Melon Farmers Original Version

UK TV and Radio News

2014: July-Sept

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Carry On Cooking...

A few whinges about innuendo in the Great British Bake Off

Link Here23rd September 2014
A few whingers have written to BBC Points of View to complain about constant smutty remarks in The Great British Bake Off , claiming the totally unnecessary innuendo was leaving Mary Berry embarrassed.

The BBC has made presenters Mel and Sue risque banter something of a focus of this series, starting up its own Twitter hashtag to showcase its innuendo of the week .

Recent episodes have seen presenters joke about having a nice pear and perfect nuts , with Mel Giedroyc ask contestants whether they are a pie or a tart , and Sue Perkins telling them: You have got two hours to pop Mary's the oven and bring it out again. .

The Telegraph trawled twitter for a few trivial tweets:

Shirley Fooks said: They get smuttier and smuttier, and it is totally unnecessary. Mary Berry looked quite embarrassed on the first programme of this series, and so were we as a family.

Jeremy Vine, Points of View presenter, joked the show had become just too hot in the kitchen for some .

The BBC confirmed it has been contacted just seven times about its innuendo.



Wur Dooomed!...

Just by coincidence, Dad's Army's Frazier has a few choice words about Scottish independence

Link Here17th September 2014
As always the BBC is showing old episodes of Dad's Army. But the choice of the latest episodes shown has raised a few additional chuckles.

A Yes campaigner noted:

A total of 80 episodes of Dad's Army were made by the corporation -- and which one does it choose to show on the Saturday ahead of the vote? The one in which Frazer -- played by John Laurie -- tells Mainwaring that he can run the platoon better than him, is put in charge and then makes a total mess of things. Thank you very much, Auntie Beeb.

A BBC spokesman insists that episodes are always shown in a specific order and adamantly denies there was ever any political intent in scheduling the Frazer episode ahead of the vote.



Cycling Strip...

Unfortunately coloured sports strip censored by the BBC

Link Here15th September 2014
There is an amusing news story doing the rounds that the Colombian women's cycling team have been showing an unfortunately coloured strip. The flesh coloured midsection gives an illusion of nakedness.

However there is of course a possibility that this was an ingenious publicity stunt to thrust the ladies into the cycling world limelight. But either way, there certainly was no actual nudity.

But of course that did not stop BBC censors getting out their black pencil.



Updated: Easily Duped by the Presumption of a Cuddly World...

TV complaints at 12A rated trailer shown at 10pm during football

Link Here10th September 2014
A few parents have complained about ITV for showing a violent scene from the 12A rated movie, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. The trailer went out at half time during the semi-final of the World Cup. The advert featured a computer-animated chimpanzee viciously shooting a man with a machine gun was screened at around 10pm, well after the watershed.

Some viewers said they had let youngsters stay up late to watch Holland play Argentina and thought the advert was inappropriate .

Inevitably the Daily Mail trawled Twitter for a few example whinges:

Furious at @ITV for shocking my children (and me) last night. After 9pm maybe, but during the football?? Poor show.

In the clip, the monkey is shown performing acrobatics as it enters a room where two armed men are sitting on a sofa. After drinking with them and smiling, the animal suddenly turns angry, picking up a machine gun and firing at one of the men, killing him. The advert ends with the ape pointing the gun at the other man, who is shown pleading with the creature to spare him.

A spokesman for the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said:

I can confirm that we've received around 100 complaints overnight about the TV ad for the film Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, which appeared on ITV yesterday at around 10pm.

Complainants are concerned that the ad shows an ape grabbing a gun and shooting a man with it, during the broadcast of the World Cup semi-finals, which children would have been watching.

We're logging these complaints, we'll access them before making a decision as to whether we will investigate or not.

Update: ASA dismisses the whinges

10th September 2014. See  article from

A TV ad for the cinema release of the film Dawn of the Planet of the Apes , was seen on ITV during World Cup Semi-Final coverage at approximately 9.50pm.

A voice-over stated, And now an exciting look at the must-see movie of the summer, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, hitting cinemas next Thursday. The following scene showed an ape approach two men who were sitting on sandbags drinking from metal cups. One man pointed a gun at the ape and he held up his arms in a surrender pose in response before tumbling into forward rolls and clapping as though in a performance. The following exchange between the three characters began good-naturedly, but ended with the ape stealing an automatic weapon from one of the men and shooting the other dead. The remaining man held up his hand with a fearful expression on his face while the ape, now baring his teeth and holding a threatening stance, aimed the gun at him. The ad closed with on-screen text giving the film name as gunfire resounded in the background. The voice-over stated, That looks incredible. Tell us what you think. Hashtag DawnofApes ... Issue

The ASA received 119 complaints:

  • 1. the majority of the complainants, who believed the ad was inappropriate for children to see, challenged whether the ad was scheduled responsibly;

  • 2. some viewers, who believed the theme and content of the ad was unsuitable for juxtaposition with a mainstream sporting event, challenged whether it was scheduled appropriately;

  • 3. a large number challenged whether the ad was overly violent and distressing; and

  • 4. the remainder of the complainants challenged whether the ad irresponsibly condoned violence and firearm use.

