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UK TV and Radio News

2011: Oct-Dec

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31st December   

Update: Bravo!...

Top Gear Christmas Special winds up Keith Vaz
Link Here
Full story: Top Gear and the Grand Tour...Top Gear and Jeremy Clarkson wind up whingers

Top Gear's Christmas Special had a bit of fun in India. The usual irreverent jokes ridiculed India's food, toilets, traditional clothing, trains and history.

The jokes notably included Clarkson riding around the country's worst slums in a 4-litre Jaguar fitted with a toilet, joking: This is perfect because everyone here gets the trots.

This excellently wound up the parliamentary nutter Keith Vaz. Vaz, whose parents are from India, said:

Clarkson and the BBC should be ashamed for broadcasting gags about the nation.

Mr Clarkson needs to stick to talking about cars, not cultures.

And he should apologise for his lack of taste. He and the BBC have done India a great disservice with this programme.

Some of the contents of the programme are clearly offensive and not the least bit funny. They were completely pointless.

Mr Clarkson is not a comedian. He talks about his cars and that is why he gets on the show.

Why do him and the BBC bother putting this out?

Even David Cameron participated in the Top Gear fun. He had a cameo role waving off the Top Gear trio on a trade mission as ambassadors of Britain to save the UK from bankruptcy.

The BBC confirmed they had received 23 complaints about the show, all about racial issues. A spokesman said there were no plans for Clarkson or the BBC to apologise.


23rd December   

For Fear of the Daily Mail...

ITV axe Woody Allen Jesus song from the Jonathan Ross Show
Link Here

Tim Minchin has blasted ITV bosses after he claimed a specially-written track was pulled from the Jonathan Ross Show for fear of upsetting Christians.

Tim - who is behind West End hit Matilda - has written a furious blog pointing the finger at the network's director of programmes Peter Fincham, suggesting he was nervous about a backlash.

Tim said compliance staff and lawyers had given the go-ahead to his lyrics long before the recording of the programme..

But he said the humorous song - which drew parallels between Woody Allen and Jesus - was pulled when Fincham watched the show.

In his blog Minchin said:

Peter Fincham demanded that I be cut from the show.

He did this because he's scared of the ranty, shit-stirring, right-wing press, and of the small minority of Brits who believe they have a right to go through life protected from anything that challenges them in any way.  I have to admit I'm really fucking disappointed.

An ITV source lamely claimed that the decision was less about religious sensitivity and more that tonally, it wasn't right for the show .

Update: Clergy Relaxed

24th December 2011. See  article from

Anglican Archbishop of Sydney Peter Jensen said he was more frightened about people not talking about Jesus than what they said about him. He said:

Tim Minchin doesn't worry me nearly as much as the people who try to suppress Jesus Christ. I'm more frightened about people who don't talk about him at all and try to censor him out. People talk about the festival season, doing anything they can to avoid the obvious.

Lutheran Church of Australia Reverend Mike Semmler said a comedian making jokes about Jesus meant he was considered a serious subject worthy of a laugh. He said:

Part of the Christmas message is that Jesus becomes human and if people are trying to relate him to other human beings, while it may not be terribly uplifting for the church, he was after all really human.


19th December   

Obituary: Don Sharp...

Film and TV director dies aged 89
Link Here

Donald Sharp (19 April 1922-18 December 2011) was born in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia. He became a notable film and TV director based in Britain.

His most famous films were made for Hammer Studios in the sixties. His filmography of the period reads:

  • The Kiss of the Vampire (1963)
  • Wichcraft (1964)
  • The Devil-Ship Pirates (1964)
  • Curse of the Fly (1965)
  • The Face of Fu Manchu (1965)
  • Rasputin: The Mad Monk (1966)
  • Our Man in Marrakesh (1966)
  • The Brides of Fu Manchu (1966)
  • The Violent Enemy (1967)
  • Rocket to the Moon (1967)
  • A Taste of Excitement (1969)
  • Dark Places (1973)
  • Psychomania (1973)

He then moved onto more mainstream films:

  • Callan (1974)
  • Hennessy (1975)
  • The Four Feathers (1977)
  • The Thirty Nine Steps (1978)
  • Bear Island (1979)

Later he worked in TV

  • Hold the Dream (1986) (TV)
  • Tears in the Rain (1988) (TV)
  • Act of Will (1989) (TV)


19th December

 Offsite: Virgin A***holes...

Link Here
Virgin Media inane censorship of their programme guide

See article from


16th December   

Joke of the Year...

