Melon Farmers Original Version

UK TV and Radio News

2009: Jan-March

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27th March   

Update: Shi'a Nonsense...

Ofcom wisely back off from matters of religious 'balance'
Link Here

The Qur'an
Channel 4, 14 July 2008, 20:00

The Qur'an was a two-hour documentary made by the film-maker, Antony Thomas. It was broadcast as part of Channel 4's Islam Unveiled season, a week of programmes dealing with Islam. The Qur'an examined what the Qur'an itself says on a range of issues such as crime and punishment, violence and conflict, and the treatment of women. The programme attempted to relate present-day Islamic practice and beliefs to the Qur'anic source text.

The programme contained several sequences discussing Shi'a practice and beliefs. In particular, it focussed on “intercession”. Intercession is the practice of directing prayers and requests to God through certain members of the family of the Prophet Mohammed. This includes Imam Ali Reza and his descendents, the eighth of the twelve Imams who are perceived by some to be the religious and political successors to the Prophet Mohammed.

Ofcom received 21 complaints from individuals on the grounds that it portrayed Shi'a Muslims in a negative, unbalanced and irresponsible light , with a series of misrepresentations of the Qur'an's teachings. Ofcom also received a detailed complaint from 12 organisations representing Shi'a Islam within the UK.

Based on article from

The complainants said the film risked increasing tensions within the Muslim community between Sunnis and Shi'as, and inspiring violence against Shi'as. They also chastised it for not using Shi'a scholars and commentators in the UK and for giving insufficient time to Shi'a contributors in general.

Ofcom ruled that the programme did not mislead viewers on Shi'a belief and practices and that it could not be judged as likely to inspire violence against Shi'as.

The regulator was unable to rule on the grounds of balance, as its remit in this area covers only news and factual output relating to political or industrial controversy or public policy.

C4 commissioning editor, religion and multicultural Aaqil Ahmed said: Hopefully we can now remember this film for what it was - a truly original piece of landmark television. Antony Thomas and Samir Shah's amazing efforts to get it made and made so well should be applauded and from now on any film made on the subject will have a remarkable benchmark.

I am pleased that Ofcom has endorsed the views of TV critics, who described The Qur'an as 'scrupulously fair-minded', 'exhaustively researched' and 'an exemplary piece of programme making.

I am grateful that this ruling, by the independent regulatory body responsible for broadcasting, completely dismisses the unfounded allegations


26th March   


David Jason and the old muslim fear of offence joke
Link Here

David Jason apologised yesterday for a joke he made about Pakistanis on a radio show.

Appearing on the Christian O'Connell Show on Absolute Radio, the Only Fools And Horses star was asked to leave a question for the next guest as part of the Who's Calling Christian? feature.

The actor replied with a joke, he asked: What do you call a Pakistani cloakroom attendant? before delivering the punchline: Mahatma Coat.

O'Connell immediately said, No more jokes like that, and the incident was edited out of the show before it was put on the station's website as a podcast.

A spokeswoman for Sir David said: He is very sorry if he has offended anyone. He was horrified when he found he had given offence. He hadn't thought it was a racist joke, but if people took it that way, he's very sorry about it.


17th March   

Updated: Dribble Drivel...

A sad state of affairs in the English sport of whinging
Link Here

Match Of The Day 2 pundit Alan Pardew has apologised for a comment which prompted 35 viewer complaints.

Pardew used the word 'rape' to describe a tackle while discussing a game between Manchester City and Chelsea.

He said in a statement released by the BBC that he apologises unconditionally for any offence caused in Sunday's programme.

The BBC said it had not taken a decision on whether the pundit would be invited back to work on the show.

The corporation also explained why there has been no on-air apology, saying: What Alan Pardew said was misheard, it was thought he used the word 'rakes.'

Pardew was describing a challenge by midfielder Michael Essien on Manchester City player Ched Evans: He's timed it perfectly. He's a strong boy. He knocks him off - he absolutely rapes him.


16th March   

Updated: Sky No Action...

Yet another version of Die Hard with a Vengeance
Link Here

Die Hard with a Vengeance deserves the kind of censorship cult status that only classics like The Toxic Avenger, Cannibal Holocaust and The Evil Dead can whip up. Sadly, it never will never gain such notoriety. And why should it? Its a Die hard movie. It doesn't need any help, or media publicity.

