The BBC fixed it to ban comics from making Jimmy Savile jokes on Mock The Week, host Dara O Briain has
O Briain told The Sun that Savile was off-limits, saying: The BBC were very cautious about that. I don't think they wanted anything about that on Mock The Week.
A BBC spokeswoman claimed there was no such ban, but added that productions are asked to be sensitive given the nature of the allegations.
But Andy Parsons slipped one comment in which made the final edit. When asked what question might have the answer 10 billion, he said: What are the chances against a joke about Jim'll Fix It on the BBC?
The BBC has said religious exclamations are part of everyday language and refused to
apologise to a vicar who complained about comments made by Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson.
Clarkson was filmed shouting Jesus wept while driving a KTM X-bow open top sports car and said: God Almighty while driving a Bentley powered by a Spitfire engine.
Graeme Anderson, the vicar of St Mary's church in Radcliffe-on-Trent in Nottinghamshire accused the BBC of double standards where religion was concerned. He whinged:
I found his comments very, very offensive and I think many Christians would also. Related.
They belittled, trivialised and cheapened Jesus Christ and Christianity. I was really quite surprised as he is a BBC presenter and it is blasphemous.
In a statement, the BBC said:
We're aware that blasphemous language, including the casual or derogatory use of holy names or religious words, can be a source of particular offence to some members of the audience, but judgements about its use are difficult because they depend on tone
There is no consensus about words that are acceptable, when, and by whom, as different words cause different degrees of offence to different people. Some of the words and phrases that can cause offence have, whether we like it or not, become part of
everyday language and it would be unrealistic for broadcasters to suggest they are not widely used in a range of contexts.
Channel 4 has commissioned Sex Toy Story , a one off documentary that will follow Britain's biggest supplier of sex toys, Ann
Summers, in its attempt to create the first ever people's vibrator.
The chain's chief executive, Jacqueline Gold, has decided it's time for bold ideas if she wants to stay ahead of the competition. She has set her company the task of developing a range of vibrators.
A cross-section of British women will be called upon to create a panel of experts. Over a period of six months, they will road test the best sex toys on the market, take part in a range of experiments to determine exactly what turns women on, and then
pitch their ideas to the Ann Summers design team.
TV censor Ofcom is to investigate ITV News after a presenter used the taboo word coloured when reporting on racism in
football. Richard Pallot, an ITV News reporter, used the word in a report last month whilst attending a racism in football summit at Downing Street.
ITV took to Twitter, to apologise for the use of the word, which was broadcast during a lunchtime bulletin, as well as editing the comment out of all catch-up editions on ITV Player, and the ITV News website.
Ofcom will consider whether ITV News broke broadcasting rules covering the prevention of harm and offence to viewers, along with maintaining generally accepted standards, according to the Guardian newspaper.
An ITV News spokesman said at the time:
ITV News apologises for the inappropriate use of the word 'coloured' in a report on racism and football in today's news at 1.30pm. We take this error very seriously and we regret any offence caused.
Red Dwarf star Danny John Jules was amongst one of the first to criticise, taking to Twitter to say:
An @ITV news report on David Cameron's 'Race Pow-Wow' at No 10 and the DINOSAURS referred to Black players as 'COLOURED'. WTF? Dumb Fuckwits! (sic)
Adele has won two prizes at the Brit Awards ceremony in London, but was at the centre of controversy after one of her acceptance speeches was cut short.
Her speech was halted after she picked up the prize for best British album. She also won best British female.
I flung the middle finger. That was for the suits at the Brit Awards, not my fans. I'm sorry if I offended anyone but the suits offended me, she said.
There were boos from the audience as she was interrupted by host James Corden in order to introduce the final perfomers, Blur. Adele then added: Can I just say, then, goodbye and I'll see you next time round. Her gesture was then momentarily
visible on the live ITV1 coverage.
ITV later issued a statement about the incident, saying: The Brits is a live event. Unfortunately the programme was over-running and we had to move on. We would like to apologise to Adele for the interruption.
Keith Vaz has had another knock at the Top Gear Christmas Special that featured a few jokey comments about India.
