Melon Farmers Original Version

UK TV and Radio News

2010: Jan-March

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8th April   

Barking Mad...

Celebrity gameshow gets 173 complaints
Link Here

200 viewers have complained about dogs being crammed into tiny cages on ITV's gameshow The Door.

Celebrity contestants including actor Dean Gaffney and Boyzone's Keith Duffy crawled between the cages with chunks of raw meat attached to them.

Viewers took to the internet, claiming it was disgraceful .

One forum member said: This cause great distress to the dogs and makes them appear aggressive - all in the name of entertainment. Others blasted host Chris Tarrant for describing the dogs as rancid and savage .

Media watchdog Ofcom confirmed it received 173 complaints about Friday night's show.

But an ITV spokesman denied it was cruel: The dogs were ones that are supplied for TV and film work and are used to being in a studio environment. Their handlers were present. At no time did the dogs show discomfort.


26th March   

Updated: The Debating Game...

Alan Titchmarsh discusses violent video games
Link Here

Last Friday's Alan Titchmarsh Show had a brief discussion about violent video games which featured some chap who's editor of, also present were actress Julie Peasgood and Kelvin Mackenzie, former editor of The Sun.

The chap seemed to be fighting his corner quite well until Julie Peasgood opened her mouth saying that many of these games promoted, violence, racism and sexism , which got a huge round of applause from the audience. This statement was allowed to go unchallenged, which was a shame as I would have liked to have heard what games she'd played that promoted these things.

But anyway, she then went on to say that A recent study in the US found a direct link between children's behaviour and the violent video games they play .

The chap countered that argument by saying that the UK Governments own research by Tanya Byron found no evidence that was true, which resulted in a few jeers from the audience. Which I found quite disturbing considering the audience would accept an emotive unsubstantiated claim, whilst pouring scorn on a stated fact.

Kelvin Mackenzie then chimed in about James Bulger's killers being corrupted by violent media, which really made me seethe considering that story was a press fabrication by the very paper he used to work for.

Again, the guy who worked for the games site made some good points, but he obviously wasn't a seasoned debater. He seemed to be playing defence most of the time, when he would have been better going on the attack and forcing the other 2 to try and substantiate their claims, which would have crumbled under the slightest scrutiny.

Comment: Peasgood spotted acting in violent video game

23rd March 2010. From Dan

I just watched the anti-video game bollox on Alan Titchmarsh.

Why didn't they just burn the guy from the video games website and have done with it?

Julie Peasgood thinks violent for entertainment is wrong? But apparently she lent her voice to a horror game:

From :

Hordes have you have been left fuming by the claims of actress-cum-'sexpert' Julie Peasgood on the Alan Titchmarsh Show last week - on which CVG editor Tim defended the games industry.

She's the one who said video games were addictive and promote racism , remember? Oh - and we quote - was categorically against violence for entertainment . And yet a bit of digging... and hey presto. There's the credit for Julie's appearance voicing Harroway in survival horror video game Martian Gothic: Unification .

According to Wikipedia: In Martian Gothic, the player is able to assume the roles of three characters sent from Earth to a Martian base called Vita. Upon arrival the player finds that all the residents are apparently dead and must gradually uncover the secrets and nature the last undertaking by Vita 1's crew; the discovery of ancient Martian "Pandora's Box" which, when opened, started a chain of chaotic events that led to the base's downfall, and death of all almost its inhabitants.

However, during the player's progress of uncovering the truth, searching for any possible survivors, and solving Vita 1's many mounting problems, the player finds that the dead crew have become re-animated like zombies who wish to feast upon the team of three's flesh.

Comment: Peasgood spotted acting in violent film

23rd March 2010. From Andy

On the Alan Titchmarsh show, while discussing violent video games, Julie Peasgood comments: I am categorically against violence for entertainment, it is just wrong .

Am interesting comment coming from an actress who starred in the cannon produced horror film House of the Long Shadows , who's character if I'm not mistaken dies a violent death when her face is eaten away with acid.

Interesting how somebody who can have such strict beliefs, abandons them when there is a pay cheque involved!!!

Offsite: Audience whipped up into a censorial frenzy

Thanks From
26th March 2010. Based on article from by Lewis Denby

Hearing the floor manager tell the octagenarian crowd to 'really let your feelings be known if he says something you don't agree with' seconds before filming was pretty disconcerting. I hope you noted the targeted 'he' in that sentence. I certainly did.

Tim Ingham admits he didn't expect anything less, though. As you might be aware, the CVG game website editor recently appeared on UK television's The Alan Titchmarsh Show, as part of a feature on the dangers of violent gaming to children.