As judged by the amount of easily offended whingers that wrote to Ofcom
Link Here

The top comedian of the year is Matthew Wright of the The Wright Stuff. He triumphed with a cracking gag during a TV debate about the murder of Liam Aitchison, the first murder in Scotland's Western Isles in 43 years.

He put on a mock Scottish accent and quipped there's been anudder moider , copying a catchphrase from the detective show Taggart.

The complaint-o-meter registered a top notch score of 2,200 complaints to Ofcom.

In second place is the perennial favourite, Jeremy Clarkson. His jolly jape, live on The One Show, joked that public sector workers out on strike should be executed in front of their families. This scored a healthy 763 on the Ofcom complaint-o-meter and thousands more complained direct to the BBC too.

In third place was Jason Gardiner, a talent show judge appearing in Dancing on Ice.

Following a performance by the celebrity Jeff Brazier and his professional partner Isabelle Gauthier, Gardiner quipped:

The Jackson 5 are very tight and you aren't. You're choreography, especially in your arms, is still very, very sloppy and messy and it almost looks like you're weak and there's moments especially in your facial expressions as well with everything, it's almost like you're missing a couple of chromosomes.

This scored a respectable 253 on the complaint-o-meter.  The reference to missing a couple of chromosome ', which complainants considered was highly offensive, particularly to those with chromosomal disorders , discriminatory and completely inappropriate .


15th December   

A Weekend in Amsterdam...

Christy Moore song winds up the easily offended in Ulster
Link Here

The BBC have apologised over a song aired by Radio Ulster in a late morning slot.

Veteran broadcaster Gerry Anderson played a song about a lads mini-break in Amsterdam, which featured drunken escapades, rolling joints , bar brawls and dancing with transvestites.

Listeners to Radio Ulster were reported to be 'shocked' by the language in the song, which included the 'uncensored swear word' 'shite' and plain English references to sex toys and drug taking.

The song, Weekend in Amsterdam by folk musician Christy Moore, led to complaints after Anderson played it on his show before lunchtime.

An angry Belfast Telegraph reader said they were outraged after hearing the song on a morning programme at a time when young children could have been listening: Surely this must be the most obscene song ever broadcast on BBC Radio Ulster. No bleeps either, mind.

The song details a madcap weekend in the Dutch capital, which begins in a cafe where they smoke hashish and go to a bar to listen to a band they criticise as being shite . They then go to the red light district, where one of them dances with a transvestite before getting into a fight and running from the local police.

One verse goes:

Macker sez while we're here we'll go and have a look at the kinky gear
I said a quiet prayer I wouldn't bump into anyone from Kildare
Big dildos, blow-up dolls, snap-on tools and hairy balls
Vibrators, whips and chains, zips and fanny ticklers
God between us and all harm
0 The Weekend that we spent in Amsterdam

East Londonderry MP, Gregory Campbell. said such lyrics should not be aired before the 9pm watershed. Given that this was a morning listening audience, hopefully the BBC will take fairly stringent action to put in place procedures to make sure that similar types of lyrics aren't broadcast at that time of the day again.

A spokesperson for Radio Ulster said the song has now been removed from the playlist. We apologise for any offence caused, she said.


14th December   

Update: Committee of Miserable Culture...

BBC director general defends Jeremy Clarkson from parliamentary calls for his sacking
Link Here
Full story: Top Gear and the Grand Tour...Top Gear and Jeremy Clarkson wind up whingers

BBC director general Mark Thompson defended Jeremy Clarkson to the House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee. He said that Clarkson's comments were said entirely in jest and were not intended to be taken seriously and that he would not be sacked.

Challenged by committee member Jim Sheridan to sack Clarkson, BBC Trust chairman Lord Patten said: Were we to sack him for saying something pretty stupid that would set precedents that mean a lot of people would never get to broadcast.

Thompson said: Although clearly he's a polarising figure for the BBC, there are many millions of people who enjoy and support Jeremy Clarkson. That has to be balanced against a couple of flippant remarks in one programme.


14th December   

The Silly Isles...

Campaign to report Matthew Wright to Ofcom over tasteless TV joke
Link Here
Full story: The Wright Stuff...Matthew Wright's TV show is the traget of many a whinge

TV presenter Matthew Wright has apologised for making jokes while discussing the first murder on the Western Isles in 43 years.

During Tuesday's The Wright Stuff , he did a mock Scottish accent and said there's been another murder , copying a phrase from detective show Taggart.