Vaz has tabled an Early Day Motion in Parliament saying:
That this House is deeply concerned by recent events which have served to undermine the excellent relationship between India and the UK;
notes that the Top Gear India Christmas Special, featuring the unhelpful comments of Jeremy Clarkson and Dow Chemicals' sponsorship of the London 2012 Olympics in particular have had a very negative reaction in India;
is concerned that Indian student applications to UK universities are falling;
is disappointed by Britain's failure to secure the fighter jet contract from India despite the efforts of successive defence ministers;
and calls on the Government to re-energise this vital, special and enduring relationship which ought to be one of the closest and most beneficial in the world.
A disfigurement group has called for Jeremy Clarkson and the BBC to apologise after the Top Gear presenter compared the shape of a new car to people with growths on their faces .
In an episode of the BBC motoring show Clarkson likened a Japanese car with a large bulge on the back to a really ugly growth.
He suggested that people wouldn't talk to [the car] at a party and did an impression of the elephant man, the disfigured Victorian character, after fellow presenter Richard Hammond dubbed the vehicle the elephant car .
James Partridge, the chief executive of group Changing Faces , said that Clarkson's comments create a culture of ridicule and bullying against people who are ill, disabled or have unusual features.
Mocking people with a disfigurement, a facial growth in this case, is irresponsible and extremely offensive. People with disfigurements experience discrimination and bullying which occasionally includes violence, said Partridge.
The group has written a letter of complaint to Ofcom, the broadcasting watchdog, and the BBC, which has received 55 complaints about the broadcast.
A BBC spokesman said that there were no plans to edit Clarkson's comments about growths out of tonight's repeat how, but declined to comment further.
Anomalies in Guernsey's television and radio laws have been caused by UK authorities failing to communicate, the Home
Department has said.
It made the comment in a report asking the legislative assembly known as the States to approve remedial legislation to retrospectively cover changes made in the UK since 2003. The report is due to go before the States in March.
The current laws leave uncertainty over issues such as TV licensing and the power of the regulator Ofcom.
The department said as part of the process of preparing the legislation it has contacted the relevant UK authorities to ensure all future legislation will be passed on to Guernsey.
The MTV reality show Geordie Shore returns on Tuesday. Its first series caused a nutter outcry for having fun with flesh-baring, booze-fuelled debauchery
Newcastle Central MP Chi Onwurah has resumed her long running whinge against the programme for portraying Newcastle as the binge drinking capital of Britain. She spouted:
Geordie Shore is not representative of Newcastle or Geordies.
If people feel that the show does not represent Newcastle they should complain to Ofcom.
However it does seem that drinking is in fact going on in Newcastle and that the city has more female drinkers than most. The local paper, the Chronicle, reported a few days ago that more people in the North East are dying from drink-related illnesses
than ever before. Figures from the Office of National Statistics showed a drinker dies every 18 hours, and the number of women dying from alcohol is the second highest in the country.
Colin Shevills, director of Balance, the North East Alcohol Office, said:
Geordie Shore is a perfect example of how drinking at dangerous levels is portrayed as normal. If last year's series is anything to go by, we will see a hand-picked cast of easily influenced young North Easterners who have been
sold the lie that it is perfectly normal and acceptable to drink too much, too often.
Whether it is aware of what it is doing or not, the production and broadcast companies responsible for Geordie Shore are saying to our young people, you can't have fun, be successful or be popular with the opposite sex unless you
drink to excess.
The Very Reverend Chris Dalliston, Dean of Newcastle, also branded the show a backward step for the city:
Going out and getting drunk is now the least attractive aspect of where we live and TV programmes like this do us a huge disservice.
Channel 4 has parted company with controversial Scots comic Frankie Boyle.
The station has confirmed it will not commission a second series of Boyle's famous sketch show Tramadol Nights .
Boyle insisted he had no regrets over controversial content. The programme sparked about 500 complaints, and was criticised by MPs and nutters after the comedian made a controversial remark about Katie Price's disabled son Harvey.