...Read the full article

Petition: Petition for a public apology from The Alan Titchmarsh Show

26th March 2010. From

We, the undersigned, call on The Alan Titchmarsh Show to issue a public apology for their unfair and biased representation of the computer gaming industry on 18/3/10. We also call on Julie Peasgood to issue a public apology for hypocritically criticising an industry to which she has contributed.

Our grievance with the programme falls into three parts:

Breach of the Ofcom code

We feel that The Alan Titchmarsh Show has breached the Ofcom broadcasting code several times during the course of this programme. Specifically:

  • Tim Ingham recounts how the audience was encouraged before recording began to specifically boo him when they disagreed with him. No such recommendation was made regarding the other guests. This is a clear violation of article 7.2 of the Ofcom code, which requires that all contributors be treated fairly and equally.
  • Ingham states that Kelvin MacKenzie's positive responses to his points were largely edited out to make him seem more sceptical. This violates articles 5.7 and 7.6 of the Ofcom code, which require that views not be misrepresented and that editing reflect the contributions made.
  • Julie Peasgood cited a piece of research but failed to name it. This violates article 7.9 which states that material facts must be presented in a fair way. By failing to identify the study, Peasgood offered no chance of rebuttal.

Perpetuation of misconceptions

We feel that very little research was undertaken by The Alan Titchmarsh Show before this discussion took place. Alan Titchmarsh did not know the names of the games and clearly did not understand that video games are classified and age-restricted in exactly the same way as films. This show perpetuates the misconception that all video games are aimed at children.

Julie Peasgood

Julie Peasgood provided voice acting for the character of Harroway for the PC and PlayStation survival horror game Martian Gothic: Unification , released in 2000. This game carries the ESRB rating Mature (17+), and contains several scenes of graphic violence. Yet Peasgood makes no mention of this during the show. Instead she makes categorical statements such as:

  • Video games are addictive, they promote hatred, racism, sexism, and they reward violence. What kind of a message is that?
  • I am categorically against violence for entertainment. It is just wrong.

To make such accusations while at the same time profiting from the industry you are criticising is a sickening display of hypocrisy.

In conclusion, we the undersigned seek a public apology from The Alan Titchmarsh Show for its breach of Ofcom guidelines and its perpetuation of misconceptions about video games, and from Julie Peasgood for her hypocritical statements and exaggerated claims.

Comment: Research research

26th March 2010. From DarkAngel on the Melon Farmers Forum

I believe the "research" Julie Peasgood reffered to was THIS study by American Psychologist Craig A Anderson of Iowa State University, which appeared in the March issue of the American Psychological Associations bulletin.

However, his findings, not to mention methods of compiling data, have come in for heavy criticism from others. Not least, Christopher Ferguson and John Kilburn of the department of behavioural applied science and criminal justice at Texas A&M International University.

The Washington Post gives details here ...

Another thing, if you do some digging, it seems that Craig Anderson clearly has some sort of axe to grind against violent media. Most of his research seems to be dedicated to proving links between violent media and behaviour.


17th March   

Updated: The Missionary Position:...

All sex is bad, particularly on daytime TV
Link Here

Those tuning into This Morning , eager to see their favourite cookery and fashion features, were instead confronted by two couples simulating sex live on air.

In one scene a young couple were shown testing out how to have sex when there is a height difference, while an older pair revealed the best positions to adopt when one party is tired.

It then featured a short interview with 23-year-old Dannii Frost, who complained she had never had an orgasm with her partner of three years. Although presenter Philip Schofield kept a straight face as the spectacle unfolded, it was too much for co-host Holly Willoughby, who spent most of the time giggling and pulling faces.

But not everyone was laughing last night. A few viewers have turned to internet message boards and to media groups to complain about the ITV daytime programme, which is dedicating much of its output this week to dealing with viewers' sexual problems and questions.

Vivienne Pattison, director of MediaWatch UK, said: I've had people ringing in to complain about this and they are right to do so. Lots of people were offended. This was broadcast well before the watershed and when young children are likely to be watching. It is not appropriate. ITV have crossed a line here.

However Schofield was unrepentant, writing on his Twitter page: I am loving the "outrage" at This Morning's sex week. It was all perfectly decent and you got two warnings. And he warned that the rest of the week would cover sex toys, sexual taboos and infidelity.

Update: Ofcom's Position

17th March 2010. From

Ofcom is not planning to investigate viewers complaints about This Morning 's sex-themed week, Sex Up Your Life.

