The BBC received complaints about a joke on Frankie Boyle's New World Order where a black comedian, Sophie Duker, jokingly supported the idea of 'killing whitey'.
In a segment where the panelists discuss if the movement glosses over the complexities
of a world where we all need to come together and kill whitey, Boyle played a clip of black author James Baldwin talking about black power in an interview on the Dick Cavett Show in the 1970s.
Responding to the clip, Duker said white power is
Trump Tower - a nod to Left-wing allegations that the US President is a racist.
She continued: But when we say we want to kill whitey, we don't really mean we want to kill whitey. Duker then quips to the panelists we do to roars of
The BBC has now responded on its website to the complaints, as always without explaining what the complaints were about. The BBC wrote:
We received complaints from people who felt comments made during
the programme were offensive.
Frankie Boyle's New World Order was shown after 10pm and its content is within audience expectations for a post-watershed, topical, satirical programme from a comedian whose style and tone are well-established.
Every week on the
show Frankie puts forward a number of topics for debate, this episode was no different. The panellists' comments were in response to a motion that was written and presented in line with the programme's tone and style.
is a talented comedian and a regular panellist on Frankie Boyle's New World Order, and we look forward to continue working with her at the BBC.
Parents of children with disabilities are planning to protest against a performance in west Belfast later by the Scottish comedian Frankie Boyle.
They claim it is inappropriate the show is taking place as part of the Féile an Phobail community
festival because of politically incorrect jokes Boyle has made in the past about disabled people.
Last month, festival organisers said they were deeply sorry for any hurt or offence that had been caused by Boyle's appearance. They said they
would put in place measures to avoid such a situation arising in the future .
However in a world where PC lynch mobs seem to hold sway, those that refuse to kowtow to political correctness are treated as folk heroes. From Jeremy Clarkson to
Donald Trump, all capture the heart of ordinary folk, and Frankie Boyle is no exception. Féile an Phobail reports that the Frankie Boyle show has been the fastest-selling comedy gig it has ever put on.
Comedian Frankie Boyle's jokes are vile and offensive but not racist , his lawyer told a High Court jury as he began legal proceedings against the publisher of the Daily Mirror newspaper.
Boyle is suing Mirror Group Newspapers
(MGN) for what he described as a very serious libel over an article published in July last year.
The Daily Mirror had claimed that an offensive joke about the Olympic medal-winning swimmer Rebecca Adlington had led to his departure from the
BBC Two panel show in an article that bore the subheading New show for vile comic , and began: Racist comedian Frankie Boyle could soon be returning to TV despite upsetting thousands of viewers with his sick jokes, which was published by
the newspaper in July last year.
Boyle's barrister David Sherborne said that to call someone racist was obviously defamatory , and contended the comedian did not object to being criticised but would not stand to be described as
It is believed lawyers acting for the Mirror Group will defend the article by stating they believe that the accusation of racism is true. The court heard that the publisher intends to use 12 examples of Boyle's jokes, mostly from his
former Channel 4 show Tramadol Nights , to show that the racism allegation is true.
Frankie Boyle has won more than £ 54,000 damages after a High Court jury concluded that he had been libelled by the Daily Mirror who defamed him by describing him as racist and saying he had been forced to quit
the BBC panel show, Mock The Week.
Jurors ruled in favour of Boyle yesterday, after a week-long trial in London. They awarded him a total of £ 54,650 damages.
Boyle onfirmed that he would
donate the money to charity and said on Twitter:
I'm very happy with the jury's unanimous rejection of the Mirror's allegation that I am a racist. Racism is still a very serious problem in society, which is why I've
made a point of being anti-racist in my life and work and that's why I brought this action.
Channel 4 opt out of another series of Frankie Boyle's Tramadol Nights
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.
The boss of Channel 4 has refused to apologise for airing a joke about Katie Price's disabled son.
At a heated parliamentary hearing, David Abraham was condemned for the decision to show it. But although he was repeatedly asked to apologise, he
did not. Abraham said we only ever had satirical intent .
The joke about the former glamour model Jordan's son was made by Scottish comedian Frankie Boyle on his Tramadol Nights series last year.
At a meeting of the Culture
Media and Sport Committee, Tory MP Louise Bagshawe, repeated the joke and told Abraham: This is a disabled little boy we are talking about. I am bewildered you can sit here and say that it is challenging political correctness -- and that you will not
apologise to the little boy for having put him on a television programme in this context. Surely no cultural remit could ever possibly justify such a joke?