The murder of Liam Aitchison was discussed during a newspaper review. Panel member Charlie Baker described the probe as the longest episode of Taggart of all time .

Liam's family have issued a statement through the police criticising the programme. They said:

We are very disappointed at the insensitive and offensive nature of the comments made on the Channel 5 programme, The Wright Stuff.

This is very upsetting and insulting for, not just the family, but for the whole community of the Western Isles.

In his apology, Wright, who presents the Channel 5 morning discussion show, said it had not been his intention to belittle Liam's death. He added that those campaigning for people to complain to TV watchdog Ofcom should grow up .

A campaign, called Report The Wright Stuff to Ofcom, has been launched by islanders on Facebook urging complaints to be made to television regulator.

Update: Ofcom Investogation

14th December 2011. See  article from

TV censor Ofcom has launched an investigation into a trivial joke made by presenter Matthew Wright about the police probe of a murder on Lewis.

Ofcom, which has received about 2,220 complaints, confirmed the launch of an investigation into the programme.

When the launch of a murder inquiry was reported in the newspapers last week, Wright put on a Scottish accent and said "there's been another murder", copying a phrase from detective show Taggart.

Angus MacNeil, SNP MP for the Western Isles, raised a complaint with the watchdog saying making jokes about the tragedy ... is beyond belief .


10th December   

Update: Pandering to Nutters...

BBC postpones Stephen Fry's QI lest nutters are offended by the rapid reappearance of Jeremy Clarkson
Link Here
Full story: Top Gear and the Grand Tour...Top Gear and Jeremy Clarkson wind up whingers

The BBC has postponed an episode of QI featuring Jeremy Clarkson to avoid being criticised for putting him back on air so soon after his joke unappreciated joke about shooting striking public employees.

The programme was filmed over the summer but the channel said, in light of the recent events, some of his comments might be taken out of context. The BBC said:

It is not unusual for the running order of programmes to change. The billed episode of QI will be shown at a later date.

Yahoo! reports incorrectly that Two days after his rant about the protesters, the 51-year-old became embroiled in further controversy after calling people who throw themselves under trains selfish .


7th December   

Banned at the Savoy...

Supporting the hype for Duran Duran's Girl Panic
Link Here

Duran Duran's Girl Panic video featuring some of the world's most famous supermodels has been banned by MTV and VH1. The video features supermodels Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, Eva Herzigova, Helena Christensen and Yasmin Le Bon posing as the band.

The video will not be aired by networks MTV and VH1 as it has been deemed too sexual and having blatant product placement . Presumably referring to the prominence of the Savoy Hotel on the Strand.

A source said: MTV are simply overreacting to this video, it's not like this is anything new in pop videos, which have always been controversial. Compared to some pop videos this is all rather tame. The video was also banned for its blatant product placement, yet this is how videos are made today. MTV are now demanding director Jonas Akerlund re-edit the 'Girl Panic' video before it will agree to screen it.


6th December   

Update: A Top Notch Performance...

Clarkson successfully winds up 31,000 easily offended whingers
Link Here
Full story: Top Gear and the Grand Tour...Top Gear and Jeremy Clarkson wind up whingers

Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson's appearance on The One Show is set to be one of the most complained-about TV shows of all time after the number of complaints made topped 31,000.

As of this morning, the tally complaints morning had reached 31,057, more than 10,000 up on the last published figure from Friday morning of 21,000.

Ofcom also received hundreds of complaints about the interview. The media regulator is not set to publish an update until Wednesday, but reports suggest there have been an additional 500 to 1,000 complaints, taking the total number of complaints close to 32,000.

Clarkson Powered Up

See article from

HMV says sales of Clarkson's Powered Up DVD have soared after he said public sector strikers should be shot

Powered Up , in which Clarkson relocates with the Stig to the south of France to find his favourite car of the Year , doubled on Thursday and saw a similar jump on Friday.

The retailer would have expected sales of the title, along with man other DVDs, to spike in the runup to Christmas. But industry sources suggested that the Clarkson controversy and ensuing media coverage would have been responsible for as much as a 25% to 50% increase across high street and online sales.

An HMV spokesman said:

We've found in the past that controversy involving artists, with all the media coverage this generates, can often boost sales of their products.

Clarkson is one of those 'Marmite' personalities that you probably either love or hate, and the chances are that many of the public he upset weren't likely to be among his fans in the first place, while people who do appreciate his sense of humour and follow him on TV may have felt prompted to go out and buy his Powered Up DVD over the weekend.


5th December   

Update: Striking Back...