The regulator confirmed this morning that complaints had been made about models simulating sex positions on the morning television programme. A spokesman said there were no plans to investigate the complaints, which focused on the suitability of the show pre-watershed.


15th March   

Update: Turning a New Leaf Salad...

Gordon Ramsey claims an end to his strong language
Link Here
Full story: Gordon Ramsay...Strong language winds up the nutters

Gordon Ramsay has vowed to cut out the strong language.

He reckons that at 43 he's now too old for the four-letter tirades. The cocky chef has also decided to ease up on bullying the owners of dodgy diners on screen.

Gordon said he counted 298 'fucks' when two episodes of Kitchen Nightmares were condensed into one last year. He said: I wasn't proud of that. There has come a time when I'm getting a bit tired of the foul-mouthed bully chef.

But Gordon admitted he won't be able to axe the F-words completely and turn into a touchy-feely chef.

Gordon's long-standing cooking colleague and Hell's Kitchen star Angela Hartnett urged him to soften his image. She said: People don't like the aggression so much. They no longer want to see him or Simon Cowell make people cry.


14th March   

Any Old Bollox...

Mediawatch-UK snitch to police over old Balls of Steel shows
Link Here

Scotland Yard has received a complaint about a Channel 4 alternative comedy series in which two men inflict pain on each other for fun.

The programme Balls Of Steel features Michael Locke and Matthew Pritchard, who perform masochistic acts including giving each other electric shocks and stapling paper to their tongues.

The pair who go under the name Pancho and Pritchard, The Pain Men are shown trying to outdo other performers to win an audience vote. The Pain Men. In one episode, entitled Kitchen Nightmares, one of them pressed raw onion into the open eyes of the other. In a further scene, called School Discipline , one of them beats the other's buttocks with a whip.

43 complaints were previously made to the TV censor when the shows were first televised, Ofcom ruled Channel 4 had not breached its code.

Nutter group Mediawatch-UK claims Channel 4 has breached an 1861 law which forbids people from inflicting bodily harm on each other, even by consent.

The nutters have now written to the Metropolitan Police asking the force to investigate further. But Scotland Yard said a criminal investigation was not appropriate .


9th March   

Updated: Vivienne Pattison Recommends...

Spartacus: Blood and Sand
Link Here

Mediawatch-UK are whingeing about an American TV series about the Roman Empire.

Spartacus: Blood And Sand has featured full-frontal nudity, violence and sex scenes of orgies since it first aired in the US in January.

The show, which stars Scottish actor John Hannah and pulled in more than a million viewers this week, is looking for a post-watershed UK home.

But Mediawatch-UK says the programme should not be allowed in Britain, even late at night.

We can no longer ignore the fact that what viewers see on television has an impact on society, said 'outraged' director Vivienne Pattison: Even the Government is asking the producers of soap operas to include safe-sex messages in their programmes now. There are numerous studies linking exposure to violence on TV with violent behaviour at large and if there is the slightest possibility that explicit sex and violence on screen can cause this harm, is it worth the risk in the interests of entertainment?

The lobby group also said it was concerned that children might eventually find the programme online. Once this programme is shown on television it will be much easier for children to access particularly via video-on-demand online services, she added.

The TV show focuses loosely on the historical figure of Spartacus a Thracian gladiator who led a major slave uprising against the Roman Republic in 73BC.

Update: Slaves to Nonsense

9th March 2010. Based on article from

Forget stoic legionaries marching along spear-straight roads; never mind glorious mosaics and monumental architecture; as for heroic literature no chance. The Romans, to judge by this new version of Spartacus, were mainly preoccupied with sex, intrigue, bloody violence and more sex.

As well as full-frontal nudity, the show features scenes of extreme gore. In one gladiatorial fight, the winner slices off his opponent's face and wears it as a mask.

Perhaps not surprisingly, not everyone is keen to tune in and last week there were calls for the show to be banned even before it has arrived. Vivienne Pattison, director of the campaign group Mediawatch UK, said: I'm not saying the Romans weren't violent. And I don't have a problem with bodies per se. But porn is filtering into society and it's worrying. This programme absolutely encapsulates this problem.

Broadcasters can tell us they're holding a mirror to that society and reflecting back on our own; but I'd argue we are just taking all that in and becoming immune to it.

Is it necessary to see the knife go in, turn round, come out, blood spurt, all the rest of it? You've only got to look at how casual violence has grown to a level that didn't exist before it was so widespread on television. Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

The British satellite broadcaster Bravo has bought the show, and has rights to show it online. It means that for up to seven days after its transmission on television, viewers will be able to watch episodes online at any time. The so-called watershed is then ineffective and Mediawatch UK fears Spartacus could be easily watched by children.