Channel 4's chairman Lord Burns, also at the hearing, said: Personally, if it has
caused distress to the son, then obviously I'm very sorry.
Glamour model Katie Price has called for the sacking of the Channel 4 boss who allowed the broadcasting of a bad taste gag by comedian Frankie Boyle about her disabled son Harvey.
The reality TV star, real name Katie Price, has written to
Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt claiming that David Abraham's position is completely untenable as chief executive of the official broadcaster for the 2012 Paralympics.
The show drew more than 500 complaints, including from Mencap and the
Royal London Society for the Blind, who also called for Abraham to quit his job.
Tramadol Nights was a six-part comedy series which was written by and featured the controversial, alternative comedian Frankie Boyle. The series
featured the comedian in various stand-up and comedy sketches which covered topics such as AIDS, cancer, religion, racism, sex, paedophilia, rape, incest, war and disability.
In the second episode of the series Frankie Boyle made various comments
about the former glamour model and reality TV personality, Katie Price (formerly known as Jordan), and her eight year-old son, Harvey, who is known to have a medical condition and learning difficulties.
Frankie Boyle said:
Apparently Jordan and Peter Andre [Katie Price's ex-husband] are fighting each other over custody of Harvey. Well eventually one of them will have to lose and have to keep him.
I have a theory
that Jordan married a cage fighter [Alex Reid, Katie Price's second husband] because she needed someone strong enough to stop Harvey from fucking her.
Solicitors acting on behalf of Katie and Harvey Price complained to Ofcom
that the comments were discriminatory, offensive, demeaning and humiliating. The solicitors informed Ofcom that Harvey has a condition called septo-optic dysplasia, and is also on the autistic spectrum. The solicitors stated that Harvey has very
restricted sight, needs constant medication and has learning difficulties. Harvey, as a result of his condition and medication is large and strong for his age .
Ofcom also received approximately 500 complaints about the comments, including,
from the learning disability charity Mencap and from the Royal London Society for the Blind. In summary, the complainants stated that it was highly offensive, discriminatory and abusive to broadcast these comments about an eight year-old disabled child.
The complainants were also offended that the comments named a child as engaging in rape and incest.
Rule 2.1 Generally accepted standards must be applied to the contents of television and radio services so as to provide adequate protection for members of the public from the inclusion in such services of harmful and/or offensive material.
Rule 2.3 In applying generally accepted standards broadcasters must ensure that material which may cause offence is justified by the context (see meaning of context below). Such material may include, but is not limited to, offensive
language, violence, sex, sexual violence, humiliation, distress, violation of human dignity, discriminatory treatment or language (for example on the grounds of age, disability, gender, race, religion, beliefs and sexual orientation). Appropriate
information should also be broadcast where it would assist in avoiding or minimising offence.
Ofcom Decision: In breach
Ofcom was of the view that the material in question appeared to directly target and mock the mental and physical disabilities of a known eight year-old child who had not himself chosen to be in the
public eye. As such, Ofcom found that the comments had considerable potential to be highly offensive to the audience.
It is important to note that the Code does not prohibit the broadcast of offensive or potentially offensive material, but
requires that it is justified by the context.
Channel 4 argued that the comments were wholly justified in the context because it gave careful consideration to the broadcast of the series in advance and applied a number of measures to ensure
its content complied with the Code.
We noted that Frankie Boyle is an established comedian, who has appeared on a number of comedy television programmes. He is also well known for his controversial and provocative humour, which often plays on his
negative views of society and celebrities.
Further, we noted from Channel 4's statement that the programme was carefully considered by senior editorial staff and edited in advance of broadcast. We also noted that the programme had been scheduled
to begin at 22:00 to lessen the risk of offence and was preceded by a clear warning to the audience about the very strong language and uncompromising adult content which some viewers will find offensive.
Ofcom considered that, even taking
into account contextual factors such as the nature of the series as a whole, its scheduling, publicity and the clear pre-transmission warning, these comments went beyond what would have been expected by the majority of viewers of a late night comedy show
broadcast on Channel 4.
Therefore, in view of the particular circumstances of this case, Ofcom concluded that on balance, the context of this programme was not sufficient to justify the broadcast of this material.