The broadcaster also says the Glaswegian's planned chat show will now not be screened. A pilot episode of Frankie Boyle's Rehabilitation Programme was filmed late last year but the channel decided not to proceed any further.
The unscreened television venture was meant to feature Boyle being confronted by celebrities and members of the public who attempt to change his uncompromising world view in a series of funny, informed debates . Speaking last year about
the proposed pilot, Channel 4's head of comedy Shane Allen said:It's very much like Parkinson or Wogan, but with paedo jokes.
A Channel 4 documentary about bare-knuckle
fighting in the traveller community has prompted complaints about animal cruelty and child abuse.
Ofcom received 289 complaints about Gypsy Blood , which aired last week. C4 also received a number of complaints. A spokesman said that the complaints were being assessed.
Animal welfare charity, the RSPCA, said they would also be making an official complaint.
Directed by Leo Maguire, Gypsy Blood - part of the True Stories series - was seen by more than 2m viewers. A Channel 4 spokeswoman said:
To accurately reflect the experiences of the film-maker who spent years documenting the culture of two gypsy families, including hunting and fighting, some scenes were included that viewers may have found difficult to watch but
were justified in context.
The programme was preceded by on air warnings and appropriately scheduled.
6 million people tuned in to BBC1 to watch Birdsong , a raunchy adaptation of Sebastian Faulks's First World War novel.
And an hour into the love story, audiences were given lashings of simulated sex as the two main characters got down to it. Well after the TV watershed though.
Clean-up telly campaigners claim that although the hot scenes were screened after the watershed, they will still be available for young people to access.
Vivienne Pattison, of pressure group Mediawatch UK, said:
It is all too easy for them to get hold of it on BBC iPlayer if they want to.
All they have to do is tick a box to say they're 16 and they're away. We are concerned about children's access to TV programmes on the internet. It's not enough to just put a warning at the start of a programme and make sure it
is after the watershed.
A spokesman for Ofcom said they had received just a handful of complaints about the sex scenes but the BBC had not received any.
Exposure: Gaddafi and the IRA
ITV1, 26 September 2011, 22:35
Exposure: Gaddafi and the IRA was a current affairs programme which investigated the financial and military links between the former Libyan leader, Colonel Gaddafi, and the Irish Republican Army ( IRA ).
A total of 26 viewers alerted Ofcom to two pieces of footage shown within the programme, which viewers considered were misleading:
footage, labelled IRA Film 1988 , which was described in the programme as film taken by the IRA of IRA members attempting to shoot down a British Army helicopter in June 1988. Viewers said that this footage was in fact material taken
from a video game; and
footage of police clashing with rioters in Northern Ireland, described in the programme as being of a riot in the Ardoyne area of Belfast in July 2011. Viewers said that, due to the type of police riot vehicles shown in the footage, the footage
must have been of an earlier riot.
Ofcom considered the above material raised issues warranting investigation under Rule 2.2 of the Code, which states:
Factual programmes or items or portrayals of factual matters must not materially mislead the audience.
ITV explained that regrettably the internet footage used was not cross-checked and verified by the production staff as being the Cook Report footage. The final result of this series of events was that the internet footage used
in the programme was not the Cook Report footage but footage from the computer gameArma II . ITV said that this incident was purely a case of human error. It was not ITV's intention to mislead viewers and the use of the wrong footage was
in no way deliberate.
ITV also said that during the production process, the programme producer had requested footage of the July 2011 Ardoyne riot from a local historian who has supplied footage to various broadcasters in the past , and who, therefore, the producer
considered to be a trustworthy source. However, the historian provided footage of anearlier riot that had occurred in the Ardoyne area of Belfast several years before 2011. Due to a miscommunication between the producer and the historian
the discrepancy between the July riot and the [riot footage] supplied was not discovered, and the clip of the earlier riot remained in the programme . ITV said that this mistake was the result of human error and not a deliberate attempt
to mislead viewers.