Pattison said: Why is it entertaining to watch people being slashed like that with blood everywhere? In no place in society would that be acceptable other than on television. It doesn't even add to the storylines. She plans to campaign for a ban.

Comment: Ban this Filth!

10th March 2010. Thanks to Dan

Just been reading Viv Pattison's bollox about the programme Spartacus.

Like Beyer before her she seems completely unaware she's being used to further the publicity of sex and violence laden TV shows.

Or that her cries to BAN THIS FILTH will only get more people to tune in!


28th February   

Updated: Labour Growing Up Obsessed by Sexualisation...

Home Office propose UK censorship measures to curtail child 'sexualisation'
Link Here
Full story: Sexualisation...Sexualisation as reported by Linda Papadopoulos

A review into the sexualisation of young people, conducted by psychologist Dr Linda Papadopoulos has just been published.

Commissioned by the Home Office, the review forms part of the government's strategy to tackle Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) and looks at how sexualised images and messages may be affecting the development of children and young people and influencing cultural norms. It also examines the evidence for a link between sexualisation and violence.

Key recommendations include:

  • the government to launch an online one-stop-shop to allow the public to voice their concerns about marketing which may sexualise children, with an onus on regulatory authorities to take action.
  • the government should support the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) to take steps to extend the existing regulatory standards to include commercial websites
  • broadcasters are required to ensure that music videos featuring sexual posing or sexually suggestive lyrics are broadcast only after the watershed
  • the government to support the NSPCC in its work with manufacturers and retailers to encourage corporate compliance with regard to sexualised merchandise. Guidelines should be issued for retailers following consultation with major clothing retailers and parents' groups
  • games consoles should be sold with parental controls already switched on. Purchasers can choose to unlock the console if they wish to allow access to adult and online content.
  • lads' mags to be confined to newsagents' top shelves and only sold to over-15s
  • a ratings system on magazine and advertising photographs showing the extent to which they have been airbrushed or digitally altered.
  • The exemption of music videos from the 1984 Video Recordings Act should be ended. The report in particular criticises lyrics by N-Dubz and 50 Cent for their tendency to sexualise women or refer to them in a derogatory manner, and singles out the rap artist Nelly for a video showing him swiping a credit card through a young woman's buttocks. But it adds that, while degrading sexual content is most apparent in rap-rock, rap, rap-metal and R&B, it is to be found across all music genres.
  • jobcentres should be banned from advertising vacancies at escort agencies, lapdancing clubs and massage parlours.

Home Secretary Alan Johnson said:  We will now consider the full list of recommendations in more detail and continue to ensure that young people's development and well-being are a top priority.

Children's Minister Delyth Morgan said:

Children today are growing up in a complex and changing world and they need to learn how to stay safe and resist inappropriate pressures. That is why we are making Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) education statutory so that we can teach children about the real life issues they will face as they grow up.

PSHE already includes teaching about advertising and body image and from 2011 will include issues around violence against women and girls. The PSHE curriculum is age appropriate to give children and young people the right information at the right time to help them make the best choices and to develop their confidence.

Offsite: Let children be children

28th February 2008. See article from by Frank Furedi

We can't hide all sexual images from children but we can stop reading their behaviour through a prism of adult motives

It is difficult not to feel disturbed by the sexualisation of childhood. We live in a world where a significant proportion of 11-year-olds have been regularly exposed to pornography and where many actually believe that what they see is an accurate depiction of real-life relationships.

It is tempting to panic in response to this development and lose sight of the real problem. Sadly, the Home Office report published today proposes the tired old strategy of protecting children from exposure to sexual imagery. The report's addiction to banning and censoring is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of the problem. The real problem is not simply inappropriate sexual imagery but a highly sexualised adult imagination that continually recycles its anxieties through children.

...Read the full article

Offsite: The inevitable nonsense from the Daily Mail

28th February 2008. See article from by Liz Jones

The woman is naked - or looks like she is. Only a flesh-coloured leotard covers her body. Her long blonde hair tumbles down her back. She's in a cage, sliding her fingers provocatively in and out of her mouth.

A scene from a cliched pornographic film? Sadly not. The woman in question is Shakira, a pop superstar and the fourth richest singer in the world.

The images can be seen in the video for her single, She Wolf , which will be watched obsessively, again and again, by thousands of young men and women, many of whom will form the opinion that writhing in a cage is precisely the way sexy women should behave.


19th February   

Update: Knobhead of the Year Award...

