature of pornography now compared with 50 years ago surely proves the point conclusively.

I would argue that the act should be replaced with one that actually achieves what parliament intended. Several attempts to amend the law have failed, not because they lacked popular support, but because of parliamentary procedures. The best option for reform, I believe, was that proposed by the late Earl of Halsbury in the House of Lords in 1980 in a debate he initiated about the Williams report, which examined the issue in the late 70s. Halsbury suggested drawing up a list of obscene sexual imagery, but this proposal was criticised by Williams, as it could never be exhaustive. Halsbury asked: If it catches 90% of what you want to catch, is that not better than catching nothing at all?

...Read full article

 

1st March   

Comment: Daily Mail Wankers...

Nonsense article about Bono using the word wanker on daytime radio
Link Here

No Line on the Horizon CD Pop star Bono wound up the Daily Mail's soundbite ntters on  BBC radio after the broadcaster kicked off a day-long promotion of his band U2.

The band were being interviewed by Radio 1 DJ Jo Whiley when Bono called Coldplay star Chris Martin a 'wanker'.

A shocked Whiley immediately interrupted the star to demand an apology for the word which was being broadcast at 11.45am.

The corporation issued an on-air apology on behalf of Bono. The BBC later uploaded the interview onto it's iPlayer website without edits.

The incident occurred after Whiley played a Coldplay track ahead of the band's arrival in the studio. She asked Bono if he thought that Martin was as talented as Paul McCartney.

Bono replied: I think he's that good a melodist, but he's a wanker.

Whiley then cut the star off mid way through his answer saying: Would you like to apologise for what you've just said live on my show?

Bono joked: I'm a reformed character, I don't do that any more. Whiley retorted: You're not showing any signs of being reformed.

Whiley made an apology herself and added: I'm sorry if anyone is listening at the moment who were offended by the words that Bono said. I will apologise on his behalf.

Bono then added: I'm sorry, it's early.

Tory MP, broadcaster and Daily Mail sound bite nutter, Ann Widdecombe hit out at the BBC for failing to learn from past mistakes, including the Andrew Sachs fiasco.

She told the Daily Mail: If the BBC are really serious about trying to clean up their act then this not the way to go about doing it. It just shows complete contempt for the public.

John Beyer, director of Mediawatch UK, ccused the corporation of failing to warn its guests about the use of bad language.

He said: They should have edited the interview they put online. This type of language is not acceptable. The public opinion on this is clear and most people do not want to hear it. The BBC need to be able to properly advise the interviewees about the use of bad language and make sure it is not offensive on-air. If the artists can't accept this they should not be invited back again.

The BBC said they had received six complaints from listeners after the outburst.

Comment: Sometimes 'Wanker' is very appropriate indeed

John Beyer 1st March 2009. Thanks to Alan:

Beyer: This type of language is not acceptable.

To whom is it not acceptable? I've used it in the car when cut up by a wanker, in the pub when I've thought the pub bore was a wanker, in the factory canteen when I thought the managing director was a wanker, in the senior common room when I thought the vice-chancellor was a wanker. In fact I've just used it in front of my computer when I thought the odious, Pooterish, sanctimonious, fun-hating, authoritarian Gruppenfuhrer von Beyer was a wanker.

Just who does this noisome little pillock think he is?

 

16th February   

Beyer Recommends...

Free Agents
Link Here

Free Agents TV censor Ofcom is preparing for a wave of complaints this week over the language used in a Channel 4 sitcom.

'cunt' featured three times in the new comedy, Free Agents , first aired last Friday.

Actor Anthony Head plays the head of a talent agency in the six-part series, written by Chris Niel and described as a caustic romantic comedy.

Head, who became famous in the cult show Buffy The Vampire Slayer, said : Free Agents is a very adult show but it is very ­funny, and I get to say words I've never said on ­television before. It's very ­liberating.

In the first few minutes, Head's character Stephen Cauldwell said: Good morning, my dear cunts. 'fuck' also featured 22 times in the half-hour episode.

Mediawatch spokesman John Beyer said: The obscene language in this programme is appalling by any standard. It shows a disregard of public concern that is completely unacceptable from a public service broadcaster.