The viewers of this serious current affairs programme were misled as to the nature of the material they were watching. In the circumstances, this represented a significant breach of audience trust, particularly in the context of a public service
broadcaster. As such, Ofcom considered the programme to be materially misleading, in breach of Rule 2.2.
Ofcom was particularly concerned by this compliance failure by ITV. We do not expect any issues of a similar nature to arise in future.
Top Gear's Christmas Special had a bit of fun in India. The usual irreverent jokes ridiculed India's food, toilets,
traditional clothing, trains and history.
The jokes notably included Clarkson riding around the country's worst slums in a 4-litre Jaguar fitted with a toilet, joking: This is perfect because everyone here gets the trots.
Not all the jokes targeted India, there was plenty of self effacing fun too. An advertising banner incompetently pasted to the side of train was split as carriages parted losing the last 3 letters from: Eat English Muffins
Even David Cameron participated in the Top Gear fun. He had a cameo role waving off the Top Gear trio on a trade mission as ambassadors of Britain to save the UK from bankruptcy.
At the time the programme got up the nose of the nutter mp Keith Vaz.
Now the Indian High Commission in London has formally complained to the BBC, accusing its producers of deceiving them over the nature of the programme, which was jokingly billed as a trade mission .
We've received complaints from some viewers who felt the Top Gear: India Special was offensive towards the country and its culture.
Top Gear's response
The Top Gear road trip across India was filled with incidents but none of them were an insult to the Indian people or the culture of the country. Our film showed the charm, the beauty, the wealth, the poverty and the idiosyncrasies
of India but there's a vast difference between showing a country, warts and all, and insulting it. It's simply not the case that we displayed a hostile or superior attitude to our hosts and that's very clear from the way the presenters can be seen to
interact with them along the way. We genuinely loved our time in India and if there were any jokes to be had they were, as ever, reflected back on the presenters rather than the Indian people.
Offsite Comment: Don't give way to the Top Gear-bashers
What Clarkson's audience understands that
his shrill critics do not is that he is not to be taken seriously.
I wonder what proportion of the five million viewers of the Top Gear India Special over Christmas was desperate-to-be-offended members of the chattering classes? Skipping the second instalment of Great Expectations, they no doubt
sat through the show solely to tweet about how awful Jeremy Clarkson and Co's monkeying about on the road to the Indian Himalayas was.
Tessa Munt (Wells) (LD): I was shocked to discover that mainstream terrestrial television carries adverts for online bingo at 5 o'clock in the afternoon and that 31 hours and 55 minutes each week is dedicated to live casino betting and
gaming, which has been classified as teleshopping since 2009. At a time when there is£ 1.45 trillion of personal debt in this country and when we are encouraging people to be moderate in their expectations and
behaviour, will the Prime Minister please protect consumers, children and the vulnerable from this kind of activity by asking for a review by Ofcom---
The Prime Minister : The hon. Lady raises an important issue about gambling advertisement on television. I am all in favour of deregulation and trying to allow businesses to get on and succeed. Gambling programmes and betting advertising
were not permitted until the last Government allowed them in 2007 and they are strictly regulated by Ofcom and the Advertising Standards Authority. It is not just a question of regulation, as it is also a question of responsibility by the companies
concerned. Anyone who enjoys watching a football match will see quite aggressive advertisements on the television, and I think companies have to ask themselves whether they are behaving responsibly when they do that.
Meg Hillier (Hackney South and Shoreditch) (Lab/Co-op): On the subject of gambling, Hackney has 90 bookies---three times the national average. Will the Prime Minister listen to the debate that took place yesterday and take action this Friday
and instruct his Ministers to support the private Member's Bill that will be before the House and will give local authorities more planning powers over bookies?
The Prime Minister : I will certainly look at the debate the hon. Lady mentions and the ideas expressed in it. We are all for localism and giving local authorities greater powers in these sorts of regards. I will look at the suggestion
ITV bosses are said to be 'infuriated' by tabloid 'revelations' about contestants.
The Mirror reports that ITV bosses feel the channel is being dragged through the mud and are demanding tighter controls over future contestants. Top level management told the show's independent production company, Talkback Thames, that
letting criminals and ex-prostitutes appear isunacceptable .