ASA Assessment

1. & 2. Not upheld

The ASA considered that care must always be taken to ensure that ads were suitable for a viewing audience and noted the BCAP Code specified that relevant timing restrictions must be applied to ads that, through their content, might harm or distress children of particular ages or that were otherwise unsuitable for them. In addition, broadcasters must exercise responsible judgement to avoid unsuitable juxtapositions between ads and programmes.

It was clear from the outset in this example that the ad contained an extract from a forthcoming film and the title of the film was given in voice-over and on-screen text. The opening scenes, involving the clowning antics of a chimpanzee-like character, seemed innocent. The scene quickly developed, however, to the point that there was the threat of gun-use together with atmospheric background music, which built a level of tension and indicated that the content was not as light-hearted as might have first appeared. Despite the escalation of menace, the shooting dead of one of the men was unlikely to have been anticipated and therefore likely to have caused shock to viewers. The ad closed with an ominous scene of the snarling ape purposefully pointing a gun directly at the body of the remaining man, who was seen to be in some shock and fear, and the sound of gunshots, indicating his killing. We considered that the tension of the ad, and the scenes of shooting and personal threat, meant that it was unsuitable for young children.

The film had been categorised as 12A, which meant that it contained material that was not generally suitable for children under 12 years of age. However, children younger than 12 were admitted to a 12A film in a cinema when accompanied by an adult, at the adult's discretion. It was important to recognise, however, that those who chose to visit the film at the cinema were likely to be acquainted with its theme and adults could exercise choice about whether that material was suitable for under-12s in their care, whereas not all TV viewers who had chosen to watch the World Cup Semi-Final would necessarily be aware of, or expect, the content of the ad.

Clearcast had applied a post 9 pm scheduling restriction in recognition of the level of violence in the film clip and we considered that, under ordinary circumstances, this was likely to be acceptable. Audiences beyond 9 pm were likely to be aware that they could be exposed to material, both in programming and advertising content, that was intended for adult viewers and the content in this example, although shocking, in our view was unlikely to cause harm or distress to adults when broadcast at that time. However, the circumstances of this ad were not usual; it was broadcast during a world sporting event, likely to be of more general interest than, for example, regular football fixtures.

The World Cup attracted a large TV audience, but the child audience index did not demonstrate that the Semi-Final had been of particular appeal to children, that is, those under 16 years of age. Within the parameters of child viewers, significantly more appeal was demonstrated to those over 10 years of age than to those under 10, but the number of children viewing in either age group did not compare to the proportion of adult viewers at the time.

While it was unfortunate that any distress was caused to younger viewers who did see the ad, we considered that the scheduling restriction in place, together with the time of broadcast, 9.50 pm, meant that it had been directed away from younger viewers. Older children, although likely to be shocked by the unfolding story of the scene, were likely to understand the extract within the context of the pending cinema release, the content of which had been certified as suitable for over 12s. The match had not demonstrated particular appeal to children of any age and the overall content, which was tense and menacing rather than gory or overly explicit, was unlikely to cause harm or distress to older children watching at that time.

We acknowledged that some adults who were watching the Semi-Final had found the ad to be too graphic even for an adult audience who had chosen to watch a sporting event. While we understood that they were likely to be similarly shocked by the ad's twist, we considered that, in view of the overall content and the brevity of the closing scene, they were unlikely to be distressed by it.

We concluded that the ad had been responsibly scheduled.

3. & 4. Not upheld

The ad built suspense throughout its 70-second duration and contained a 5-second scene at its close that involved an ape shooting two men at close range. The images might have been unnerving, given that they were unexpected, and seemingly at odds with the notion of how an ape might behave. However, while there was an element of terror, the shooting scene was brief and inexplicit. Although our view was that the ad was unsuitable for very young viewers, the level of action and violence it contained was unlikely to cause distress to others, providing that it was broadcast with an appropriate timing restriction. The ad was given a post 9 pm restriction and broadcast at 9.50 pm.

Guns were involved in the entire storyline of the ad. The action was clearly set in a fictional environment and the khaki clothes of the men plus the sandbags on which they sat gave the scene a military feel. We understood that some viewers had found the depiction of firearms in the ad to be irresponsible. However, given the context of the ad as an extract from a fantasy film, we considered that viewers were unlikely to relate the ad to actual crime and real world behaviour.