We invite readers to sign our Stop Swearing on TV online petition to the Prime Minister and we call again on the regulator, ­Ofcom, to rewrite the terms of its Broadcasting Code so that offensive language of this sort and ­intensity attracts substantial financial penalties.

 

8th February   

Update: The Fuck-Up...

Whinging at book shops selling books with 'fuck' in the title
Link Here

Fuck-Up book Tesco and Asda were 'condemned' for selling a string of books and CDs with the F-word in their titles.

The items were available on their websites, where they were easily accessible to children.

Asda quickly apologised when The Mail on Sunday brought the books and CDs to its attention and promptly removed them from its stock list.

Tesco explained that its technological filter system, designed to prevent any products with offensive titles from appearing on its main site, had been faulty. It has since been repaired, making the titles more difficult to view.

But nutter MPs and campaigners are now questioning whether a change in the law is necessary to prevent unlimited access to such products.

Don Foster, the not so Liberal Democrat MP for Bath, criticised falling standards of decency among retailers. He said: In terms of magazines, CDs and DVDs, standards seem to be slipping. If the industry can't collectively sort itself out then we must seriously look into external regulation. If they can't regulate themselves, we may have to introduce a statutory code.

Nadine Dorries, the Conservative MP for Mid Bedfordshire, questioned how selling adult material fitted in with Tesco's image as a family supermarket. Is this the beginning of Tesco's drive to dominate the entire retail industry by abandoning all moral boundaries? Is this Tesco's first step into the adult retail market? What kind of supermarket with a shred of moral responsibility allows such products to be sold openly on the internet, available to children, possibly without a parent's knowledge?

The two supermarkets are not alone in featuring controversial titles on their websites. Last week WHSmith had 23 titles containing the F-word while Waterstone's had 38.
This widespread availability reflects the lack of regulation on the display of such goods on the internet. As the products are legal to sell, the stores themselves agree on a code of conduct over their availability.

Both Tesco and Asda said they did not sell books with the 'fuck' in the titles in their supermarkets.

Tesco Direct had more than ten books and CDs on its site with the F-word in the titles. These included How To Fuck A Woman's Brains Out . Other examples were The Fuck-Up , an American novel about a hopeless New Yorker; and Fuck It: The Ultimate Spiritual Way , a self-help book written by an ex-advertising executive turned holistic healer.

A Tesco spokesman said: We block material which may cause offence so that titles like these cannot be searched for or accidentally found. Unfortunately our filter process was not working properly but has now been fixed. We're grateful this was brought to our attention as we do take this responsibility seriously. With Tesco's filter system, the only way to buy a book with an offensive title is to find out its ISBN – a unique identifying code – and enter that in the site's search engine.

Asda's website is monitored by a third party, which removes from sale anything deemed to be offensive.

Last night, however, both supermarkets' websites were still offering books whose titles use f**k starred out.

John Beyer of campaign group Mediawatch-uk said the products were legal to sell. But he described the law as ineffective and stressed that retailers had a duty to protect shoppers. He said: Sellers have a wider responsibility to the community they serve. Having that word in the title on full display is not something you'd expect of a supermarket.

 

7th February   

Baleful Apology...

BBC Breakfast News next for the complaints production line
Link Here

Terminator Salvation poster The BBC apologised after broadcasting strong language on Breakfast News.

The show was doing an item on an expletive-laden rant by actor Christian Bale on the set of the new Terminator film.

His four-minute outburst at the film's director of photography, Shane Hurlbut, has become a hit on YouTube.

Ashen-faced: BBC presenters Charlie Stayt and Susanna Reid were left stunned as Christian Bale's foul-mouthed rant turned the airwaves blue
Ashen-faced: BBC presenters Charlie Stayt and Susanna Reid were left stunned as Christian Bale's foul-mouthed rant turned the airwaves blue

Before playing a clip at 6.55am presenter Charlie Stayt told BBC1 viewers they may want to cover their ears because of its aggressive nature.