However since its release in 1995 the 3rd film has gone through something of an Enter the Dragon trend, with every living room format re-release being a little different. The only similarity between them all is the fact that a very under rated and (surprisingly) clever action film, is constantly butchered by the ghost of James Fermans scissors.

Some releases have been laughable, some 90% complete (on the action front anyway), and all have retained the cringe worthy dubbing.................. Until today. This morning on Sky action we had both, and then some. A full screen pan and scan (which really messes with the action sequences on this film, even on my 60"), with all the swearing and hardly any violence.

I've seen a lot of versions of this film, but never this one. I'd say it loses maybe another 12 seconds of violence compared to the Buena vista (so called) special edition. Not having seen the British Theatrical release since the initial release I can't tell if this is that.

The Brit release was cut for Theatrical, but only for violence. So there is a good chance that this is what this is. It does contain some tell tale age signs, namely, print rot, speckles, and significant grain, not present on the DVD release.

It does seem strange that this version should surface now, what with the BBFC having waived all previous cuts, and UK gold showing it totally unedited this time last year.

Comment: Half Cut Strong Language

16th March 2009. Thanks to Gav

Whilst the usual Sky version of Die Hard with a Vengeance is certainly not the widescreen original ratio of 2.35:1, it is a actually a 1.78:1 version extracted from the original.

In terms of strong language, The BBFC did actually cut the cinema version. They requested: Throughout film, reduce the cumulative incidence of sexual swearwords by half, retaining those justified by dramatic tension.

Strangely, the usual Sky version includes the uncut lift shootout scene so notably excised by the BBFC


14th March   


News reader banter over likeness to chimp offends the waiting to be offended
Link Here

  Chris Eakin

A BBC News presenter has apologised after comparing fellow newsreader George Alagiah to a chimpanzee live on air.

Chris Eakin made the comment as he handed back to Alagiah following a newspaper review at the end of a 10pm bulletin on the BBC News Channel.

Alagiah, who was born in Sri Lanka and is of Tamil descent, subsequently called the incident unfortunate and inappropriate but said he had accepted Eakin's apology.

Eakin pointed to a copy of the Guardian showing a photograph of a chimp at a zoo in Sweden which collects stones to throw at visitors when he asked: Can you see any likeness? before handing back to Alagiah.

The newsreader looked surprised before attempting to laugh it off.

In a statement, Eakin apologised for the remark: This was a light-hearted comment with absolutely no other intended overtones and I know that George did not interpret it as anything other than that .

A BBC spokeswoman said it was an inappropriate remark that shouldn't have been made. We have accepted the explanation given by Chris and he has reassured us that it will not happen again.

The spokeswoman added that one complaint had been received following the remark, which occurred at 10.25pm on Monday night.


8th March

 Offsite: Brand Impact...

Link Here
Mediawatch-UK post their Spring newsletter

See article from


6th March   

Update: Branded as Out of Control...

BBC bans stars from editorial control of their own programmes
Link Here

The BBC has announced new policy guidelines to make it clearer who is responsible for editorial compliance when the on-screen/on-air talent owns the company making the programme or has a senior role in the production team.

Applying immediately to all BBC commissions in television and radio, the new guidelines state that for in-house and independent programmes, on-screen/on-air talent or their agents must not be responsible for editorial standards or compliance procedures for the programme in which they appear, and therefore should not be credited as the Executive Producer.

In exceptional circumstances, an additional Executive Producer must be appointed to take responsibility for editorial controls and compliance procedures.

The BBC Trust's Editorial Standards Committee recently asked the BBC Executive to assess the editorial controls and compliance procedures in place for all programmes where the production company is owned and/ or managed by the featured performer.

George Entwistle, Controller of Editorial Standards, BBC Vision, said of the changes: On-screen and on-air talent plays a vital role in BBC productions, both independent and in-house, and their creative input is very highly valued. But creative input must not be confused with responsibility for editorial standards and compliance.

Artists and their agents need to be free to focus on the creative process while another senior member of the team takes responsibility for ensuring that compliance procedures are followed and editorial standards are met.


6th March

 Offsite: John Beyer vs Julian Petley...

Link Here
Is it time to abolish obscenity legislation?

See article from


4th March   

Update: No Love, Only Hate...

No love for film showing gay suffering under islamic law
Link Here

Channel 4 has come under fire from Islamic leaders over a television documentary showing how gay and lesbian Muslims suffer under their laws.

Its director has already had death threats. Now station chiefs are bracing themselves for a backlash. Its digital channel More 4 will show A Jihad For Love tonight.