BBC issues a response to complaints about Jeremy Clarkson's strike joke and a nutter MP tries to invoke a parliamentary rebuke
Link Here
Full story: Top Gear and the Grand Tour...Top Gear and Jeremy Clarkson wind up whingers

The BBC has published a response to complaints about Jeremy Clarkson's jolly gape that strikers should be shot. The BBC said:

As has now been widely reported, we had many complaints about a number of Jeremy Clarkson's comments on the show. The One Show is a live topical programme which often reflects the day's talking points. Usually we get it right, but on this occasion we feel the item wasn't perfectly judged.

The presenters apologised at the end of the programme to viewers who were offended by his comments and the BBC and Jeremy would like to apologise for any offence caused. Jeremy has said: I didn't for a moment intend these remarks to be taken seriously -- as I believe is clear if they're seen in context. If the BBC and I have caused any offence, I'm quite happy to apologise for it alongside them.

Meanwhile the Labour MP of Kingston Upon Hull East, Karl Turner, has proposed an early day motion whingeing about Clarkson as follows:

That this House condemns the disgraceful and disgusting remarks made by Jeremy Clarkson on the BBC; notes that his comments have been criticised by thousands of licence payers, hon. Members and unions; believes that his remarks were inflammatory and have left workers and their children shocked and upset; further believes that high profile TV presenters have influence on their audience and should act with responsibility at all times; calls on the Government to give a full response; and urges the BBC Director General to commence disciplinary proceedings.


2nd December   

Updated: Jeremy Clarkson Causes 'Outrage' Again...

Well... at least a couple of tweets anyway
Link Here
Full story: Top Gear and the Grand Tour...Top Gear and Jeremy Clarkson wind up whingers

UK's favourite loud mouth had a bit of a rant at the strike by public sector workers.

Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson said live on The One Show that public sector workers out on strike should be executed in front of their families

He prefaced the remarks, however, by asserting that he liked the strikers as the industrial action meant there was no traffic on the roads. Adding that he had to be balanced as he worked for the BBC, he then joked: I would have them taken outside and executed them in front of their families

Clarkson went on to 'shock' viewers by saying trains should not stop for people who have committed suicide by throwing themselves onto the rails.

The comments sparked the inevitable 'storm of outrage' on Twitter.

The BBC said in a statement: The One Show apologised at the end of the show to viewers who may have been offended by Jeremy Clarkson's comments.

Update: Well...Perhaps a few thousand or so whinges

2nd December 2011. See  article from

Jeremy Clarkson's remarks on Wednesday night's One Show prompted more than 5,000 complaints to the BBC -- and a political 'storm' in which Ed Miliband said his remarks were absolutely disgraceful and disgusting . It fell to his friend and Boxing Day dining companion David Cameron to provide crucial, if lighthearted support to the presenter.

The prime minister, in a TV interview, played down the incident: That's obviously a silly thing to say and I'm sure he didn't mean that. I didn't see the remark but I'm sure it's a silly thing to say.

Shortly after, as the BBC feared a repeat of the Sachsgate affair which led to the resignations of Ross and Brand, Clarkson issued an apology and the BBC deployed one of its most senior executives, George Entwistle, to sort out matters behind the scenes.

The presenter's apology said: I didn't for a moment intend these remarks to be taken seriously -- as I believe is clear if they're seen in context. If the BBC and I have caused any offence, I'm quite happy to apologise for it alongside them.

Humour challenged Dave Prentis of Unison said the unions were consulting on taking Clarkson to court and called on the BBC to sack him.

The TUC general secretary, Brendan Barber, said the jibe was more than silly : If it was intended as a joke it was in pretty awful taste. If he wanted to confirm his caricature as an outlandishly rightwing figure, he has managed to do that.

Update: Well...the odd 20,000 or so

2nd December 2011. See article from

The BBC has received more than 21,000 complaints over Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson's remarks that striking public sector workers should be shot.

BBC Audience Services said the Corporation had received 21,335 complaints as of 09:30 GMT.

The deputy general secretary of Unison, the UK's largest union, Karen Jennings, told the BBC:

We've accepted the apology.

He's recognised that he went too far in saying what he said and what we're doing now is extending our hand to him to come and work with a healthcare assistant to see just how they work and the healthcare they deliver.

I think he would enjoy that.


22nd November   

Oh Bother! I've Been Shot...

Subtitlers for The Killing told to tone down the strong language
Link Here

The BBC has asked for swearing in the subtitles of series two of hit Danish import The Killing to be re-written to tone them down.