However, in view of the
careful consideration Channel 4 took in the broadcast of the series overall, Ofcom concluded that the broadcaster was clearly aware of its responsibilites under the Code and had attempted to comply with the Code's requirements. Taking into account the
challenging and provocative nature of the content of the Tramadol Nights series overall, Ofcom did not consider that these breaches demonstrated a fundamental failure of Channel 4's compliance procedures. Rather, in Ofcom's view, this case involved an
erroneous decision on a matter of editorial judgement on the broadcaster's part.
Breaches of Rules 2.1 and 2.3
Complaints about the rest of the series
Frankie Boyles Tramadol Nights (mental
health sketch and other issues) Channel 4, 30 November 2010 to 29 December 2010, 22:00
The second episode of the series included a sketch which showed a man calmly talking to camera, in what appears to be his kitchen. He
said the following:
I have mental health problems. There's a lot of stigma attached to mental health, a lot of people are unfairly stigmatised when their conditions allow them to lead perfectly normal lives.
The camera then pulls out to reveal the man holding a knife and images of his dead wife and three dead children covered in blood on the floor. He then says:
Who the fuck am I talking to?
Ofcom received eight complaints about the broadcast of this sketch, including a complaint from the mental health charity, Rethink. The complaints raised concerns that the sketch inferred that people with mental illness are
violent; promoted discrimination against people with mental illness; mocked people with mental illness; and was misleading.
Ofcom Decision: Not in breach
In this case, the sketch depicted a man talking to the camera who
explained: I have mental health problems . He then talked about how many people with mental health problems are unfairly stigmatised by others when, in fact, ...their conditions allow them to lead perfectly normal lives . The sketch
ends as the camera reveals that the man is in fact a violent murderer.
Ofcom considered that some viewers may have understood the sketch, on its face, to have been mocking people with mental health problems by inferring that they are likely to
have violent tendencies. Taken in this sense, Ofcom accepted that the sketch had the potential to cause offence in that it appeared to seek to derive humour from ridiculing people with mental health issues and reinforcing stereotypes about them.
However, Ofcom noted Channel 4's submission that intention of this particular sketch was in fact to satirise an established public campaign
Time to Change , which aimed to stop discrimination against people with mental health problems. Further, Channel 4 argued that the sketch set out to reverse the concept of the original campaign, which attempted to challenge the stereotype that
those with mental health conditions are violent.
Ofcom was of the view that the Time to Change campaign itself was unlikely to be widely enough known to the audience for the sketch's particular intention to be clear to viewers. However,
Ofcom considered that, whilst the material had the potential to cause offence, most viewers would have been likely to understand the nature of the sketch, and importantly, that its intention was not to ridicule those who have mental health problems, but
to target public information campaigns of this nature, and society's unease about dealing frankly with the subject of mental health.
Ofcom considered that the intention of this sketch -- to use satire and controversy to make a joke about society's
attitudes to mental health - would have been well understood by the majority of the audience. Ofcom also considered that the sketch would not have gone beyond what would normally be expected in a programme of this type, particularly taking into account
the nature of other material in the series which also frequently used satire and controversy to derive humour from society as a whole, or its attitudes to particular issues.
On balance, we therefore concluded that the broadcast of the material was
justified by the context, and the sketch was therefore not in breach of Rule 2.3.
Further, we found that Channel 4 had applied generally accepted standards so as to provide adequate protection for members of the public from this material, which
was therefore not in breach of Rule 2.1.
Other issues raised about the series
Ofcom also received complaints from viewers which raised a number of other issues about the content of the series. In summary, the complainants
were offended by certain content, which included: references to AIDS and cancer; references to Jesus and religious dress; comments about rape and paedophiles; sketches about a quadriplegic stuntman; and the involvement of children in a sketch which
included swearing, sexual abuse and violence.
Ofcom assessed these complaints and the relevant content of the series. In view of the nature of this late night comedy series, and the other relevant contextual factors about the series as a whole (as
set out above), Ofcom concluded that the material did not raise any issues under the Code.
Ofcom also received approximately 70 complaints from viewers who were offended by the inclusion of what they considered to be racist language in the series.
Complainants referred, in particular, to the broadcast of language such as paki , nigger and black pussy .