It lifts the lid on the battle gay and lesbian Muslims face as they struggle with their faith and their sexuality. The documentary not only shows gay Muslims daring to kiss, holding hands and talking about getting married, it also provides harrowing reports on the suffering they have faced under Islamic law. And it reveals the death threats and punishments handed out to gays in countries including Egypt and Iran.

Indian film maker Parvez Sharma – who spent six years making the programme – revealed: I have had death threats on my blog after making this film. Some countries have even banned it. I've been called an apostate because Muslims think I have insulted Islam but I think it will open up a debate.

Islamic leaders in the UK have attacked the documentary, saying it will offend, anger and shock. An Imam from Europe's largest mosque The Baitul Futuh based in Surrey condemned the film last night, saying: These people should not be confessing their sins to the television cameras. They should be doing it in private to God and seeking forgiveness.”

Last night a Channel 4 spokesman defended the documentary. She said: This is a sensitively made documentary that has played to critical acclaim at film festivals internationally and is a legitimate area for a documentary film-maker to explore.

True Stories: A Jihad For Love will be shown on More 4 at 10pm tonight.


1st March   

Update: Out of the Poo...

CPS end action against Jo Brand's BNP gag
Link Here

Comedienne Jo Brand will not be prosecuted over her remarks about the British National Party during a BBC comedy programme.

Referring to the leaking of the BNP's membership on to the internet, Brand told the asudience at the Hammersmith Apollo: Hurrah. Now we know who to send the poo to.

Following complaints from the BNP, Brand was investigated for allegedly committing an act of incitement to cause racial harassment but the Crown Prosecution Service said yesterday: We have advised the police to take no further action.'


1st March   

Comment: Daily Mail Wankers...

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

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

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?


24th February   

Mean Minded...

Whingers complain about disabled kids TV presenter
Link Here

A disabled CBeebies presenter has been the victim of a disturbing campaign after parents complained that she was scaring toddlers.

They claimed that host Cerrie Burnell - who was born with one arm - is not suitable to appear on the digital children's channel.

Miss Burnell and co-presenter Alex Winters took over the popular Discover and Do slot and The Bedtime Hour programme last month.

But the decision to hire her has prompted a flurry of complaints to the BBC and on parenting message boards.

Incredibly, one father said he wanted to ban his daughter from watching the channel because he feared it would give her nightmares. Others claimed that they were forced to discuss difficult issues with their young children before they were ready. Some even accused the BBC of hiring Miss Burnell because of political correctness and solely to meet employment quotas.

A BBC spokesman said the broadcaster had received nine formal complaints about Miss Burnell. But she insisted the new presenter had also received messages of support and that many parents were keen to have a range of people on screen.

Miss Burnell hit back at her critics, branding them small minded and their remarks terrible ' Admitting she was upset by the comments, she added: It can only be a good thing that parents are using me as a chance to talk about disability with their children. It just goes to show how important it is to have positive disabled role models on CBeebies and television in general.


22nd February   

Throwing Icicles...

Mr Potato Heads whinge about Dancing on Ice
Link Here

Ofcom has announced that it will launch an investigation after receiving viewer complaints about Dancing On Ice judge Jason Gardiner.

A small number of fans contacted the TV censor after Gardiner compared Roxanne Pallett to a Cabbage Patch doll and Ellery Hanley to Mr. Potato Head on last weekend's live show.

A Dancing On Ice spokesperson said: During the Dancing On Ice '80s special on Sunday, Jason Gardiner gave feedback to a number of the celebrities. In his critique of Roxanne and Ellery, Jason compared them to particular toy characters. This was not meant offensively and was intended to be in the spirit of the themed show.

Gardiner recently complained that the contestants are taking his behaviour too seriously, insisting that his comments are intended to be fun.


16th February   

Beyer Recommends...

Free Agents
Link Here

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.


13th February   

Social Censors...

Social Services consider legal action to ban Boys and Girls Alone
Link Here

Social services are considering legal action to stop the final two parts of the Channel 4 documentary Boys And Girls Alone being aired.

The four-part series involves a group of children aged from eight to 11 who are left to their own devices in isolated cottages in Cornwall.

Two episodes of the programme have so far been broadcast and include scenes of children fighting and crying.

Now Cornwall County Council's assistant director for social care and family services has written to both Channel 4 and Ofcom calling for the final two programmes to be axed due to serious concerns of emotional and psychological abuse.