Take Me Out , hosted by Bolton comedian Paddy McGuinness, has been the subject of tabloid revelations since it recently returned for a new series.
First week winner Aaron Withers was revealed to have an assault conviction and a career as a £ 50-an-hour gigolo. Then his date, Wen-Jing Mo, admitted to previously working as a
£ 200-an-hour escort.
A senior source at the network said:
These revelations are being taken extremely seriously. It is infuriating to be learning about a different scandal every day. Letting these types of people on to what is supposed to be an early evening family show is totally unacceptable.
Things need to change -- and fast.
The ITV brand is being dragged through the mud. The experienced people who are making these shows have been left in no doubt as to the level of disappointment and dismay here.
All mention of the couple was censored from the following week's programme which would normally have shown film of the couple on their date in Cyprus.
Families settling down to watch the Corporation's latest Sir Arthur Conan Doyle adaptation, Sherlock , were shocked to see actress Lara Pulver, playing the great detective's romantic interest Irene Adler, strolling
around with no clothes on a full 25 minutes before 9pm.
And of course to back up their claims of 'shocked' families they could no better than find a few random tweets on the subject.
Now the Guardian reports that the BBC have received 100 complaints about the nude scenes. The BBC also adds that it will not edit out nude scenes from the new series of Sherlock when the hit drama is repeated from 7pm this weekend on digital channel
The Guardian also points out that perhaps the scenes weren't quite so nude as we were led to believe:
In the New Year's Day episode, A Scandal in Belgravia , Benedict Cumberbatch's Sherlock Holmes meets his match in the form of Adler, who is naked when they first meet. However, thanks to the camera angles and Pulver's
carefully placed arms and hands, viewers do not see her completely naked.
The footage of actress Lara Pulver, who plays dominatrix Irene Adler, led to criticism from the Daily Mail for showing the scenes before the 9pm watershed. Sherlock was broadcast on BBC1 over 90 minutes from 8.10pm on Sunday.
The Guardian also asks whether the complaints were in response to the actual TV showing or perhaps more to do with the Daily Mail story:
A spokesman for the BBC said that due to the bank holiday it could not tell when the complaints had been made, or how many came before and after the Daily Mail story.
We've received complaints from some viewers who felt certain scenes in Sherlock, which was broadcast on 1st January 2012, were unsuitable before the watershed.
We were very careful to make sure the portrayal of any nudity was discussed during the early stages of planning for this episode of Sherlock, in order to ensure it was appropriate for a pre-watershed audience.
The sequence where Irene Adler meets Sherlock for the first time was filmed in such a way as to offer a suggestion of her nudity. Each scene was carefully framed and the actors positioned so any explicit nudity was avoided, the
aim being a slightly flirtatious and humorous encounter between the characters.
With regards to any suggestive language and innuendo which featured in the episode, this was also carefully considered and we believed was sufficiently mild enough and wouldn't exceed the expectations of a pre-watershed audience.
It certainly wasn't our intention to cause offence and in large we've received very positive feedback from viewers.
Jewish dog breeders are urging the BBC to cancel a new film about pedigree dogs because a previous film compared
breeders to Nazi eugenicists.
Pedigree Dogs Exposed was aired in 2008. After complaints, the TV censor, Ofcom, found that the Kennel Club had not been given a proper opportunity to respond to an allegation about eugenics and a comparison with Hitler and the Nazi Party.
A follow-up programme is being filmed for broadcast later this year on BBC Four, but the BBC said similar comparisons would be avoided.
But Jewish breeders want the programme, produced by Jemima Harrison, to be pulled entirely, because of the distress the original broadcast caused.
In the 2008 film, a voice-over narrates the history of eugenics, (selective genetic breeding), over an image of the Kennel Club HQ and the annual dog show, Crufts. Images are also shown of Adolf Hitler, Nazi rallies and antisemitic signs. After
the 2008 screening, Harrison said:The film-makers acknowledge that the link between the eugenics movement and dog-breeding is an extremely uncomfortable one for many, but it is nevertheless factually correct.