Liam Gallagher gets his name on the Brit Awards Ofcom complaints sheet
Link Here

Liam Gallagher lost his cool with Peter Kay after the comedian insulted him during the BRIT Awards. While accepting Best Album of the Last 30 Years on behalf of Oasis, Gallagher threw out a few choice words, hurled a microphone and tossed the trophy into the crowd.

Gallagher's onstage speech consisted of him telling the crowd that the best in the fucking world live forever . He thanked all of his band mates somewhere in there, except for his brother Noel. Afterward, Kay, who was hosting the event, remarked to the millions watching that Gallagher was knobhead.

Afterward Gallagher went backstage for an interview for ITV2's live backstage coverage, which was conducted by his wife Nicole Appleton. During the interview, he said fucking twice, and then when the interview was at an end, he left his wife red in the face by blurting that it was nice and then asking if they could all take loads of class A drugs .

No doubt Ofcom got plenty of complaints.


19th February   

Update: Hard Apology...

US campaign against the word 'retard' comes to the UK
Link Here
Full story: The R Word...Campaign against the word 'retard'

The retard controversy swirling around public figures in the US has also been noted in the UK.

Channel 4 has 'enraged' disability charities and disabled people, with its initial refusal to apologize for the Channel 4 program Big Brother's Big Mouth , broadcast on 29.1.10, in which Vinnie Jones accused Davina McCall of walking like a retard, and gave the audience a demonstration of what a retard walks like. Davina McCall responded by saying: I do not walk like a retard.

Channel 4 originally said that participants should be able to talk without censure, but after an active Facebook campaign by disabled people and groups did apologize privately to two individuals. A spokesman admitted that the original defensive response was a mistake and there should have been an on-air apology.

It has now made its apology public, saying: We would normally respond to an inappropriate comment of that nature by asking the presenter to admonish the person responsible and apologize to the audience, but on this occasion, this did not happen. We have removed their comments from the Video on Demand version of the program.

A spokesman for Vinnie Jones said: On behalf of Vinnie Jones I'd like to apologisze for any offense caused by comments made on Big Brother's Big Mouth on January 29th 2010. While the show was live and the conversation was unscripted and off the cuff, Vinnie in no way meant to upset anyone and fully appreciates the choice of word was inappropriate.

The matter has gone to Ofcom which has ruled against the first complaint from Nicky Clark, who runs a campaign to boost disabled talent on-screen, saying that although the matter was sensitive the word was not aimed against people with a learning disability. How strange, then, that so many people with a learning disability feel it was! As Mark Goldring, the chief executive of the learning disability, Mencap, comments, it's both offensive and insulting.


18th February   

Update: Freak Bitch...

Whingeing about Lady GaGa at the Brit Awards
Link Here

V iewers have complained about Lady Gaga's language at the Brit Awards.

The New York singer used an electronic sound pad to repeatedly say freak bitch during her performance at the pre-watershed time of 8.45pm. She was singing her tracks Telephone and Bad Romance .


13th February   

Complainants Get All Pumped Up...

Complaints about Alan Titchmarsh Show item about sex toys
Link Here

After internet complaints about the featuring of two items from Nice n Naughty, a leading adult toy retailer, on the Alan Titchmarsh Show . Nice n Naughty has commented in support of both the show and the specific feature which contained the items.

The show went out at 5pm on Wednesday the 10th of February and was part of a pre Valentine's Day special.

The controversy was caused when the show featured a piece of sexual furniture called the Inflatable Tilt Master and a sexual aid called the Advanced Clitoral Pump, which some viewers deemed inappropriate for this type of show.

Nice 'n' NaughtyTrish Murray, Director of Nice n Naughty comments, This type of product is always going to cause controversy with some people but the complaints which have been made are unfounded. We at Nice 'n' Naughty feel that the show handled the issues discussed in an appropriate manner and was definitely suitable for a mainstream audience.

The sex toy industry has become mainstream within the UK with over 2.5 million sex toys sold every year and an annual growth in the market place of 20%+ year on year.

Trish went on to suggest that by featuring such products, the show has in fact done a public service by raising the issue of sexuality and relationships within a mainstream forum.

Nice n Naughty has been an on and offline retailer of adult toys and adult fun since 1999, and have an open and honest approach to a couple friendly adult industry. Their website says: Our Mission is to help people enjoy completely fulfilling sexual relationships by stimulating their imaginations and giving them the opportunity to try different, exciting experiences and break down taboos .


13th February   

Hobbled by Nutters...

Whinges about Doctors daytime TV soap storylines
Link Here

The mother of a child caught up in the 1996 Dunblane massacre has joined a few angry viewers complaining about storylines in BBC1 daytime soap Doctors .