We acknowledged the reaction of viewers who had found the ad difficult to watch. However, given the content and the timing restriction applied, we considered that it was unlikely to cause undue distress or to be seen as condoning violence or irresponsible firearm use.



Just Don't Mention the Crusades...

Dr Who beheading gets the chop

Link Here4th September 2014
The BBC has edited out a beheading from a fight scene in this weekend's episode of Doctor Who, featuring Robin Hood, as a mark of political correctness following the murder of two US journalists.

The BBC has decided to edit the climactic fight scene between Robin Hood and the sheriff of Nottingham to remove a beheading sequence. A BBC spokeswoman said:

In light of recent news events, we have made an edit to episode three out of respect.




A few viewers whinge about strong language from boisterous football fans

Link Here3rd September 2014
Sky Sports News has apologised after it broadcast swearing and scenes of a fan waving a sex toy during its transfer deadline day coverage.

The chaotic scenes included a fan who waved a sex toy at Sky Sports News's Alan Irwin when he was reporting on Tom Cleverley possibly leaving Manchester United. The reporter managed to remain calm despite continued provocation from the fan, who was eventually removed by security.

TV censor Ofcom said eight viewers complained about what they claimed was offensive language.

A Sky Sports News spokesman said:

We apologise to those whose enjoyment was spoiled by a small number of incidents and we're looking into ways to avoid this happening again in the future whilst ensuring fans remain a key part our live coverage.



Updated: Forked Tongue Wagging...

Whingeing at lesbian lizard kiss on Dr Who

Link Here31st August 2014
UK TV censor Ofcom has received six complaints following a lesbian kiss on Doctor Who, reports Gay Star News.

The complaints came after a scene in which Madame Vastra helps to keep her wife Jenny alive in response to a threat from droids that only move when they can sense breath.

A few worthless tweets were also dredged up.

Update: Ofcom will not investigate the whinges

28th August 2014. From Thanks to Nick

A spokesman for TV censor Ofcom has now responded to the complaints:

Ofcom can confirm it received six complaints about a kiss broadcast in an episode of Doctor Who on Saturday 23 August.

Having assessed the complaints, we can confirm that they do not raise issues warranting further investigation. Our rules do not discriminate between scenes involving opposite sex and same sex couples.

Update: Censored in Asia

31st August 2014. See  article from

The BBC cut a lesbian kiss scene from Doctor Who to avoid offending audiences (and TV censors) when it was screened in Asia.

The feature-length edition was broadcast to viewers in Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore last Monday. BBC insiders say the scene, which lasted just a couple of seconds, was cut to avoid falling foul of a broadcasting code in Singapore which says programmes should avoid any content that could justify homosexual and lesbian lifestyles.

George Dixon, BBC Worldwide's global editorial director, said:

When preparing shows for international transmission, we occasionally have to make edits to ensure we're not breaking any local broadcasting rules.

Gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell was not impressed. He said:

The BBC should not bow to censorship demands from other countries. If these countries are bigoted and are not willing to show same-sex love, they have no right to demand that the BBC conforms to their standards of prejudice.



So does whingeing about a trivial joke do anything to engender respect...

BBC apologises about an Irish joke aired in a report about the Edinburgh fringe

Link Here22nd August 2014
THE BBC has apologised for broadcasting a trivial Irish joke on its flagship Scottish news programme.

The joke was broadcast on BBC1's Reporting Scotland news show during a pre-recorded segment about the funniest joke at this year's Edinburgh Fringe Festival. It involved a reporter asking members of the public about what they find funny. Among the contributions broadcast:

Two Irish guys look in the mirror. One goes: 'I know that guy.' The other one goes: 'I know you do, it's me you stupid guy.'

One family told The Irish Post they were gobsmacked to hear the quip:

I thought it was absolutely disgusting to see that your own national broadcaster would allow this to happen. To see comments like that about your own ethnic group on the news is so disheartening.

Responding to the complaint, the BBC apologised for broadcasting the joke. A spokesman said:

During a series of vox-pops a member of the public told a joke which may have offended some viewers.



Update: Ofcom Like Chinese...

Gold Channel to be investigated by the TV censor for not censoring Monty Python enough

Link Here20th August 2014
Monty Python Live is a 2014 UK comedy by Eric Idle.
Starring Graham Chapman, John Cleese and Carol Cleveland. YouTube icon IMDb

The BBFC rating is not yet published for video but it was passed 15 uncut for very strong language, strong sex references for cinema showing:

  • 2014 Eagle Rock RB Blu-ray at UK Amazon released on 10th November 2014
  • 2014 Eagle Rock R2 DVD at UK Amazon released on 10th November 2014

A TV channel is to be investigated by Ofcom for broadcasting swearing in a Monty Python show before the watershed. Gold Channel aired one of the the O2 Arena shows live, but apparently failed to bleep out all the swearing.