Ofcom viewed the relevant content of the series and noted that in all cases when language of this nature was used it
was clearly positioned as observational comedy, which targeted the views and attitudes of society rather than particular black and minority ethnic communities. The language was always presented as a reflection on a character he was playing.
concluded that the material was clearly editorially justified and in keeping with audience expectations for this late night comedy programme. The content was therefore justified by its context, and Channel 4 applied generally accepted standards in its
Not in breach of Rules 2.1 or 2.3
12th April 2011. From Andrew
For those of you outside of the UK (the only country apparently willing to put up with her shit), Katie price
is a former glamour model also known as Jordan. Long story short, this woman has been married 3 times in the same amount of years, and is popularly known as an egotistical, materialistic, media whore. Yet now, like so many people in her position, the
boot has switched feet, and the own medicine is not liked.
Katie Price is now moaning about Scottish comedian Frankie Boyle making a derogatory compliment out her heavily disabled son, Harvey. Price herself, has milked this disablement to
her advantage over during the tenure of her sons life, to not only win magazine covers, but also to the point that she has been publically made out to be a wonderful mother.
Ok, so onto Frankie Boyle. The Scottish comedian is NOTORIOUS for jokes
about taboo subjects, such as child molestation, racial bigotry, and rape. The chance that Price actually watched the show in question is very unlikely. Had the joke not been aimed at her she would have probably laughed along with everyone else. Anyway
she has stated on more than one occasion that she doesn't understand upper class people or high brow humour.
A poster for a Channel Four comedy show featured the title Tramadol Nights which was written in the style of the fabric craft toy, fuzzy felt. The poster also featured fuzzy felt style images of a badger firing a machine gun, two rabbits attacking
each other with hypodermic needles and another who had been stabbed with knives. The ad also featured an animal holding a chainsaw and pools of blood. Issue
Thirteen complainants objected to the ad:
1. Nine complainants said the use of
animals made from fuzzy felt was likely to appeal to younger children and that the featured images of drugs and violence were harmful and likely to cause distress.
2. Two complainants objected that the ad was irresponsible because it could
encourage the use of recreational drugs.
3. Two complainants objected that the ad was offensive because of the reference to drugs and violence in the context of a child's toy.
CAP Code (Edition 12) 126.96.36.199 Response
1. Not upheld
The ASA noted Channel 4s statement that the advertised programme was shown after 9pm and that this was stated in the poster. However, we also noted the ad appeared in an untargeted medium
and considered that, regardless of the target audience of the programme, the ad itself was likely to have been seen by children. We additionally noted the ad featured brightly coloured fuzzy felt animals and considered that such images were likely to
attract the attention of younger children. However, we considered that the images of the animals alongside the violence and hypodermic needles were stylised and fantasy-like and that most children would not perceive the images as real or interpret them
as a reflection of reality. We concluded that the ad was unlikely to cause harm or distress to children.
Investigated under CAP Code rules 4.1 and 4.2 (Harm and offence) but did not found in breach.
2. Not upheld
We noted the ad
featured images of rabbits injecting each other with hypodermic needles and considered that this was an implied reference to drugs. However, we considered that the fuzzy felt images of animals were stylised and clearly removed from reality and that they
neither glamorised nor condoned the use of intravenous drugs in humans. We concluded that the ad was not irresponsible.
Investigated under CAP Code rules 1.3 (Social responsibility) but did not found in breach.
3. Not upheld
the ad used fuzzy felt, a well-known childrens toy, to portray a broken society through images of animals, violence and drugs. Whilst we acknowledged that the juxtaposition of the fuzzy felt characters and the violent imagery might make some consumers
feel uncomfortable, we considered that most consumers would interpret the sharp contrasts to be absurd and surreal. We concluded that the ad was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence.
Investigated under CAP Code rules 1.3 (Social
responsibility) 4.1 and 4.2 (Harm and offence) but did not found in breach.
Frankie Boyle, the irreverent host of Channel 4 comedy series Tramadol Nights , may be the subject of an ongoing Ofcom investigation – but that hasn't stopped the channel commissioning the star to produce a new show.
The edgy star is
now set to return to the screens, although it is expected Tramadol Nights itself will be discontinued.
L'Oreal and Nestle are pulling out from 4 on Demand over Frankie Boyle's Tramadol Nights show.
Beauty company L'Oreal are taking down their adverts from the 4 on Demand website where Boyle's show is available, the Daily Mirror
Nestle, which promotes its Nespresso coffee machine on the site, also said they will not renew their advertising contract.