That followed a single complaint from a viewer that, in series one, softer expletives were translated as 'fuck'.

In a memo, the BBC asked the outside translation firm to err on the side of caution and use the less strong word . Programme acquisitions editor Simon Chilcott said the memo was

a reminder to keep it consistent with the character and within the context of the original script.

If there are suddenly lots more uses of the f-word in one episode, we have to check it's consistent with the script and the rest of the series.

Chilcott said the translators' task is not just a straight translation - it's a rewrite .


22nd November   

Update: Rihanna's Fuck Off Shoes...

More nonsensical press fascination with the X-Factor
Link Here
Full story: UK TV Talent Shows...A talent for whingeing

Pop star Rihanna wore shoes daubed with the words 'Fuck Off' live on The X Factor. The singer 'shocked' those in the studio audience that were close enough to read her 'outrageous' footwear.

The superstar asked to tone down from her sexy act in last year's final cheekily tricked show bosses by wearing a prim tartan frock. But the words Fuck off were spotted in close-up shots.

Fans in the front row gasped and pointed. Lucy Morgan said: I was shocked. She's a rebel. Tamzin Lewis said: They should have known she'd do something like that.

The 100 creeper-style shoes she wore are a collaboration between the Indian-born London designer Ashish Gupta and the British rock n roll footwear brand Underground. They are decorated with gold studs and come with a Tipp-Ex pen to add your own designs.

Last night an X Factor spokesman said: There were no close up shots of Rihanna's shoes. We believe the performance was suitable.


7th November   

Coarse Complaints...

Ofcom receives 2 complaints about a joke on Chris Moyles' Quiz Night
Link Here

Channel 4 has come in for a bit of nutter stick over a joke by Little Britain star  David Walliams.

Appearing on Chris Moyles' Quiz Night , Walliams agreed with Moyles that Harry Styles was his favourite member of teenage boy band, One Directio n. Walliams talked fondly about the singer's hair, and then cracked: I'd like to suck his dick.

The show was aired at 10pm, an hour after the watershed.

Peter Foot, the chairman of the National Campaign for Courtesy, said that Walliams's remark was worse than the legendary gag by Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand. Foot Said:

I've never heard of anything going this far. I'm amazed there hasn't been more of an uproar about this because that it is incredibly graphic language to use. It doesn't leave much to the imagination.

Foot claimed that Channel Four could not justify the lewd joke by saying it was shown after the watershed as he said many teenagers could have been watching.

Vivienne Pattison, director of mediawatch-UK, said that Channel Four's decision to broadcast the obscene remark demonstrates how far the boundaries of decency have been pushed.

You expect comedians to push the envelope, but it's down to producers to check that it doesn't overstep the mark, she said. Chris Moyles and David Walliams have a huge young following. They are role models and responsibility comes with that.

Instead, jokes like this set up a context of behaviour that somehow normalises and justifies it. This is leading to a coarsening of our culture.

A Channel 4 spokesman said:

The show was appropriately scheduled post-watershed at 10pm and viewers were warned of strong language and adult humour.

An Ofcom spokesman said:

Ofcom received two complaints about the episode of the programme, which was broadcast after the watershed. We will assess the complaints against the Broadcasting Code.


3rd November   

Sophie Dee on S4C...

Politicians have a whinge about a TV documentary about porn
Link Here

S4C has been accused of courting viewers of trash TV after it emerged the Welsh-language channel was planning a documentary about a hardcore pornography actress.

In a list of forthcoming commissions posted on its website, the broadcaster includes a show about Llanelli-born porn star Sophie Dee, who is now based in California. Ms Dee has appeared in 300 pornographic films and has won several industry awards.

However this fine piece of programming has been questioned by miserable politicians.

Welsh Labour AM Jenny Rathbone said:

It seems a pretty desperate move by S4C to plan to commission tasteless shows such as these. I'm sure S4C's viewers do not want to see Wales' own channel spiral into trash television programming.

Suzy Davies, the Shadow Minister for Welsh Language and Culture, said:

S4C has a public service obligation to provide comprehensive programming that should, at times, be thought-provoking and questioning. However, many viewers will rightly question whether documentaries about hardcore pornography, funded by taxpayers, are a priority for public interest and likely to appeal to a wide audience.

Plaid Cymru Heritage spokeswoman Bethan Jenkins said:

I don't know yet what kind of film S4C is planning to make. If it is designed to be titillating, a kind of lad's mag approach, then that would be a complete waste of public money. On the other hand, a serious- minded, journalistic inquiry into the adult entertainment industry is well within the remit of a channel committed to providing a quality view of the world.