The clip was then aired with Bale heard shouting ‘fuck' before producers, realising their error, cut the video short.

A shriek was heard in the studio before the programme returned to the two presenters, open-mouthed and supposedly pale with shock, not at the language, but at the fear of the usual media spotlight.

Susanna Reid said: An enormous apology. That was definitely supposed to be edited. We are very sorry. You won't hear that again. We do apologise.

The BBC received more than 50 complaints, with many supposedly concerned that it was heard by schoolchildren, but really enjoying the expected BBC embarrassment.

The BBC blamed a technical error. A spokeswoman said: We apologised on air immediately afterwards and another apology was given at the end of the programme. We also pulled a later repeat of the item. We are sorry for any offence caused.

John Beyer, of Media Watch accused the BBC of being careless particularly as younger children getting ready for school could have been watching.

He added: Given the controversy about bad language on television they should have been far more careful. It's language that the audience watching BBC Breakfast would not expect.

The BBC should have been alert to the problems when airing clips like these. They have apologised and are right to do so promptly.


Bale's astonishing tantrum has been viewed by millions since it was posted online earlier this week. In the clip he is seen shouting and swearing profusely at the film's director of photography Shane Hurlbut. The four minute outburst contained around 35 expletives, and was simply prompted by Hurlbot distracting him during a scene. It also sees the star threaten to quit his lead role as John Connor in the multi-million pound film unless Hurlbot is fired.

 

3rd February   

Update: The Effing Record...

Beyer claims Channel 4's standing as public service broadcaster should be reviewed over Ramsey's language
Link Here
John Beyer

  Perhaps Gordon Ramsey should
try his hand at sorting out
failing morality campaigns

Beyer's predictably jumped on the Gordon Ramsey bandwagon:

Gordon Ramsey is apparently in record breaking form after swearing 243 times in one show.His guests took the total to 312 expletives.

Friday night's programme broke the record for the most swearwords in a TV show set by the comic Paul Kaye in 2007. Ramsay used the F-word 187 times in his programme that ran for 103 minutes.

Ann Widdecombe, the former Tory minister, has led calls for Ramsay to be sacked: Anybody who swears that much on a cooking show must be fired. Most people were already fed up with him. This is the final straw. Just how far does he have to go before Channel 4 bosses accept that he has caused real and genuine offence and broken all acceptable boundaries of good taste? What is their limit?

Mediawatch director John Beyer went one step further and called for Channel 4 to be sacked. He said: This is a serious political issue. Ramsay's behaviour was unacceptable and Channel 4 is ultimately responsible for it. They know what he is like and it's completely wrong for them to let this go when it has caused so much offence.

The channel's whole remit as a public service broadcaster needs to be investigated by the Government if it refuses to take on board the concerns of viewers and politicians.

Channel 4, which received 69 complaints from viewers, said no action would be taken against Ramsay. A spokesman said: He is a well-known TV personality and viewers know what to expect when watching these programmes. This was an extended two-hour programme shown after the watershed and preceded by an on-air warning about its content. The swearing is a genuine expression of Gordon's passion and frustration.

 

26th January   

Update: Ross Dross...

Daily Mail digs up the easily offended
Link Here  full story: Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross...Winding up Andrew Sachs and Voluptua

Friday Night with Jonathan Ross titles The family of an 86-year-old Alzheimer's sufferer condemned Jonathan Ross after he cracked a joke about having sex with her.

The broadcaster marked his return to his BBC Radio 2 show with the gag which was immediately pounced on by those gunning for him to be sacked.

Elderly Francisca Guzman's son expressed deep hurt that his frail mother, who has had dementia for three years, was the butt of Ross's joke.

Jose Maria Moreno said: It is offensive. My mother's mental health should not be a subject for comedy and Ross should be sacked. What he said is unforgivable and offensive. I don't understand how he can continue working for an organisation like the BBC.

Ross and his producer Andy Davies were discussing how they had spent their time during the suspension. Davies said he had done some bricklaying in the garden of his villa in Spain but kept getting grabbed by a frisky 80-year-old woman.

Ross declared: Eighty, oh God! I think you should, just for charity. Give her one last night, will you? One last night before the grave. Would it kill you?