A L'Oreal spokesman said: This is not language we condone and we are pulling the online advert.
A Nestle spokesman said: Nespresso offers its sincere apologies for any distress caused.
Frankie Boyle is now 9/4 to be sacked after bookmakers slashed odds from 5/1 - and he is 8/13 to issue an apology. A spokesman for Ladbrokes said:
We think this could be the final straw. Even if he apologises the P45 could already be in the post.
Daily Mail hacks have been glued to their sets for another episode of Frankie Boyle's Tramadol Nights.
They spotted that:
During Tuesday night's show a female character was dressed up as sexualised
Super Mario character and uttered the phrase: Hello to Pakis everywhere .
Later in the show he used the word again when talking about Western forces in Afghanistan before using the word n****r .
In the same episode there were also repeated jokes about women who wear burkas. He then added: All very funny till I get shot in the car park.
There were also jokes about Madeleine McCann,
dead British soliders, as well as rape and the crossbow cannibal murders.
Vivienne Pattison of Mediawtch-UK was given a Christmas break from sound bite duty and instead the 'outrage' was provided by Mohammed Shafiq, chief executive of the
Ramadhan Foundation who said the scenes were disgusting . If he has used those words on a public broadcaster it is abhorrent. People at home watching that will think that this sort of language terminology is acceptable in the 21st century.
The Daily Mail have caused a little interest from a serial sound bite nutter.
MP John Whittingdale, chairman of the House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, slammed Frankie Boyle saying: The words nigger and Paki are deeply
offensive to a large number of people. I don't think even in comedy it is justified.
He has written to the TV censor Ofcom, calling Boyle a serial offender.
Channel 4 is continuing to back to back Boyle. In response to complaints
of racism, a spokesman said: Channel 4 would not have broadcast these words had they been used in a racist way. All the jokes highlight the unacceptable nature of this language. Boyle's cutting edge comedy aimed to ridicule and satirise the
use of the controversial words, and Channel 4 would not have broadcast them if they been used in a racist way.
But maybe the viewers aren't quite so wound up. The Guardian notes: Media regulator Ofcom and Channel 4 are understood to have
cumulatively received a handful of complaints about the broadcast.
Frankie Boyle is a comedian who has made a career from saying what a lot of people are thinking. That being said, his Channel 4 stand up / skit show Tramadol Nights , isn't great. Boyles stand up is considerably funnier,
and more enjoyable than the fill in sketches. However, the material used in his stand up segments is actually quite dated (as far as his shows are concerned). Several jokes have been used before in (Boyles) break out BBC series Mock the week (especially
this week, when a regularly used line, about his girlfriends sex face looking like their young son in pain). And last weeks Katie Price upsetting lines, have been used frequently in Boyles stand up shows. Yet she's never complained to the distributor of
HOWEVER. it is common knowledge that he pushes the envelope, and appears to deliberately set out to offend. Something Channel 4 has always embraced. But in my opinion, Channel 4 are not to blame. They're
broadcasting the show after 11pm, and are openly admitting prior to any show that it may offend. What people don't seem to realise, is that the more they complain, and the more they give Boyle media highlights, the more we will see him on TV. Controversy
sells. This show has had 2 of its 3 weeks of airtime in the public eye. Which almost certainly means that it will have a DVD release, previous stand up show DVDs will sell better and Boyle will cement himself as the comic of choice for many people.
Please don't misunderstand me. I don't find child molestation, incest or cancer funny. But the likes of Katie price (who decided she needed to be in the papers again), are some of the worst people in the celebrity
limelight. If she's such a great parent why can you openly buy an amateur hardcore sex tape of her, that she ENDORSED, quite freely in the UK? If that's great parenting, my parents are saints.
In closing, we've seen
this before. Granted, it's always been live (Shaun Ryder on TFI, Julian Clary stating on live TV he fisted Norman Lamont). The only people who are offended, are the people who watch, just to be offended.
people buy porn if they were offended by it? Doubtful. Get over yourselves, and stop making Boyle more money.
N ow Frankie Boyle has targeted cancer victims on his Channel 4 comedy show Tramadol Nights .
In the third installment of his gratuitously offensive comedy show, the
former Mock The Week star also mocked grandparents, obese people, Colombians and AIDS sufferers.
In his cancer gag, he said: I had a friend come up to me and say that she had breast cancer and that she was going to
cycle the Great Wall Of China.