Viewers complained following a week long storyline in which a teenager held captive a group of his friends while he went on the rampage with a gun. He is featured boasting that he is trying to emulate the Columbine massacre before turning the gun on his friends.

The BBC bills the soap, which broadcasts at 1.45pm, as a drama series following the lives and loves of staff and patients at a busy West Midlands surgery. In the past few weeks a few viewers have been 'stunned' to see both a Misery -style kidnapping plot and a crazed gunman open fire in a college.  One of the show's key characters was drugged and tied to a radiator in scenes reminiscent of Stephen King's horror Misery starring Kathy Bates.

One woman, named only as Scarlett, whose son attended Dunblane Primary School at the time when 16 children and their teacher were killed by gunman Thomas Hamilton in 1996, contacted the BBC's Points of View message board to make a complaint. She said: I really feel the hostage story is definitely in very bad taste, especially being shown very early afternoon. I could only watch a few minutes this afternoon, before having to switch the TV off, because it brought back a great deal of upset, trauma and awful tragic memories. I really object to this kind of horrible storyline being shown, in a week long episode, at this time of day. It is totally utterly inappropriate.

The BBC confirmed it had 106 formal complaints about the kidnapping and shooting storylines, while many more have deluged message boards to record their distaste.

A BBC spokesman said: Over the course of a year Doctors produces more than 200 episodes of the programme, and as a result, we tell a wide variety of stories, which are all told in a way that is appropriate for our daytime audience. The programme has a strong history of tackling difficult issues in a sensitive and responsible way. We do take on board comments and hope that viewers will enjoy the many stories we will be telling in the future.


12th February   

It'll All End in Tears...

Viewers complain about tearful Sky News interview with Peter Andre
Link Here

ITV censor Ofcom have received 865 complaints from viewers 'enraged' by Peter Andre's recent Sky News interview.

Kay Burley seemed to ambush the star with a clip of Dwight Yorke blasting him for trying to adopt his and Katie Price's son Harvey and then proceeded to ask Peter how he would feel if Alex Reid tried to adopt his two children.

Peter broke into tears as he insisted: No one is going to take away my kids. I will fight to the death.

Ofcom have not yet decided whether or not to take launch a probe into Sky's actions.


9th February   

Update: Ratty Australia...

I'm a celebrity TV show fined for cruel bush tucker
Link Here
Full story: I'm a Celebrity...TV show done for cruel bush tucker

ITV has been fined 3,000 Australian dollars (£1,672) after contestants on its show, I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! , killed and ate a rat.

The fine, for animal cruelty, was issued by the RSPCA in Australia, where the show was filmed last year.

The animal was killed for a TV show, that's not appropriate, said RSPCA chief inspector David Oshannessy.

A spokesman for ITV said: ITV has apologised for the mistake which led to this incident. He continued: The production was unaware that killing a rat could be an offence, criminal or otherwise in New South Wales, and accepts that further inquiries should have been made.


30th January   

Update: Nazis at Ofcom...

Jon Gaunt wins appeal against Ofcom over Nazi accusation
Link Here

Shock jock Jon Gaunt, who was sacked after calling a councillor a Nazi live on air, has won permission to bring a High Court challenge against the media watchdog, Ofcom.

Gaunt - known as Gaunty - lost his job with Talksport in November 2008 following the exchange, which involved a discussion about Redbridge Council's decision to ban smokers from becoming foster parents.

The presenter, who was in care as a child, was sacked after calling councillor Michael Stark a Nazi and an ignorant pig live on air, and prompted several complaints from listeners.

When Ofcom upheld the complaints under the broadcasting code of practice, Gaunt launched an appeal, claiming his fundamental right to free speech and to criticise a professional politician had been infringed.

At a hearing at the High Court, the presenter was granted permission to bring an appeal against Ofcom. He said: The right of every British citizen to speak his or her mind, free of the fear of sanction from faceless government-appointed bureaucrats is a right that we must all protect and preserve.

Ofcom overstepped its remit in my case, and infringed the free speech which I, and every other British citizen, has enjoyed since the time of Magna Carta.

Gaunt is being supported by the civil rights group Liberty, whose director, Shami Chakrabarti, he once labelled Britain's most dangerous woman.


26th January   

India's Poor Reputation...

India to complain about showing the life in Mumbai slums in a British TV documentary
Link Here

India plans to lodge a complaint against a British TV documentary on Mumbai slums, describing it poverty porn as it portrays a very wrong image of India's commercial capital and will affect its tourism.