But kudos to Welsh Liberal Democrat Heritage spokesman Peter Black who said:

My view is that it is not the role of politicians to dictate to TV companies what programmes they choose to air. S4C is heavily regulated and no doubt anybody who takes offence at this programme will take advantage of that to make complaints to the appropriate body.

An S4C spokesman said:

We have noted clearly in our Vision 2012 our aim to provide interesting, diverse and exciting programmes and content, which explore and reflect all aspects of Welsh life. We will offer content that is original, inventive and attractive. At times we will offer material that is challenging and contemporary, and this means that we will have to push the boundaries and take risks.


2nd November   

Update: A Few 'Outraged' Tweets...

A testicular cancer check on ITV's This Morning
Link Here

This Morning 'stunned' a few easily offended viewers by showing a naked model being checked for testicular cancer live on air.

The ITV1 magazine show had been running a feature on male-related cancers when they showed a man having his testicles examined by the show's doctor. The intimate shots showed the model, naked save for a white dressing gown, having his genitals examined by Dr Chris Steele as host Phillip Schofield looked on.

Reaction to the today's footage was largely positive however, with many congratulating This Morning for tackling a serious health issue head on.

However, not all reaction to the daring segment was positive, as some viewers were left stunned and bemused by the intimate examination. The Daily Mail scoured Twitter and found 2 tweets:

  • I know it's for a good reason but watching a mans testicles on this morning was strange
  • No This Morning, I do not want to see testicles on my TV screen at lunch time.

A spokesperson for This Morning said:

Testicular cancer is an important issue to our viewers and the item and advice offered on today's programme - which we have covered before with lots of positive feedback - has again generated many positive comments and no complaints.

But as usually lately, Vivienne Pattison offered up her trivial sound bite via the Sun:

Vivienne Pattison, director of MediaWatch UK, which campaigns for responsible broadcasting, said: "Lots of people were offended."


1st November   

Bad But Good...

Sexy routines on Strictly Come Dancing draw in the complaints, but also the viewers
Link Here

Robbie Savage's routine on Saturday night's Strictly Come Dancing complete with Michael Jackson-style hip thrusts, proved a step too far for the easily offended prompting 267 complaints to the BBC.

Another contestant, actress Chelsee Healey, suffered a wardrobe malfunction when her low-cut costume slipped to reveal more than she intended.

Fans of the show took to the BBC's online messageboards to register their disapproval at the supposedly sleazy choreography and skimpy outfits in a pre-watershed show.

Savage, the former footballer, failed to impress Len Goodman, the veteran judge, who told him: It was a little bit disconcerting when you kept thrusting your wobbly bits all over the shop.

In addition to the 267 complaints about Savage's routine, the BBC has received 80 complaints about the series being too sexy . But predictably despite the criticism, the series is a ratings success. Saturday's show attracted 10.2 million viewers, putting it ahead of ITV1's The X Factor .

Update: BBC Response

6th November 2011. See  article from

Responding to the criticism, the BBC said:

Robbie danced a Paso Doble to Michael Jackson's Bad on Saturday's show and the choreography emulated some of Michael's most famous dance moves.

Strictly is a live entertainment show and with it being the Halloween Special, Robbie wanted to pull out all the stops. We would like to assure viewers no offence was intended.


23rd October   

Updated: Not Nice...

Ofcom receives complaints about images of Gaddafi's death
Link Here

There has been plenty of coverage about the death of Gaddafi, particularly as it was somewhat more graphic than usual news coverage.

UK TV censor Ofcom said it had received complaints about numerous broadcasters that aired the images of a dazed or dead-looking Gaddafi being manhandled by his captors.

Media commentators debated the unusually graphic images in Britain's Friday morning papers.

The BBC defended its use of the images as crucial to dispelling the swirl of rumour as conflicting reports emerged about Gaddafi's state. BBC newsroom head Mary Hockaday said:

We do not use such pictures lightly. The images of his dead body were an important part of telling the story to confirm reports of his death.

By contrast, American newspapers tended to shy away from the stronger images.

Update: BBC response re graphic news pictures

23rd October 2011.  See  article from by Mary Hockaday, head of the BBC newsroom.