Ruby Parry said her department would have intervened to safeguard the children had they been made aware of their circumstances at the time it was recorded. She also said the programme makers breached performance licensing legislation as one of the children involved is from Cornwall but a performing licence was not obtained from the county council. Parry said as any application for a licence would have resulted in detailed enquiries about the nature of the programme she 'can only surmise that this was a deliberate omission'.

Andrew Mackenzie, head of Factual Entertainment at Channel 4, denied they had breached performance licensing legislation as the children are not performing but are being observed.

Mackenzie said that Channel 4 regards children's welfare 'as our first priority when filming' and all programmes are made in consultation with the relevant Ofcom guidelines. He said: All the children were carefully chosen and screened by appropriately qualified experts, including a clinical psychologist, to make sure they could cope well with the experience of being in the series. The response from the parents and children to the series has been a very positive one. The mums and dads have learnt a huge amount about their children from having the opportunity to see them in this way. Furthermore many parents report more confident and able children following this stimulating and happy experience.'


8th February   

Divine Punishment...

Al Jazeera TV criticised by MPs for hate speech
Link Here

The international television channel al-Jazeera has been criticised by MPs for broadcasting the sermons of a Muslim cleric in which he celebrates the Holocaust and prays for the killing of all Jews.

John Whittingdale, chairman of the House of Commons Media Select Committee, urged al-Jazeera yesterday to apologise for broadcasting the messages of Yusuf al-Qaradawi and to ban the cleric, one of the network's top hosts, from appearing on screen.

I would hope that anybody who watches it or is aware of it may change their attitude towards al-Jazeera, he told The Times: I would've thought it is very damaging. Al-Jazeera should apologise.

But the network refused to apologise for Sheikh al-Qaradawi's statements, which were broadcast on al-Jazeera's Arabic station, saying that it could not control the words and opinions expressed during live broadcasts.

Andrew Dismore, the Labour MP for Hendon, condemned al-Jazeera for associating itself with Sheikh al-Qaradawi — who hosts one of its most popular segments, Shariah and Life — saying the network should not use live coverage as a means of justifying the broadcast of the sheik's comments: If they put on somebody who has known racist views they should not be surprised what comes out at the other end.

The Board of Deputies of British Jews said: These sermons represent hatred in its purest form and epitomise the worst of Islamist anti-Semitism.

The complaints relate to a sermon and a lecture by Sheikh al-Qaradawi in which he described the Holocaust as a divine punishment and prayed to Allah to kill Jews down to the very last one.


6th February   


2200 people complain to the BBC over the sacking of Carol Thatcher
Link Here

Thousands of viewers have complained to the BBC over the sacking of Carol Thatcher.

The corporation has been condemned for its decision to fire Baroness Thatcher's daughter from her roving reporter role on The One Show after she referred to a black tennis player as a golliwog during an off air conversation.

Last night at least 2,200 had complained about the decision. Even The One Show 's official website was packed with comments critical of the BBC. So far, the BBC has received 60 messages backing its move.

Thatcher's comments came in a conversation after the broadcast of last Thursday's edition with One Show host Adrian Chiles and comedienne Jo Brand. They had been discussing the Australian Open tennis championships and the black French tennis player Jo-Wilfried Tsonga – who Thatcher referred to as a golliwog'.

Some senior BBC staff have expressed concerns that this will lead to a culture of people reporting each other to the authorities all the time.

The BBC said there had been 12 people present when the comments were made in the green room after the show aired.

BBC1 controller Jay Hunt said: What Carol decides to say in the privacy of her own home and in a conversation with friends is one thing. What she says in a green room space where there are 12 people present, in her capacity as a roving reporter for The One Show, is a rather different thing. On this occasion her using that phrase, it being overheard and having caused offence to a number of people, was totally inappropriate.


See article from

The toy store Hamleys is withdrawing its range of golliwog dolls after the furore over Carol Thatcher's use of the word.

The store said today it wanted to be seen to be doing the right thing as the toys and the word were "clearly offensive" to some people.

The decision was announced after the Queen's Sandringham estate in Norfolk apologised for selling £9.99 golliwog dolls called Tazz and Ollie at the gift shop for more than a year.


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

  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.


3rd February   

Just Too Much!...

TV has harmed mental health of a whole generation of children
Link Here

Too much television and time spent on the internet can make children mentally ill, according to a survey into British childhood.

