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UK TV and Radio News

2012: April-June

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Expecting a Good Tanning...

An ITV news programme didn't notice the lyrics to The Sun has got his Hat On

Link Here28th June 2012

TV censors at Ofcom is investigating ITV1's Calendar show over the use of the word 'nigger' in background song lyrics.

On the 22 May Calendar News, ITV1's regional news in the north and east broadcast a video clip celebrating sunny weather. The report featured a montage of pictures of people enjoying the sun and was set to the 1930s song The Sun has got his Hat On.

However the TV company didn't listen very closely to the lyrics:

The sun has got his hat on, hip-hip-hip-hooray
The sun has got his hat on and he's coming out today
Now we'll all be happy, hip-hip-hip-hooray
The sun has got his hat on and he's coming out today

He's been tanning niggers out in Timbuktu
Now he's coming back to do the same to you
So jump into your sunbath, hip-hip-hip-hooray
The sun has got his hat on and he's coming out today

Ofcom has launched an investigation into whether ITV broke UK broadcasting rules relating to harm and offence.



Stadiums of Hate...

Ukraine complains about BBC Panorama documentary about football racism in the host countries for Euro 2012

Link Here14th June 2012

Ukraine has launched a bitter attack on the BBC, with senior officials describing a controversial Panorama documentary that claimed racism was rife in the country as an unacceptable provocation.

The Panorama programme was a direct assault, Oleg Voloyshn, the foreign ministry spokesman in Kiev, said, accusing the BBC of lowering expectations and deliberately trying to sabotage the tournament. He added: It was a kind of provocation. Voloyshn acknowledged there was racism in Ukraine but added:

It's in every country. And it's a smaller problem than was shown in the film.

We don't have real racism en masse in Ukraine. We have nationalists. They are anti-Russian, anti-Polish and anti-European. But the biggest problem so far has been between Russians and Poles. And the Poles are already in the European Union.

The documentary, Euro 2012: Stadiums of Hate , was broadcast on May 28. It showed a group of Indian supporters being punched and kicked at a Ukraine league match, and showed Polish fans chanting anti-semitic slogans. The graphic footage prompted the former England defender Sol Campbell to urge England fans to stay away from Euro 2012 or risk coming home in a coffin .

The BBC has robustly defended the programme. It says it was made in accordance with strict editorial guidelines. Writing last week in a blog, Panorama's editor, Tom Giles, vehemently defended the documentary against Polish and Ukrainian criticism:

We feel strongly that our reporting was both legitimate and fair ... The programme made clear that we were investigating the behaviour of some football supporters and political hooligans -- not the peoples of the countries themselves.



Offsite Article: How the internet killed porn...

Link Here6th June 2012
It's 15 years since Louis Theroux turned the TV cameras on to the US porn industry. Now he is revisiting it to see if anything has changed... and he finds a business in crisis

See article from



The Quality of Nutter Mercy is Somewhat Strained...

Mediawatch-UK and the Daily Mail whinge at mild nudity in a PG rated Merchant of Venice

Link Here30th May 2012

The Merchant of Venice is a 2004 USA/Italy/Luxembourg/UK drama by Michael Radford. With Al Pacino, Joseph Fiennes and Lynn Collins. See IMDb .

The BBFC passed the film PG uncut for mild nudity and sex references.

But the Daily Mail ranted:

BBC viewers got a little more skin than they bargained for when they tuned into a lunchtime film of the Merchant Of Venice .

Some were taken aback by repeated scenes of topless women in the 2004 Hollywood version of the story starring Al Pacino and Jeremy Irons.

As well as around 15 shots of bare breasts there were scenes of a sexual nature. One viewer described it as Shakesperian porn while another suggested it was strange to have shown it at 1.45pm.

The film was just two minutes in before the first sign of nudity -- a woman walking down some steps with her breasts out over the top of her dress. Just a minute later another scene showed a woman on a boat with her breasts exposed as she flirted with men. Then at about 45 minutes in there was a prolonged segment showing topless women, as well as sexual scenes which included a man groping a woman in a brothel. Just before this a group of topless women were shown on a balcony, calling out to passing men: Come taste my Christian flesh.

Vivienne Pattison of Mediawatch UK said: It is incumbent on broadcasters to check what the content is. This should not have been shown at this time of day.

The BBC was showing the film as part of its Shakespeare season. It defended its decision to air the film saying it had been rated PG. Yet on the BBC's iPlayer service the website warns: Contains adult themes. A BBC2 spokesman said it didn't feel the content went beyond what was acceptable for a daytime audience, adding the film had been shown at a similar time of day before without viewer concerns.

The Daily Mail reported that the BBC had received four complaints about the broadcast.