Dog breeder Mike Davidsohn and other breeders have set up a Facebook group with more than 1,500 members called Stop the BBC making another PDE .
Cherry Healey: Like A Virgin
will air on BBC 3 on Thursday 12th January at 9pm.
The BBC publicity material reads:
Losing one's virginity is one of those life-defining moments that can be intimate, exciting and nerve-wracking all rolled into one. But good or bad, Cherry Healey wants to find out if that one simple little act really does have
a lasting impact. From a girl's first time in the back of a Fiat Panda to a guy who has popped his cherry three...
The Daily Express claims that the BBC is under 'pressure' to axe the documentary about teenage sex that the corporation accepts is not educational. The programme includes the word 'fuck' and discussions about oral sex & sex aids.
Vivienne Pattison, of the nutter campaign group Mediawatch-UK, said:
The show is terrible, almost a freak show. It's also irresponsible, inappropriate, disturbing and even exploitative towards some of those featured in it.
For a programme clearly aimed at a teenage audience it is extremely irresponsible not to include any discussion of safe sex.
Pattison plans to lodge an official complaint with the BBC and Ofcom. She is scathing about the lack of sex education in the show:
If this programme is designed to be educational it clearly fails. If however it is designed as entertainment then it is prurient and exploitative.
It is extraordinary that in following a teenager getting ready to lose her virginity, a bikini wax is filmed as an essential part of her preparation but condoms are not even mentioned.
The programme promises 'essential truths amongst the tales of sex and debauchery, to see if losing your virginity is about more than just 'having sex for the first time'.
However, it delivers an inconclusive mix of titillating detail and voyeuristic confessional. This represents a real missed opportunity for discussion on an important subject and information to help viewers make informed choices.
Ex government minister Ann Widdecombe chipped in:
The BBC should not screen this programme. It seems to me that they are just trying to set new boundaries and to do this at 9pm when a lot of young people will still be up is horrendous.
It is difficult to see how parents and teachers have any chance at all of getting young people to behave responsibly if this is the sort of stuff the BBC is promoting.
It will not help with efforts to reduce teenage pregnancy rates in Britain, which are the highest in Europe.
However, Philip Davies, Tory MP for Shipley and a member of the Commons Culture Select Committee, said:
If people have a problem with it they can switch their TV off.
TV censor Ofcom has received 42 complaints over Alan Carr's New Year Specstacular , which was the
main New Year's Eve offering on Channel 4 from 9pm until 11:30.
The programme was heavily plugged as being of an adult nature with Channel 4 continuity announcements before the programme and every subsequent commercial break reminding viewers that it was not for family viewing. Noting the programme contained
Strong language, adult humour and full frontal nudity.
The show, based in the fictional Channel 4 HQ nightclub, saw a host of very tipsy, some quite drunk, celebrities mingling with the studio audience. There was plenty of strong language and innuendo to wind up the easily offended.
Viewer complaints whinged swearing, sexual language, nudity and supposedly abusive treatment of the audience. Some raised concerns that children might have seen the show, even though the programme was shown after the watershed, as it was New Year's
A C4 spokeswoman said: Alan Carr's New Year Specstacular was an irreverent end of year party, appropriately scheduled post-watershed with clear warnings of adult content.
Update: Complaints dismissed
9th February 2012.
Ofcom has decided not to investigate 57 complaints against Alan Carr's New Year Specstacular , after deciding that they raised no relevant issues.
An anti-smoking group staged a protest against characters in soaps lighting up.
Youth group D-MYST donned cardboard TVs to parade through Liverpool in their new Smoke Off campaign.
Members want to get smoking out of pre-watershed television programmes, to prevent under-18s seeing unnecessary smoking images.
They are aiming to get 100,000 online signatures so that Parliament considers debating the issue, and will be asking people to sign postcards which will be sent to the TV censor Ofcom.
Dr Paula Grey, joint director of public health for Liverpool said: Smoking among young people in this city is already at a high level, and anything that can be done to stop young people taking up the habit is to be encouraged.