Excessive exposure makes a child materialistic, which in turn affects their relationship with their parents and their health.

That is one of the conclusions of the new wide-ranging survey produced for the Children's Society.

It says that children are part of a new form of consumerism, with under 16 year-olds spending their money on clothes, snacks, music, video games and magazines.

The report claims that some advertisers explicitly exploit the mechanism of peer pressure, while painting parents as buffoons and that in its most extreme form, advertising persuades children that you are what you own.

In addition the constant exposure to celebrities through, TV soaps, dramas and chat shows is having a detrimental effect. It says: Children today know in intimate detail the lives of celebrities who are richer than they will ever be, and mostly better-looking. This exposure inevitably raises aspirations and reduces self-esteem.

The Good Childhood inquiry, compiled by more than 35,000 contributors is independent of the Church of England affiliated society but has been endorsed by the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams. It takes an in-depth look at the changing face of childhood and family life in Britain, and the challenges facing youngsters today.

The Good Childhood study was carried out by a panel of independent experts for the charity. They included Lord Layard, a former adviser on well-being to Tony Blair; Children's Commissioner for England Sir Albert Aynsley-Green, and a group of prominent academics. Two religious figures also took senior roles: the Right Reverend Tim Stevens, Church of England Bishop of Leicester, and Dr Muhammed Abdul Bari, secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain.

The report claims that the upward trend of violence in the media in general, is making children violent and causing tension within the family.

The report says: We know from controlled studies that exposure to violence can breed violence. So it seems likely that the upward trend in media violence is helping to produce the upward trend in violent behaviour - and also the growth of psychological conflict in family relationships.

The report also notes that commercial pressures have led to the 'premature sexualisation' of young people. It notes that young people are having sex earlier because of many forces , including more privacy when both parents work, more contraception, commercial pressures toward premature sexualisation, and fundamental changes in attitude.


2nd February   

Freaking TV Censors...

ITV 2 shows old cut version of Die Hard 2
Link Here

For some reason Sunday night ITV 2 showed the original BBFC "15" cut of Die Hard 2 . Forgot just how much silly stuff was dubbed out and cut (especially Dennis Franz saying FREAKING so many times).

I might be wrong but I think this actually WAS the video they showed, as the picture quality was very saturated and the print seemed dirty and full of blemishes, Plus it was the full screen version, which was cut quite heavily, until the film was re-rated on video in the early nineties due to the popularity of "WIDESCREEN" releases (mostly by CBS/FOX). Both the first 2 Die Hards were front runners for this trend.


1st February   

Police Poo...

Jo Brand TV joke about poo to the BNP reported to the police
Link Here

Comedienne Jo Brand is at the centre of a police investigation over quips she made on the comedy programme that temporarily replaced Jonathan Ross's TV chat show.

A senior producer on the Friday night Live At The Apollo show has been questioned by the Metropolitan Police about the incident.

Outspoken: Jo Brand's remark on the BNP party was cheered by the Hammersmith Apollo audience. The remarks concerned the leaking of the British National Party's membership list. Brand joked that as a result of the list becoming public knowledge on the internet, she now knew the addresses where to send the ‘poo' through the post.

Brand's routine was a hit with the live audience, who laughed and cheered at her remarks. However, the joke, which was broadcast on the late-night BBC1 show from Hammersmith Apollo on January 16, offended members of the BNP.

The following day, Simon Darby, the BNP's deputy leader, made an official complaint to Hammersmith police alleging that Brand's comment had been an act of incitement to cause racial harassment. Further complaints from the BNP followed, to the BBC and the police, and a formal review was launched two weeks ago.

A police spokesman last night confirmed: We have received a complaint and officers will be reviewing the programme to see if any offences have occurred.

But a senior police source said: It is an absurd case and very unlikely to get to court. A lot of police time and money appears to have been wasted investigating what for all intents and purposes is just a TV show joke.

A file was sent to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) last week to determine if there is enough evidence for a successful prosecution to be made against Miss Brand or the BBC. A decision will be made by the CPS in the next few days.

A BBC spokesman said last night: We do not comment on police matters. However, we believe the audience would have understood the satirical nature of the remarks.


1st February   

Update: Gordon's Great British Nutter Nightmare...

Gordon Ramsay is prime target for more Ross dross from the tabloids
Link Here

The Mirror is reporting about viewers fury at 312 swear words in 103 mins including Gordon Ramsay's 240 used of 'fuck'

Viewers were said to have flooded Channel 4 with complaints after Friday's Gordon's Great British Nightmare.