Although Mrs Guzman was not named, she is well known in the Andalusian village of Conchar, near Granada, where Davies has his villa.
Jonathan Ross

Last night there were new calls for Ross to be sacked. Tory MP David Davies said: There is a place for humour but it has to be appropriate to the time of the day. And that clearly wasn't.

Mediawatch director John Beyer said: Jokes like this are not on. He should have gone months ago.

Ross told the News of the World yesterday: Absolutely no offence to any individual was intended. It was a spontaneous, light-hearted remark made in response to an anecdote set in Spain, where no one was named or ever likely to hear the broadcast. As far as I was concerned, the story may even have been apocryphal or exaggerated for comedic purposes.

The BBC said it had received 25 complaints.

 

25th January   

Update: In the Spotlight...

Jonathan Ross censored for his return in the press spotlight
Link Here  full story: Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross...Winding up Andrew Sachs and Voluptua

Friday Night with Jonathan Ross titles Jonathan Ross was heavily censored when his chat show was aired on Friday night.

Despite swearing several times and making a series of crude remarks during the pre-recording of Friday Night with Jonathan Ross on Thursday morning, Friday's broadcast of his chat show was radically toned down, with all of Ross's bad language and sexually suggestive remarks cut from the final version of the programme.

Ross twice directed 'fuck' at Tom Cruise, one of the guests on the show, during the pre-record.

He also swore at the comedian Lee Evans, another guest of the show, who used the word 'shit' shortly after he came on. In response, Ross said: Don't come on here with your 'fucking' foul mouth. This is a brave new world.

All of Ross's swear words were cut from the programme when it was aired on Friday night.

During the pre-record, Ross also asked Cruise to feel his right biceps, before claiming that his right bicep is better toned thanks to what he does with that hand. This was also cut from the final version of the show.

Ross also made several joking references to Russell Brand, all of which were cut from Friday's broadcast.

John Beyer, the director of the pressure group Media-Watch UK, said: The BBC would have been very foolish to continue giving a completely free rein to Jonathan Ross. Let's hope this brings a more sensible approach to this sort of programme and that viewers' trust in broadcasting is restored.

Ross returns to radio with some old jokes

Based on article from dailymail.co.uk

The Daily Mail  enjoyed the return of Jonathan Ross to Radio 2 and his remarks about sleeping with an 80-year-old woman.

Ten minutes after the live show began, Ross and his co-presenter Andy Davies talked about how they had spent the past three months, when Ross was suspended from the BBC.

Davies said that he had been doing some DIY at his house in Spain, and referred to an ‘older woman’ who lives nearby who keeps trying to kiss me...she must be about 80, I reckon.

Ross replied: Oh God. I think you should, just for charity. Give her one last night, will you? One last night before the grave. Would it kill you?

A BBC spokesman said it had received 18 complaints about the show.

 

22nd January   

Update: Small Minded...

Whingers hyped up by Celebrity Big Brother nonsense
Link Here

Verne Troyer Celebrity Big Brother star Verne Troyer has stirred up a few nutters.

A very late night showing on Tuesday night’s C4 highlights show featured him and the other celebrities making a movie of their favourite moments in the BB house as part of a task.

Verne decided to re-enact his antics from last week when he got drunk on champagne and flirted with all the girls.

He grabbed a toy doll and pretended it was former housemate Mutya Buena.

Egged on by rapper Coolio, he snogged the baby doll on the lips for several seconds, gasping: Oooh Mutya. Oooh Mutya. Verne then drew away, stuck out his long tongue, wiggled it around and went back in for another smacker.

Last night a spokeswoman for anti-child sex abuse charity Kidscape blasted: It seems there are no moral guidelines on this show. The fact this was broadcast suggests that it’s okay to be indecent. It’s misusing a symbol of childhood. The fact that people will see a celebrity doing something like this almost gives credence to it.”

An Ofcom spokesman said: We have received complaints. We shall be investigating them to see if any codes or guidelines have been breached.