18th May

 Offsite Article: Hit and Miss...

Link Here
Hit and Miss bares some interesting questions about nudity on television. Nudity on screen can often seem unnecessary or gratuitous, but Sky Atlantic's new drama suggests this isn't always the case

See article from


17th May   

BBC Viewers Force Fed Cookery Shows...

BBC receives 400 complaints about foie gras featuring in the Great British Menu programme
Link Here

Hundreds of complaints have been made to the BBC after two chefs competing on its Great British Menu programme were shown preparing dishes including foie gras.

Johnnie Mountain made foie gras ice cream while Aiden Byrne served black cherry and foie gras terrine in an episode screened last week.

Production of foie gras, made by force-feeding ducks or geese until their livers are enlarged, is prohibited in the UK, although it is still a legal ingredient.

In a letter to the BBC director general, Mark Thompson, Yvonne Taylor, senior programme manager for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) said:

Foie gras is uniquely cruel in that it is one of the few 'foods' that is produced by intentionally inflicting illness on animals.

Viva, which promotes vegetarian and vegan lifestyles, has written an email for supporters to send to the BBC. Part of it says:

Foie gras is not produced in Britain, as the government has made it clear that its production would contravene existing animal welfare regulations, but sadly it is still perfectly legal to import it.

The BBC said it had received 418 complaints following the programme. The BBC said in a statement:

There is currently no ban on the use of foie gras in the UK, and while we appreciate it is a controversial matter, many people do enjoy it. As long as foie gras remains legal and freely available there is the possibility that it could be used as an ingredient in cookery programmes, just as it remains on restaurant menus around the world. If it were to be banned we would of course no longer allow it to be used.


11th May   

Update: Speaking The Wright Language...

Ofcom considering complaints about the use of the word 'retard' on the Wright Stuff
Link Here
Full story: The Wright Stuff...Matthew Wright's TV show is the traget of many a whinge

Matthew Wright's Channel 5 show The Wright Stuff is being investigated by TV censor Ofcom over a survey that used the words mong , spaz and retard .

Viewers were asked which of the three words was the most offensive term to describe someone with learning difficulties , according to a BBC poll.

The daytime show was debating Rupert Murdoch's use of the word retarded with reference to David Cameron's son.

The 26 April edition of The Wright Stuff received about 10 complaints and Ofcom is considering whether the programme breached broadcasting rules relating to harm and offence.


3rd May   

Bitter at Lemon...

ITV comedian generates a few complaints after offering up a puppy as a prize
Link Here

Ofcom has received almost 200 complaints from animal lovers 'outraged' at Keith Lemon offering a puppy as a prize in a competition on ITV1's LemonAid last weekend.

The complainers believe that Lemon, the alter ego of comedian Leigh Francis, and ITV should not have offered up the animal as a prize in the show.

Ofcom is assessing the complaints to see if there is any reason to launch a full investigation into whether the competition is in breach of the broadcasting code.


29th April   

Daily Mail in Harrowing Attack on TV Programme...

A few viewers complaint about violent scenes in Silent Witness
Link Here
According to the ever ludicrous Daily Mail:

The BBC has been hit with a 'flood' of complaints over a 'harrowing' sex attack scene in crime drama Silent Witness .

Viewers were 'appalled' at the 'graphic' violence on the BBC1 series this week, contacting the broadcaster in their hundreds to register 'anger'.

As well as a scene in which a murderous prison guard carried out a prolonged sexual assault on a man, apparently using a baton, the programme also featured 'explicit' images of a man having his throat cut.

Although the show aired after the watershed, a few viewers said the assault was graphic and nasty and went too far .

There have been about 500 complaints about two episodes, with the BBC receiving 483 and TV censor Ofcom a further 35. The complaints will be assessed by Ofcom.

A large number related to the scenes where prison officer Daniel Kessler was shown attacking a drug dealer in a toilet. Viewers heard the violence being carried out in a closed cubicle and saw blood seep from beneath the door. The man's half-dressed body was later seen as the prison guard emerged from the cubicle. While the attack was not shown in full, the use of sound, including the maniacal comments of the killer and the screams of the victim, left viewers in little doubt what was happening.

A BBC statement said the scene was not an attempt to gratuitously shock the audience but was rooted in character and research and showed the brutality that Kessler was capable of . We don't feel the content of these episodes would have gone beyond viewers expectations We're sorry if you [viewers] felt we got it wrong on this occasion.'

Update: BBC Response

29th April 2012. See  article from

We've received complaints from some viewers who felt the two part instalment of Silent Witness entitled Redhill was too violent.