You feel like going you're the last person who should be cycling the Great Wall Of China! you should be lying at home in bed, playing with your tits before they drop off.
He added: 'I should add she doesn't mind me saying that. She's dead, she doesn't give a fuck.
A spokesperson for Breast Cancer Care meanwhile told MailOnline: Jokes about
other people's life-threatening illnesses are a strange subject for humour, even for someone of Frankie's comic style, and it's a shame that anyone would think breast cancer is a legitimate subject for comedy.
Though people deal with illness in many different ways, it's unlikely that the 120 people diagnosed with breast cancer in the UK today will find this funny.
Talking to MailOnline today a Channel4 spokesperson said: We are aware that Frankie Boyle's comedy can be very challenging which is why we have gone to careful lengths in scrutinising the material editorially,
in scheduling the series appropriately and by giving clear and strong warnings into each of the programmes.
Katie Price has again condemned Channel 4 for repeating Frankie Boyle's show containing a controversial joke he made about her disabled son.
Boyle said: Jordan and Peter Andre are still fighting each other over custody of Harvey -
eventually one of them will lose and have to keep him.'
TV censor Ofcom has launched an investigation after Price accused the comic of being a bully in the wake of his comments about her son Harvey, who suffers from septo-optic
dysplasia and autism, on his show Tramadol Nights .
In a statement, Price said:
By repeating Frankie Boyle's show, Channel 4 are embracing and exploiting discrimination. They are saying it is ok to
ridicule people - even children - for disability in a way they would not dare over race or sexual orientation. The people who control the channel are endorsing this behaviour and it is disgusting. Even the fact that Ofcom are investigating the first
broadcast has not made them divert from this path.
Head of Comedy, C4, Shane Allen said:
We are aware that Frankie Boyle's comedy can be very challenging which is why we have gone to
careful lengths in scrutinising the material editorially, in scheduling the series appropriately and by giving clear and strong warnings into each of the programmes . We think that it is important that a space on
terrestrial TV exists for comedy that takes risks and pushes boundaries and we stand by our original decision to broadcast the programme.
Price is urging fans to boycott sick comic Frankie Boyle's Christmas DVD over his jokes about her disabled son.
His latest DVD, Frankie Boyle Live 2: If I Could Reach Out Through Your TV and Strangle You I Would repeats the sick
jokes and also sees him making fun of Baby P, soldiers in Afghanistan and the Lockerbie air disaster.
I hope no-one buys it. I also hope that with hindsight, and knowledge of the content, that retailers will withdraw it from sale.
The model and reality TV star Katie Price is threatening legal action against Channel 4 after comedian Frankie Boyle made a vile joke about her disabled son.
Price last night said she had asked her lawyers to write to the broadcaster on her
son's behalf. Boyle made the comments about Price's son, Harvey, on his Tramadol Nights show. Harvey, 8, suffers from septo-optic dysplasia and autism.
To bully this unbelievably brave child is despicable; to broadcast it on television
is to show a complete and utter lack of judgment, Price said in a statement on her website.
Harvey Price is a little miracle. Every day he overcomes so many difficulties with the help of family and medical experts and has so many tiny
battles to win due to his medical problems. I have asked my lawyers to write to Channel 4 on Harvey's behalf.
A Channel 4 spokeswoman said: Frankie Boyle is one of the highest profile comedians in the UK. He's well known for his
controversial humour and the programme carried appropriate warnings as to the nature of the material.
The joke aired in the context of a late-night comedy show. The joke itself has been performed by Frankie as part of his stage show and, as
with much of his material, is an absurdist and satirical comment on high-profile individuals whose lives have been played out in the media.
Comedian Frankie Boyle has written an open letter slamming the BBC governing body's cowardly rebuke of his jokes about Palestine.
The BBC Trust's editorial standards committee apologised earlier this week over comments made by Boyle two
years ago, comparing Palestine to a cake being punched to pieces by a very angry Jew .
In his letter, the former Mock The Week star said he had been moved to tears after watching a documentary about life in Palestine and had promised
himself he would do something.
He said that the BBC wished to deliver the flavour of political comedy with none of the content , and also slammed the BBC's decision not to air a charity appeal for aid to Gaza last year. He said: It's
tragic for such a great institution, but it is now cravenly afraid of giving offence and vulnerable to any kind of well-drilled lobbying.