The Indian High Commission in the UK will lodge a complaint with the British TC censor Ofcom about the content of Channel 4's' two-part documentary, Grand Designs on Dharavi Slums in Mumbai showing children living among open sewers, dead rats and toxic wastes.

According to an official, the High Commission in London granted a filming permit to Kevin McCloud, the TV presenter of the channel in the belief that he was making a programme highlighting Mumbai's architectural history.

We thought it would be about the architecture of Mumbai but it was only about slums. He was showing dirty sewage and dead rats, children playing among rubbish and people living in these small rooms.bHe never talked about architecture at all, the official said.

Describing it as poverty porn , the official said we are upset. Many people know India but for people who don't travel, they will think all of India is like this. Of course it will affect our tourism. It is not representative at all.

Channel4 and the production company, Talkback Thames, said: Kevin McCloud follows everyday life in Dharavi and the film is a balanced and insightful account of his experience there.


25th January   

Antique Fuddy Duddies...

18th century classic art covered up for day time TV
Link Here

BBC nutters ordered an auction house to remove a neo-classical oil painting of a semi-naked woman in case her exposed nipple 'offended' viewers.

Auctioneer Alan Aldridge was being filmed for Flog it!, BBC2's daytime antique programme, when the production team asked him to take down the 19th-century oil painting. BBC Flog It! It features the mythical Greek goddess Ariadne holding a goblet of wine with her left breast exposed.

Aldridge, who runs Aldridge Auctioneers in Devizes, Wiltshire, offered to cover the offending nipple, but was still told to take the canvas down. neo-classical painting. He said: It is absolutely ridiculous. This is a 19th century neo-classical work of art. I can't imagine anyone getting offended over a naked female nipple these days.

Flog it! presenter Paul Martin, who lives in nearby Seend and used to run an antiques shop, defended the decision saying viewers would complain; Yes, they had to have the painting moved. It wasn't a big deal but they do get complaints about this sort of thing. You'd be surprised.


24th January   

Gordon's Great Escape...

Gordon Ramsey thought he'd got away from whingeing Brits for a while
Link Here
Full story: Gordon Ramsay...Strong language winds up the nutters

Gordon Ramsay has been criticised for his disrespectful treatment of Indian chefs in his latest show.

More than 100 viewers complained to Channel 4 about his behaviour on Gordon's Great Escape .

The restaurateur described an Indian guru as Father Christmas and repeatedly used obscenities when speaking to locals.

The three-part series, which aired last week, featured Ramsay visiting different parts of India to learn about traditional cooking methods.

In one scene, Ramsay  met a guru and learned how to cook vegetarian food. He made fun of the guru's beliefs, saying on the show: When I first saw him I thought he was Father Christmas. But I don't dig all the stuff about the food. I respect carrots, fine, but they're not living to keep us happy.

In another scene, he told a Keralan tree climber: You little fucker, making me look like a twat.

Channel 4 admitted it had received 116 complaints more than double the average the network receives for his other show, The F Word .

A Channel 4 spokeswoman said: Gordon is a passionate character and viewers know what to expect when watching his programmes. The series was broadcast after the watershed and each episode was preceded by a clear language warning.'


23rd January   

Are You Being Served?...

BBC to consult over the portrayal of gay people
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The BBC is to ask the nation if its comedians should be allowed to tell jokes about lesbians and gays. The issue will be part of the most wideranging piece of research on sexuality that the corporation has commissioned.

Tim Davie, BBC director of audio and music, will chair a working group on the portrayal and inclusion of lesbian, gay and bisexual people. It will examine how they are reflected in the corporation's use of language, tone, stereotyping, humour and scheduling.

The report was commissioned last August, months before the corporation received hundreds of complaints over a headline on the BBC News website relating to a debate on Ugandan government policy. It asked: Should homosexuals face execution? The corporation apologised and amended the headline.

2CV, a research group, will conduct the project for the BBC, with a report due this summer. It will even canvass parts of the community, such as religious bodies, that are seen as anti-homosexual.

Davie said: As a public service broadcaster, we have a responsibility to serve all of our audiences and it's vital that we reflect the differences among all of the UK's diverse communities, nations and regions.

Gay rights groups have long called for the BBC to include more gay characters in its output. Ben Summerskill, chief executive of Stonewall, which lobbies for lesbian, gay and bisexual interests, said: This is long overdue. Stonewall research into BBC output found that during 168 hours of programmes, gay lives were represented positively for just six minutes.


19th January   

Politically Correct Del Boy...

Censor Del Boy for being racist? Don't be a plonker
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Is Del Boy from Only Fools and Horses racist?