John Beyer, of nutter group Mediawatch, said: It seems they have broadcast this to create controversy to try to boost their ratings.

 

18th January   

Update: Forgive and Forget...

But Beyer continues his prolonged rant against Jonathan Ross
Link Here  full story: Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross...Winding up Andrew Sachs and Voluptua
Sermon on the mount

  Forgive them their trespasses...
Unless they trespass against YOU 

Jonathan Ross will return to BBC work as the Baftas host after the end of his suspension.

And in a cheeky move that nutters say shows a total lack of humility, Ross has asked for fans to email him 'improbable words' he can slip into his speech.

He wrote on his blog: Here is a game you'll like. Suggest an improbable word that I have to slip into the Baftas when I host them in February. Ready, set, go.

The prestigious role, and Ross's comments on his blog, attracted predictable nutter 'outrage'.

Conservative MP Philip Davies said: The BBC should have fired him. Ross clearly does not realise how angry people were - and still are. He should come back and show that he has taken that - and his suspension - on board, but the evidence from his blog is that he hasn't learnt anything.

John Beyer of Mediawatch UK, said the BBC should be more circumspect. He added: BBC1 controller Jay Hunt has said that Ross needs to regain viewers' trust. He needs to prove himself and I don't think being handed this highprofile, prestigious role just two weeks after the end of the suspension is the right decision.

Ross's Friday night chat show will return on January 23. The Bafta ceremony at the Royal Opera House in London will be broadcast on February 8 on BBC1, BBC2 and BBC3.

 

16th January   

Update: MadBeyerWorld...

Beyer disappointed at MadWorld game being passed by the BBFC
Link Here  full story: MadWorld...Nutters rant against MadWorld video game

Madworld game John Beyer of Mediawatch-UK, has told SPOnG that he is disappointed by the BBFC's decision to give SEGA's violent Wii title, MadWorld , an 18 rating.

I'm disappointed but not surprised , Beyer told SPOnG: I think my view is pretty well known. It's what I expected.

The 18 rating was granted by the BBFC, with no cuts made. The consumer advice reads: Contains very strong, stylised, bloody violence.

 

11th January   

Inappropriate for Nutters...

Beyer recycles old tat for whinges about Above Suspicion
Link Here

Above Suspicion book The ITV is under investigation by TV censor Ofcom for screening a drama in which an unconscious woman was raped before having her tongue bitten off. After receiving a few complaints, Ofcom has launched a preliminary assessment to see if the drama breached the Broadcasting Code.

Above Suspicion, written by thriller veteran Lynda La Plante was made into a two-part drama about a hunt for a serial killer was screened on successive nights last week, with each episode attracting about seven million viewers. It was shown after the 9pm watershed

In the complained about scene, a woman in her 20s was knocked unconscious by having her head banged against a car window, before being carried to a piece of waste ground and raped. When she regained consciousness, during the attack, her assailant bit off part of her tongue before continuing to rape and eventually kill her. The programme also
showed images of nudity and one of drug-taking.

John Beyer, director of Mediawatch UK, said: Graphic brutality of this nature is not appropriate for television audiences. While we understand that Lynda La Plante has a reputation for writing graphic scenes, showing this sort of gratuitous brutality against a defenceless woman is unacceptable. If it didn’t breach the Broadcasting Code, the code obviously needs addressing.

Beyer also pointed out that screening this type of programme highlighted the dangers of free internet video services, which allow users to watch TV shows at a time of their choosing.

Beyer said: The Government must address the situation urgently. We know the Culture Secretary Andy Burnham is concerned but the ground rules should have been set before technological innovations like the ITV Player were introduced.

Tory MP Philip Davies, who sits on the Commons Culture Select Committee, said: Watching adult, graphic material on TV is a matter of personal taste. As for this sort of material being available on the internet, it is up to parents to monitor what their children are watching. But this type of programme being on an internet video service is a huge moral dilemma for all broadcasters.

A spokesman for ITV said: Above Suspicion is a gritty police drama that was broadcast post-watershed. Both episodes were preceded by a warning about the content. We are sorry if viewers missed the warning. We have received many positive comments in praise of this drama.’