Boyle made the remarks on Radio 4 show Political Animal. He said: I've been studying Israeli
Army martial arts. I now know 16 ways to kick a Palestinian woman in the back.
Obviously, it feels strange to be on the moral high ground but I feel a response is required to the BBC Trust's cowardly rebuke of my jokes about
As always, I heard nothing from the BBC but read in a newspaper that editorial procedures would be tightened further to stop jokes with anything at all to say getting past the censors.
In case you missed it, the jokes in question are: I've been studying Israeli Army Martial Arts. I now know 16 ways to kick a Palestinian woman in the back. People think that the Middle East is very complex but I have an analogy
that sums it up quite well. If you imagine that Palestine is a big cake, well…that cake is being punched to pieces by a very angry Jew.
I think the problem here is that the show's producers will have thought that
Israel, an aggressive, terrorist state with a nuclear arsenal was an appropriate target for satire. The Trust's ruling is essentially a note from their line managers. It says that if you imagine that a state busily going about the destruction of an
entire people is fair game, you are mistaken. Israel is out of bounds.
The BBC refused to broadcast a humanitarian appeal in 2009 to help residents of Gaza rebuild their homes. It's tragic for such a great institution
but it is now cravenly afraid of giving offence and vulnerable to any kind of well drilled lobbying.
I told the jokes on a Radio 4 show called Political Animal. That title seems to promise provocative comedy with a
point of view. In practice the BBC wish to deliver the flavour of political comedy with none of the content. The most recent offering I saw was BBC Two's The Bubble. It looked exactly like a show where funny people sat around and did jokes about the
news. Except the thrust of the format was that nobody had read the papers. I can only imagine how the head of the BBC Trust must have looked watching that, grinning like Gordon Brown having his prostrate examined.
situation in Palestine seems to be, in essence, apartheid. I grew up with the anti apartheid thing being a huge focus of debate. It really seemed to matter to everybody that other human beings were being treated in that way. We didn't just talk about it,
we did things, I remember boycotts and marches and demos all being held because we couldn't bear that people were being treated like that.
A few years ago I watched a documentary about life in Palestine. There's a
section where a UN dignitary of some kind comes to do a photo opportunity outside a new hospital. The staff know that it communicates nothing of the real desperation of their position, so they trick her into a side ward on her way out. She ends up in a
room with a child who the doctors explain is in a critical condition because they don't have the supplies to keep treating him. She flounders, awkwardly caught in the bleak reality of the room, mouthing platitudes over a dying boy.
The filmmaker asks one of the doctors what they think the stunt will have achieved. He is suddenly angry, perhaps having just felt at first hand something he knew in the abstract. The indifference of the world. She will do
nothing, he says to the filmmaker. Then he looks into the camera and says, Neither will you .
I cried at that and promised myself that I would do something. Other than write a few stupid jokes I have not
done anything. Neither have you.
The BBC Trust's editorial standards committee has issued an apology over a joke made by Frankie Boyle which compared Palestine with a cake being punched to pieces by a very angry Jew .
The committee, which acts as a final arbiter of
appeals if complainants are unhappy with the response from BBC management, upheld a previous finding that the comment was inappropriate and offensive.
But it said that no further action is needed in the case.
Boyle made the remark on Radio
4 comedy sketch show Political Animal , broadcast almost two years ago in June 2008.
The Scottish comedian said: I'm quite interested in the Middle East, I'm actually studying that Israeli army martial arts. And I know 16 ways to kick a
Palestinian woman in the back. It's a difficult question to understand. I've got an analogy which explains the whole thing quite well: If you imagine that Palestine is a cake - well, that cake is being punched to pieces by a very angry Jew.
complainant wrote to the BBC Executive branding the comment disgusting and anti-Semitic.
Dissatisfied with the broadcaster's response, the complainant went to the editorial complaints unit, which is the next stage of the BBC's
complaints process. But the complainant then went to the editorial standards committee as he felt that the remark had gone through the editorial process without ringing any alarm bells.
Olympic swimming champion Rebecca Adlington has formally complained to the BBC that it let comedian Frankie Boyle off with a slap on the wrist over jokes that caused her deep hurt.
The double gold medal winner at last year's Beijing
Olympics has demanded an explanation from the BBC Trust over why it chose not to punish the comic for outrageous slurs that left her humiliated .