The issue arises because the other day I interviewed John Sullivan, the creator of Only Fools, and he told me about the way he has to edit old episodes to cleanse them of politically incorrect dialogue. He cited an episode from the Eighties in which Del told a child to pop down to the Paki shop . That line is no longer broadcast in repeats.

I think it should be. Now, before I explain why, I must make clear that, to me, the phrase Paki shop is reprehensible and racist. I'd hate to hear it used in everyday speech. This is, after all, 2010.

But that's exactly the point: it's 2010, not the early Eighties. In the early Eighties, such a phrase was common currency. Whether we like it or not, that's how some people spoke so it's only realistic that the odd fictional character should have spoken like that too. Tackling racism is one thing. Pretending racism never existed is another.

...Read full article


17th January   

Old Religious Wounds...

BBC programme about 1984 battle at Sikh temple generates personal abuse aimed at presenter
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A BBC News presenter has been subjected to a deluge of personal abuse after fronting a documentary about one of the most controversial events in recent Indian history.

Sonia Deol was forced to delete her page on the Facebook website amid a barrage of criticism from fellow Sikhs over her film about the Indian army storming the Golden Temple in Amritsar, one of the faith's most holy shrines, in 1984.

Now protesters are planning a mass boycott of the licence fee in disgust at what they see as a slur on the controversial religious leader Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, who was killed in the raid.

Many Sikhs consider him a saint and are furious that in Ms Deol's documentary, 1984: A Sikh Story, he was described as a militant. They also claim he was depicted in the film in a similar way to Osama Bin Laden.

Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi ordered the assault on June 4, 1984, after Bhindranwale and up to 500 armed supporters took refuge in the holy site, apparently fearing arrest amid rising Sikh-Hindu tensions. Around 500 people died in the ensuing battle, which some Sikhs now refer to as our 9/11 . As troops moved in, Bhindranwale's followers fired missiles at Indian tanks.

The BBC has received 52 complaints about the documentary, which attracted 1.3 million viewers and was billed as Ms Deol's emotional journey back to India in a bid to discover how such an attack could ever have taken place .

However, community TV station The Sikh Channel says it received more than 8,000 calls to a phone-in about the film. Channel owner Davinder Singh Bal said: The documentary contained many sweeping statements and didn't attempt to uncover the truth of what happened. Our viewers were not happy. BT said that our exchange was going into overdrive. The BBC is not responding to the Sikh community and we are thinking about organising a campaign to invoke the non-payment of licence fees by the 700,000 Sikhs in Britain.

Dr Sadhu Singh, chairman of the Council of Sikh Temples, said many viewers were angered that the BBC showed him [Bhindranwale] looking like Bin Laden . He said: They used pictures of him wearing a turban and holding a gun. To someone who doesn't know what Sikhism is about, it would be very misleading.

A BBC source said Ms Deol's documentary was never intended to be an investigation, saying: It was her personal journey, a look at her reaction to rediscovering her faith as a Sikh. It was for a mainstream channel, BBC1 and there's only so much you can say in an hour. A lot of the attacks on Sonia have been because people think that the documentary reflected her views on Bhindranwale, but she did not give her opinions about him at all.


10th January   

TV Fit for Teletubbies...

PC-mad BBC where even church bells and Teletubbies are vetted
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BBC staff say they have been forced to spend hours vetting preschool children's series and classical music concerts for sex, violence and inappropriate language under idiotic compliance rules introduced after the Jonathan Ross scandal.

taff have told The Sunday Telegraph that his legacy is a burdensome bureaucracy which stifles creativity while being unlikely to prevent further incidents.

Under the enhanced compliance procedures, which apply to most pre-recorded programmes, every second of material to be broadcast must be watched or listened to check for unacceptable content, and a seven-page form must be filled out.

Among the programmes subjected to the new procedures are parts of the BBC's Armistice Day coverage. All episodes of the Teletubbies must be vetted, despite the show being aimed at under-threes and containing few or no normal words. Also being vetted are many Radio 3 concerts of works written after 1900.

...Read full article


8th January   

Nutters See Red...

Complaints about Doctor Who ginger hair comment
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Matt Smith transition into the new Time Lord has already caused controversy after he was accused of insulting ginger-haired people.

Around 143 viewers complained to the BBC after Matt Smith regenerated from David Tennant in the New Year's Day special, was seen looking at his new hair and crying I'm still not ginger .

Furious parents complained to the BBC that the remark would encourage bullying of ginger haired children.

The fifth series of Doctor Who is scheduled to start this spring.

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