And it all came on the same day the fiery chef promised not to swear on the US version of his live cookalong show for fear of upsetting American viewers.

Ramsay's show on Friday drew three million viewers and went out just after the 9pm watershed with a warning about strong language.

Labour MP Denis MacShane said: Gordon Ramsay might be a good chef, but he is a terrible role model to every child and adolescent in Britain. He is giving two-fingers to people who care about the English language. Channel 4 should give Britain a break from this foul-mouthed soup-stirrer. This is a clear breach of Ofcom's rules on swearing and it should launch an investigation into the programme immediately.

Lib-Dem MP Don Foster said: This is getting beyond a joke. When you hear about this much swearing in a single programme, you're tempted to utter an expletive yourself. We have got to tone it down because bad language on TV is seeping into society.

An Ofcom spokesman said they were unable to comment on complaints received over the weekend until next week.

A Channel 4 spokesman said: Gordon Ramsay is a well-known TV personality and viewers know what to expect. The swearing was a genuine expression of his passion and frustration.


27th January   

Update: Majority are Easily Offended...

Panorama's Have I Got Bad Language for You?
Link Here
Full story: Strong Language on TV...Whinging about strong langauge on TV

Over half of people think that there is currently too much strong language on TV and radio, a poll commissioned for the BBC's Panorama programme suggests.

55% of those polled said swearing is at an unacceptable level.

68% of those questioned said that swearing on programmes had increased in the last five years.

The poll was conducted for Panorama's Have I Got Bad Language for You? in which comedian Frank Skinner looked at taste and decency in UK broadcasting.

The programme predictably comes in the wake of a row over calls made by presenters Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand on Brand's BBC Radio 2 show. Skinner, who has experimented with dropping swearing from his stand up comedy routine, spoke to both broadcasters and performers for the episode of Panorama.

Comedienne Joan Rivers expressed concern over censorship saying: It pulls you back so much, it makes you so fearful that you're scared to do a step in any direction that ordinarily I would have done to be funnier.

As part of its research for the programme Panorama commissioned a poll asking questions about people's attitudes to bad language on terrestrial television and on radio.

A total of 1001 people over the age of 16 were questioned in the telephone poll, carried out by GfK NOP between 16-18 January.

Of those polled, 58% said that broadcasters do not take enough notice of audience views in the amount of swearing on TV and radio, as opposed to 39% who said that they do.

However, 55% of those questioned, said that they thought the 9pm watershed, after which more adult content can be shown on television, is being effectively enforced by broadcasters.


27th January   

Would You Credit It...

Nutters send hate mail to David Attenborough over a lack of credit to a god
Link Here

Sir David Attenborough has revealed that he receives hate mail from viewers for failing to credit God in his documentaries.

In an interview with this week's Radio Times about his latest documentary, on Charles Darwin and natural selection, the broadcaster said: They tell me to burn in hell and good riddance.

Telling the magazine that he was asked why he did not give credit to God, Attenborough added: They always mean beautiful things like hummingbirds. I always reply by saying that I think of a little child in east Africa with a worm burrowing through his eyeball. The worm cannot live in any other way, except by burrowing through eyeballs. I find that hard to reconcile with the notion of a divine and benevolent creator.

Attenborough went further in his opposition to creationism, saying it was terrible when it was taught alongside evolution as an alternative perspective. It's like saying that two and two equals four, but if you wish to believe it, it could also be five ... Evolution is not a theory; it is a fact, every bit as much as the historical fact that William the Conqueror landed in 1066.


25th January   

Update: In the Spotlight...

Jonathan Ross censored for his return in the press spotlight
Link Here

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

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.


16th January   

Update: Not So Cool...

Ofcom to consider Celebrity Big Brother Complaints (or hype?)
Link Here
Full story: Big Brother...Whinging about Channel 4's Big Brother

Furious fans have accused Celebrity Big Brother bosses of double standards for not giving bullying Coolio the boot.

TV censor Ofcom launched an official investigation after viewers complained about the rapper’s relentless intimidation of housemates.

They are furious the American star has not been kicked out over claims of verbal attacks and threats of violence – after the Daily Star revealed the true extent of his aggressive behaviour in a shock report.

Last night a spokesman for Ofcom said: I can confirm we have had complaints about Wednesday night’s show over issues concerning Coolio. We will be investigating.


15th January   

BBC Porn Propaganda...