When the end came, it came very suddenly. For months, the Libyan rebels, supported by Nato, were striving to end Muammar Gaddafi's rule in Libya. For weeks that goal seemed to be coming closer, but for many Libyans a tantalising question remained: where was Gaddafi? For days, attention has been on his hometown of Sirte, where Gaddafi loyalists held out. Then yesterday, Sirte fell and suddenly, unexpectedly, Gaddafi was found. A dramatic news day, which posed many challenges. Our continuing commitment to coverage of Libya means we were able to provide on the ground reporting from Sirte. We are the only UK news organisation to have had a permanent continuous presence in Libya since February and yesterday, our correspondent Gabriel Gatehouse was the only UK broadcaster in Sirte as Gaddafi was killed, able to provide first-hand reporting of what happened, carefully piecing together the day's events. We gained big audiences for our coverage yesterday across platforms. Col Gaddafi

It was a confusing story. This posed another challenge. In the age of mobile phones, footage of the capture of Gaddafi soon started to emerge. We could not always be clear of its origins so it was important to make what checks we could and then be very clear with our audiences what we'd been able to verify and what we hadn't. The other challenge was posed by the nature of the footage itself - very graphic, some of it showing Gaddafi alive but manhandled and bloody and other footage and stills showing his dead and bloodied body. We judged that it was right to use some footage and stills, with warnings about their nature. Part of yesterday's story, especially in the first hours, was the swirl of rumour. The images of his dead body were an important part of telling the story to confirm reports of his death. Images of him alive but manhandled were also disturbing, but told an equally important part of the story about how his captors treated him and how far he himself had fallen. As the different footage emerged through the afternoon, it became an important way for us to piece together what happened - what were the circumstances of his death, did he die from wounds sustained in the fighting or was he captured alive and then shot? As different officials and eyewitnesses gave different accounts, the footage helped us share emerging photographic evidence with the audience.

We do not use such pictures lightly. There are sequences we did not show because we considered them too graphic and we took judgements about what was acceptable for different audiences on different platforms at different times of day, especially for the pre-watershed BBC1 bulletins. I recognise that not every member of the audience will agree with our decisions, but we thought carefully about how to balance honest coverage of the story with audience sensitivity. The News Channel faces a different challenge. We know that many people join the coverage through the day or only watch for a short while. For these audiences we need to keep retelling the story. But we also know that some people watch the live rolling coverage for several hours, and with the Gaddafi story this meant some repetition of the graphic images. It is a difficult balance to strike. For the website, we chose to use an image of Gaddafi's body in the rotating picture gallery on the front page. We recognise that it is hard to provide a warning on the front page and so while we felt it was an important part of telling the core story in the early stages, as time passed we found other ways to convey what had happened on the front page, with the most graphic images at least a click away and with a clear warning.

There were undoubtedly shocking and disturbing images from yesterday. But as a news organisation our role is to report what happened, and that can include shocking and disturbing things. We thought carefully about the use of pictures - which incidentally we used more sparingly than many other UK media - and I believe that overall they were editorially justified to convey the nature of yesterday's dramatic and gruesome events


23rd October   

Updated: A Few 'Outraged' Tweets...

Sex tips and toys on ITV's This Morning
Link Here

It seems that Vivienne Pattison has switched sound byte from the Daily Mail to the Sun.

The Sun reports that a few This Morning viewers were left spluttering their tea and biscuits over an Item on Monday's show. It featured golden oldies demonstrating a sex position.

Host Phillip Schofield told astonished viewers: We are going to be demonstrating positions, showing sex aids and discussing intimate details.

The sex surgery item included various sex toys, including remote-controlled and glow-in-the-dark vibrators. Meanwhile a pair of pensioners in pyjamas  performed on a double bed accompanied by cheesy music.

Psychologist Jo Hemmings told viewers: You don't need to be an Olympic athlete for this. They seem to be enjoying it, it's brilliant!

A few 'shocked' viewers took to Twitter to express their feelings. Chris Roberts tweeted: I can't believe my eyes #ThisMorning talked about sex positions and vibrators with over 60s models.

While Marktharparms added: Oh how TV has changed. Phil Schofield and Holly Willoughby on @itvthismorning discussing vibrators and sex positions for the over-sixties!

Vivienne Pattison, director of MediaWatch UK, said: Lots of people were offended.

But only four viewers phoned ITV to complain directly.

Offsite: And even those few 'outraged' tweets, weren't so 'outraged' after all

23rd October 2011. From . Scooped in article from

Oh how TV has changed, I wrote on Twitter, as the topic moved on to comfortable sex positions for the over sixties: Phil Schofield and Holly Willoughby on ITV This Morning discussing vibrators and sex positions for the over-sixties!