As programme makers we take our responsibility to the audience extremely seriously and try to make sure we strike the right balance between compelling drama without being unnecessarily graphic. Towards the end of the first episode we had established that DI Bridges and Officer Kessler had previously worked together and that he was the one very much in control. The final scene was not an attempt to gratuitously shock the audience; it was rooted in character and research, showing just what DI Bridges was prepared to do for her colleague for the sake of her family, as well as the brutality that Kessler was capable of.

We acknowledge that certain scenes may have been challenging, but we filmed and presented them in such a way as to make sure that although as a viewer the implication was there, it was never actually shown.

Silent Witness is now in its 15th series and we believe the general tone and content is widely recognised by its regular audience. It's fair to say the show is known for tackling challenging stories and exploring adult themes and we don't feel the content of these episodes would have gone beyond viewer's expectations.

As well as scheduling the series after the 9pm watershed, we made sure the content was widely publicised and gave a warning before both episodes which on Sunday stated:

...With scenes some viewers might find upsetting and violent scenes.

And Monday:

....With graphic violent scenes and some scenes which some viewers might find upsetting, Silent Witness.

We're sorry if you felt we got it wrong on this occasion.


20th April   

No Thanks to Capital FM...

One Direction censored by radio station over awards speech gaffe
Link Here
Two months after thanking Radio 1 during a BRIT Awards acceptance speech, boyband One Direction's songs are still not being played by the UK's biggest commercial radio group.

Global Radio's Capital FM and Heart brands haven't aired music by the group since Harry Styles mentioned their BBC rival while accepting an award voted for by Capital listeners.

Radio Today understands Global Executive President and Founder Ashley Tabor was far from impressed after the gaffe on 21st February at the O2 Arena, and placed an immediate ban on mentions of One Direction or plays of their songs on air.

After the gaffe became national news, One Direction issued a statement apologising for forgetting to thank Capital FM listeners.


16th April

 Offsite Article: The Daily Mail Recommends...

Link Here
Derek...Do you want a 5 minute rant or the full half hour?

See article from


8th April   

Update: Mediawatch-UK Obsessed by TV Blame...

Mediawatch-Uk and Ofcom reported to be on the back of soap producers
Link Here
Full story: Coronation Street...Complaints and whinges

Claims that Daniel Bartlam's horrific crime might have been inspired by a Coronation Street storyline has fuelled nutter calls for TV soap opera bosses to show more restraint.

The scene in which John Stape murders a colleague with a hammer was found on the teenager's computer along with a montage of violent scenes from other soap operas including Hollyoaks and Emmerdale , horror films and TV crime dramas.

Nutter group Mediawatch-UK has pleaded with producers to take greater responsibility , stressing the dangers sensational storylines pose to young impressionable fans.

In the past five years 18 murders have been committed in the UK's three main soaps and TV watchdog Ofcom is reported to be seeking assurances from broadcasters about the levels of violence being shown.


6th April   

A Talent for Easy Offence...

Several complaints is enough for a Daily Mail write up of burlesque on Britain's Got Talent
Link Here
Beatrix Von Bourbon performed a striptease on Britain's Got Talent during her audition at Blackpool.

The performance was shown well before the 9pm watershed mark which led to 54 complaints from viewers who contacted the TV censors of Ofcom.

The audition ended with Bourbon stripping down to her bra, before taking it off to reveal she was wearing gold nipple tassels. However TV viewers didn't get to know this as ITV had covered up her breasts with superimposed stars.

A spokesperson for the talent show told MailOnline:

Mindful of our family audience, Beatrix's stylised burlesque performance was carefully edited to ensure it was suitably in-explicit.

Update: Tame

10th May 2012. See  article from

Beatrix Von Bourbon may have stripped off for her audition but she was a bit tame for the main performance.

The show's judges described her as tame tonight after she performed to soulful Beyonce track Fever in a golden camisole top and knickers.

Simon Cowell said he did not think she would make it through to the final.

The tattooed performer peeled off a sleeveless wrap to reveal her underwear, but kept her back to the audience when she went topless.


5th April

 Offsite Article: Killers aren't the result of what's on TV...

Link Here
The horrific details of how Daniel Bartlam murdered his mother with a claw hammer must have been music to the ears of the anti-video-games lobby. By John Walsh

See article from


4th April

 Offsite Article: Hammering away at TV Blame...

Link Here
Daily Mail 'expert' rants: 'I fear this cynical celebration of violence will inspire more young killers'

See article from


3rd April

 Offsite Article: Daily Mail Obsessed by TV Blame...

Link Here
Full story: Coronation Street...Complaints and whinges
The latest example from the Daily Mail, The Coronation Street killer: Boy of 14 obsessed with TV soap murder plot battered his mother to death with hammer

See article from

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