Nutters take aim at mainstream online porn
Link Here

I think everyone should listen to this rubbish on Radio4. It doesn't seem very balanced to me

I'm going to complain about this to Ofcom - I think others should do the same.

From the BBC description:

Penny Marshall examines the effects of the rapid expansion of online pornography on UK society. She talks to those who use online porn, including couples trying to repair the trust and intimacy dented by the persistent and secretive use of porn sites. She also hears from psychologists who are concerned that young people are in danger of having their understanding of sexual relationships permanently damaged by what they see online.


11th January   

Inappropriate for Nutters...

Beyer recycles old tat for whinges about Above Suspicion
Link Here

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.’


11th January   

Unethical BBC Ethics Department...

Anti religious interview edited to support religion
Link Here

The BBC has been forced to apologise to an acclaimed psychologist and writer after editing her derogatory comments about religion so that a radio programme broadcast the opposite of what she had said.

Dorothy Rowe complained to the corporation that her interview on the Radio 2 programme What Do You Believe? had been edited so that the final version misrepresented her views. During a 50-minute recorded interview, Rowe had attempted to comment on the subject proposed by the programme's producer: Why so many people want to believe in God and search for faith. But she was aghast to hear how her words were eventually used.

In an email to the corporation Rowe stated: My words were edited to make it sound that I held a favourable opinion of religion in that it gave a structure to a person's life. What was not broadcast was what I had said about how such structures can be damaging to people. Being misquoted in this way concerned me greatly.

She said the interview sounds like I am giving unqualified praise to religious belief. There is no mention of what I talked... about at length, that religious belief can cause immense misery. I often summarise this with: 'The church keeps me in business'.

The row has provided ammunition for secular critics who accuse the BBC of using its programmes to promote religion. Terry Sanderson, president of the National Secular Society, who was interviewed for the same programme as Rowe, said: I gave a long interview, but when I listened to the finished product it contained just a couple of very brief soundbites from me which were not representative of the thoughts I had expressed... This programme was the most blatant piece of religious propaganda I have heard for a long time.

A spokeswoman for the corporation said: The BBC's religion and ethics department acknowledged that extracts from an interview with Dorothy Rowe - broadcast in the programme What Do You Believe? - misrepresented her views on religion and has apologised to her.


10th January   

Update: The Moral Monopoly...

BBC responds to requests for opening up Thought For the Day
Link Here

The controller of Radio 4, Mark Damazer defends keeping Thought for the Day reserved for religious believers:

I regard this as a genuinely difficult question. There may be a case for widening the pool of contributors on Thought for The Day by having someone with an avowedly non-religious perspective. However on balance the BBC's position is that it is reasonable to sustain the slot with believers. Let me now set out the reasoning.

Thought for the Day is a unique slot in which speakers from a wide range of religious faiths reflect on an issue of the day from their faith perspective. In the midst of the three hour Today programme devoted to overwhelmingly secular concerns - national and international news and features, searching interviews etc - the slot offers a brief, uninterrupted interlude of spiritual reflection. We believe that broadening the brief would detract from the distinctiveness of the slot.

Within Thought for the Day a careful balance is maintained of voices from different Christian denominations and other religions with significant membership in the UK. We are broadcasting to the general Radio 4 audience which regularly engages with the comments and ideas expressed by our contributors from the world's major faiths - whether they are believers or not.

Outside Thought for the Day the BBC's religious output contains both religious and non-religious voices in programmes such as Sunday, Beyond Belief, Moral Maze. In these programmes atheists, humanists and secularists are regularly heard, the religious world is scrutinised, its leaders and proponents are questioned.

Non-religious voices are also heard extensively across the general output in news, current affairs, documentaries, talks, science, history. These programmes approach the world from perspectives which are not religious. As, of course, do the other 2 hours 57 minutes of Today.


9th January

 Offsite: Comedy Killjoys...

Link Here
Giving professional whingers a kick up the Archibalds

See article from


6th January   

Most Annoying People 2009...

Anne Widdecombe whinges at BBC3 programme
Link Here

Half an hour after the 9pm watershed adult film actor Ron Jeremy – captioned on screen as a porn legend – described in graphic detail lewd acts that he wanted to perform on Hollywood star Lindsay Lohan and her lesbian lover.

Nutter politicians and lobby groups reacted in supposed anger to the segment on the programme Most Annoying People 2008 .