Now, let's get one thing straight: I'm no prude. I am one of the most open-minded, liberal individuals you are ever likely to encounter and I found the fact that a Sir Stirling Moss looky-likey, in blue silk pyjamas on a studio double-bed being straddled by an excited looking granny, highly entertaining. In fact, I was close to tears with laughter.

My tweet referred to the fact that not that long ago such shenanigans would have been frowned on if they'd been shown after the 9pm watershed, let alone at 11am on a Monday morning.

I'm quite aware that the things I say on Twitter might occasionally get picked up and used in the media, but the Daily Mail -- that harbinger of doom for the pub trade -- wrote a shock-and-awe piece on yesterday's This Morning and detailed how horrified members of the public were expressing their disgust via Twitter.

My tweet was there in glorious detail, citing me -- along with two others -- as complaining about the material. I'm quite happy for the Daily Mail to have used the message, but I'd just like to clarify something: it should have been listed on the line beneath, where one tweeter was said to have found the piece amusing and commented on having had worse days than receiving sex education from Holly Willoughby.


6th October   

Updated: Vivienne Pattison: Would Ya?...

Mediawatch-UK baited by Wright Stuff nonsense
Link Here

Mediawatch-UK have been wound up by a rather puerile sounding edition of The Wright Stuff.

Matthew Wright got a bit of a response from the usual suspects after hosting a TV debate entitled Foxy Knoxy: Would Ya? Wright discussed with panellists how Amanda Knox was undeniably fit and loves wild sex .

In a preview blurb for the episode of The Wright Stuff, the Channel 5 website said: So if you were a guy who'd met her in a bar and she invited you back to hers, would you go? Crass and insensitive: Viewers of The Wright Stuff were stunned when presenter Matthew Wright asked viewers to vote on whether they would 'take home' Amanda Knox in light of her acquittal for murder

Vivienne Pattison of Mediawatch-UK said the discussion was unbelievable and totally inappropriate. She said:

To think that someone thought this would be an acceptable format for a show is beyond belief.

It's entirely insensitive and should not be aired at any time, let alone as part of a morning chat show.

It seems totally sick and is as bizarre as it is cruel. It's cruel for all concerned and is an example where the boundaries of 'banter and entertainment become blurred.

Of all the takes on this huge and sensitive case this has to be the worst. 'I should hope there would be some serious questions asked by producers on this.

A Wright Stuff spokeswoman defended the show saying the topic was handled sensitively. She said:

The discussion conducted between Matthew Wright and our panel of Kelly Hoppen, Christopher Biggins and Liz McClarnon was handled extremely sensitively and at no point did we lose sight of the fact that at the heart of the matter is the tragic death of a young girl - Meredith Kercher.

Update: Apologies

6th October 2011. See  article from

The Foxy Knoxy episode of The Wright Stuff was taken down from Channel 5's online video service so that an apology could be added.

Matthew Wright duly apologised during the next edition, saying:

While I'm not going to apologise for discussing Amanda Knox's future after all the terrible things the media has said about her these past four years, I do want to say sorry for the way I framed the debate.

The on-screen title was wrong, no doubt about it. I only wish all those mouthing off about it on twitter had seen the whole 20-minute debate and not just reacted to the 10-second introduction. But nevertheless, I am sorry.

So far Ofcom has received less than 20 complaints about the episode but will consider further investigation.


4th October   

Holy Flying Circus...

BBC to dramatise the nutter debate preceding Monty Python's Life of Brian
Link Here

The BBC has announced a new programme lined up for BBC 4.

In 1979, Monty Python's film Life Of Brian caused nutter outrage around the world. Nuns with banners picketed cinemas, councils banned the film and the religious group Festival of Light organised a concerted campaign against the film, trying to get it banned.

Against this backdrop Michael Palin and John Cleese found themselves facing prominent society figures Malcolm Muggeridge and the Bishop of Southwark in a television debate in front of a live studio audience to defend their film against charges of blasphemy: but who won?

Written by Tony Roche, Holy Flying Circus is a fantastical re-imagining of the controversy surrounding the release of Life Of Brian. Witty and humorous in tone, the comedy drama incorporates surreal cutaways including puppetry and animation in telling its narrative.

Richard Klein, Controller BBC Four, comments: This is a smart and witty take on both the nature of censorship and the world of Monty Python. Tony Roche's script is both bold and entertaining, a wonderfully warm homage to one of the most original of British comedy teams.

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