And her agent has called for the BBC to ban Boyle over his comments.
episode of BBC2's satirical show Mock the Week last year, soon after Miss Adlington's Olympic triumph, Boyle said she resembled someone looking at themselves in the back of a spoon and followed up with sexual innuendo.
sparked 75 complaints, but although the BBC Trust criticised Boyle and agreed that his remarks were unfair and offensive it took no further action such as barring him from its programmes for a period.
Miss Adlington has now written to the
Corporation, calling its rebuke no more than a slap on the wrist for comments which fell well below the standards of common decency . She questioned the effectiveness of the Trust's disciplinary process and called for the corporation to
take greater responsibility for its stars.
The BBC Trust said last night it had received Miss Adlington's letter and would consider it, but added: At this stage we have no plans to review the finding .
Last Tuesday, the BBC Trust criticised the panel show Mock the Week because one of its stars, Frankie Boyle, joked about the facial features of Rebecca Adlington, the Olympic swimmer.
But even before the ban on derogatory gags,
senior figures in comedy were expressing frustration at the BBC's increasing nervousness about humour. Take Jimmy Mulville, who runs the company that makes Have I Got News for You . At the Edinburgh Television Festival in August, Mr Mulville said
it was becoming harder to get risqué jokes past the BBC's censors. My worry, he said, is that we're having our tastes set at a dial by the tabloid press.
A joke about the Queen broadcast on BBC2's satirical panel show Mock the Week had been cleared by the corporation's TV censor.
Comedian Frankie Boyle joked that you would not hear the Queen say during her Christmas broadcast: I'm now
so old that my p**** is haunted.
The episode had first been shown in 2007 but was repeated in October 2008 during the Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand furore.
A complainant said the joke was grossly offensive and added: It would have
been objectionable at the best of times but coming as it did in the midst of the Ross and Brand controversy it was quite unforgivable.
An initial complaint to the BBC's management had been rejected saying that, while the joke was near the
knuckle , it was in keeping with the show.
The viewer then took his complaint to the BBC Trust which also rejected the complaint, despite admitting the joke had sexist and ageist overtones .
Richard Tait, BBC trustee and chairman
of the editorial standards committee, said the joke was well after the watershed, well signposted and within audience expectations for the show . He said: The committee did feel this joke was in bad taste - it had both sexist and ageist
However, a gag on a different episode of Mock the Week about Olympic swimmer Rebecca Adlington was deemed to have broken rules.
In August last year, Boyle said Adlington looks like someone who's looking at themselves in the back of a
spoon . He also made a sexual innuendo about the gold medalists' love life, saying Adlington's boyfriend looked like a male model and continuing: So from that I have deduced that Rebecca Adlington is very dirty - I mean if you just take into
account how long she can hold her breath...
One viewer told the BBC he was appalled .
The show's producer later responded to the complaint, saying the ribbing might have gone a tad too far and apologised.
said that 75 complaints were received about the item, originally aired in the week that Team GB returned from the Olympic Games. It found that, while Adlington was a public figure, she had not courted media attention. The judgment said: The joke about
her appearance and the sexual innuendo were humiliating and there was no demonstration of a clear editorial purpose for the inclusion of these comments.
The committee also noted that the commissioning editor had made her views known about
preferring not to include the joke. It said it was concerned she appeared to have been unable to obtain the edits she would have preferred.
Mock The Week has been criticised for broadcasting jokes about the Queen.
Frankie Boyle was one of several comedians on the show asked to think of something the Queen would not say in her Christmas speech.
He put on a
high-pitched voice and said: I have had a few medical issues this year - I'm now so old that my pussy is haunted.
Other comedians in the show also offered suggestions, including Hugh Dennis saying the Queen would not say: This year, I
am in an unusual location - I am in a cave with Osama Bin Laden.
Dennis also offered the suggestion: Yum, yum, I've just eaten a swan.
Russell Howard said the Queen would not say: And now for an impression, before
performing a version of Shaggy's reggae song Mr Boombastic.
John Beyer, of MediaWatch UK, told the Daily Mail: It is very offensive and should not have been broadcast. It is indicative of the sloppy way in which this kind of thing gets on air.
There is a great deal of respect for the Queen and people do feel very strongly about any kind of disrespectful comments about her.
A BBC spokeswoman said the show was a well-established satirical comedy series which sometimes built on