It was first broadcast on December 29 but repeated over the New Year period and is still available to view online.

Another guest on the BBC3 show, Radio 5 Live presenter DJ Spoony, referred to lesbians as munters and mingers, prompting supposed fury from gay rights activists.

Nutter MP Anne Widdecombe has demanded to know who sanctioned broadcast of the programme: What was their reasoning behind choosing a porn star as an interviewee at all – and why was the pre-recorded show screened?

You would think that following the debacle with Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand, they would have gone out of their way to ensure anything going out was within the limits of decency. This was a holiday period when children tend to stay up later and there is a strong risk that children would have seen it.

Indecency is just ingrained at the BBC. They are institutionally indecent.

Jeremy, who has appeared in almost 2,000 hardcore movies, said of Lohan and Ronson: ‘These two girls are very good-looking. I would love to be in the middle of that: They will do each other, do me, do each other, do me, back and forth. Jeremy also said of Lohan: Men are wishing they could be with her and change her mind, thinking “Yeah, she is a lesbian now because she never met me.”

BBC Radio 5 Live presenter Spoony, 38, said of lesbians: Let the munters and mingers get each other. That's cool because nobody wants them. But referring to Mean Girls star Lohan and Ronson, he added: When they're hot and fit - Hollywood superstars - they should be saved for the guys.

Gay rights activist Peter Tatchell branded the remarks by Jeremy and Spoony gratuitously sexist and homophobic. The BBC should have never broadcast them and should issue a public apology. Spoony should be suspended by the BBC and only be allowed to continue presenting his Radio 5 Live programme after he has apologised on air and promised not to repeat his homophobic garbage.

Ron Jeremy's comments were needlessly offensive. He's a sexist pig, which no right-thinking woman, lesbian or straight, would want to meet, let alone have sex with.

The BBC today said that it had received 13 complaints about the programme to date.

A spokeswoman said: Most Annoying People 2008 is a light-hearted and comedic look at people and events that have annoyed, amused or appalled us over the last 12 months. The contributors to the programme are expressing their own views and opinions, which are meant in a light-hearted way with no malicious intent.


6th January   

Thought For the Day...

Religion: Preaching tolerance whilst practising intolerance
Link Here

An issue has arisen recently. It isn’t strictly a matter of censorship however it does involve a kind of restriction on broadcasting so I thought it was appropriate.

Radio 4’s Thought For The Day program, which provides a platform for religious viewpoints whilst deliberately excluding atheistic or humanist viewpoints. There is an organised campaign of opposition here .

More than 1600 people have pledged to write to the BBC and the organiser has just asked these 1600 to write in during the coming week (5/1/09). If you’re interested you can sign up or just send in an email or letter of complaint to the Beeb. Here is an example :

It should be interesting to see what happens. The Controller of Radio 4 said that he hears no appetite for change, but with the exception of the recent Jonathan Ross incident, Aunty usually only receives 50-100 complaints a quarter.

See also article from by Sue Blackmore:

I've always enjoyed Thought for the Day ( TFTD ), that two-minute spot in the middle of Radio 4's Today programme, which seems to be a brief respite from the hard news, and a chance for someone to give moral or ethical reflections on current events. The trouble is that only religious speakers are invited. Rabbis, priests, imams, chaplains, and monks are there, but never humanists, agnostics, or atheists.

Why not? Wouldn't it be better if they were? Morality is not the sole prerogative of the religious – there are even reasons to think that the irreligious are more moral. So why shouldn't we be invited to speak on TFTD ?


3rd January   

Update: TalkSport Nazis...

Sacked radio presenter Jon Gaunt has started legal action
Link Here
Full story: Jon Gaunt and Talksport Nazis...Talksport sack radio presenter over Nazi jibe

Northamptonshire shock jock Jon Gaunt has begun legal action against TalkSport after the radio station sacked him.

The controversial radio presenter was given the boot in November for branding a guest a 'Nazi' live on air.

In a message on his personal website, Gaunt said his efforts to make peace with his former bosses had been ignored: I have tried to offer an olive branch to TalkSport chief executive Scott Taunton but he has declined my overtures, He claims he will not reinstate me despite the tens of thousands of e-mails that you have sent in. Therefore he has left me with no choice but to take legal action and that has now started.

Gaunt said: People keep asking me how many complaints there were about the interview with Councillor Stark and I can now tell you that according to Ofcom's own website there were only 16.

Gaunt also promised fans that he would be back on the radio soon.

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