Gold Channel made a real pigs' ear of ugly and invasive (but necessary by TV censorship rules) cuts to strong language and sex references, but obviously missed a bit.

Ofcom have also received complaints about excessive censorship from viewers who would have preferred to see it without the cuts. But of course the Ofcom TV complaints system is totally one-sided and these complaints will be instantly dismissed. There are simply no Ofcom rules against cultural vandalism.

An Ofcom spokesman said:

After receiving complaints about the broadcast of the most offensive language before the watershed, Ofcom is investigating a live performance of Monty Python on Gold. All our licensees are required to comply with our broadcasting rules, which make clear that the most offensive language cannot be shown on television before the watershed.



Krusty Ofcom...

TV censor finds that the word 'bastard' is unacceptable for daytime showings of The Simpsons

Link Here2nd August 2014

The Simpsons
Channel 4, 9 April 2014, 18:00

The Simpsons is an irreverent animated comedy produced in the USA, with an appeal to a mixed audience of children and adults, and broadcast by Channel 4 at 18:00 on weekdays.

Seven complainants alerted Ofcom to the broadcast of the word bastard , which they considered inappropriate at this time of day and in a programme which appeals to children.

Ofcom viewed a recording and noted the following comment by the character Krusty the Clown around 18:23:

...who needs friends? The incessant beep of the global positioning system is all the companionship I need... [Krusty receives an electric shock as he pats the box, and, in anger, throws it out of his boat] Tell me where you are now, you bastard!

Ofcom considered Rule 1.16 of the Code, which states:

Offensive language must not be broadcast before the watershed...unless it is justified by the context.

Channel 4 said that Ofcom will appreciate that the word 'bastard' is not the strongest language but nonetheless it considered: it was inappropriate for inclusion in an episode of The Simpsons at 18:00 in this context . It apologised for any offence that may have been caused and said it gave careful consideration to scheduling programmes at times when children were expected to be viewing to protect children from unsuitable content.

Ofcom Decision: resolved

Ofcom research on offensive language indicates that the word bastard is thought to be a stronger swear word and that, while some people consider there are some contexts in which this word is acceptable on television pre-watershed, care needs to be taken over its use.

Ofcom did not consider the use of bastard at 18:00 in this context in a programme like The Simpsons, with a clear appeal to children2, and broadcast on a public service channel with a broad audience, was justified by the context or in line with audience expectations.

However Ofcom has taken into account that: this failure was the result of an apparently isolated and unusual set of circumstances; Channel 4 proactively and quickly took steps to identify the cause of the issue and avoid the risk of a recurrence; and, Channel 4 apologised for any offence caused.

In light of these factors, Ofcom considers the matter resolved.



Update: From a PC Slant...

TV censor uphold two complaints about racial pun on Top Gear

Link Here1st August 2014
Full story: Top Gear and the Grand Tour...Top Gear and Jeremy Clarkson wind up whingers

Top Gear Burma Special
BBC 2, 16 March 2014, 20:00

Top Gear is a long-running magazine series on motoring. Presenters Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond provide information and commentary about cars. Programmes are light-hearted in tone, and typically include quirky and humorous banter between the presenters.

This particular episode was the second part of a two-part special, filmed in Burma, where the Top Gear presenters crossed the country in trucks and built a makeshift bridge over the River Kwai in Thailand. On observing the completed bridge, on which an Asian man is seen walking towards them, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond engaged in the following conversation:

Jeremy Clarkson: That is a proud moment..but...there is a slope on it.

Richard Hammond: You are right...[pointing] is definitely higher on that side.

Jeremy Clarkson then narrates, over images of the bridge: we decide to ignore the slope and move onto the opening ceremony.

Ofcom received two complaints from viewers who expressed concern that the word slope referred to the Asian man crossing the bridge and was an offensive racist term.

Ofcom noted that the word slope is an offensive and pejorative term for a person of East Asian descent, which originated during the Vietnam War. [presumably alluding to slant eyes]

Ofcom considered Rule 2.3:

In applying generally accepted standards broadcasters must ensure that material which may cause offence is justified by the context...Such material may include but is not limited to...discriminatory treatment or language (for example on the grounds of...race...).

The BBC stated that the programme:

Used the word in what the programme-makers believed was an inoffensive, humorous play on words, addressed at the build quality of a bridge which the team had constructed and a local Asian man who was crossing it.

The BBC added that although the programme-makers:

Knew that the word could be used to refer to people of Asian origin they believed that such use was mere slang. The programme-makers were not aware at the time that it had the potential to cause offence particularly in some countries outside the UK

And had they been aware of this, the word would not have been used in this context. The BBC stated that it had already issued a public statement apologising for the use of the word and for any offence which its use caused.

Ofcom Decision: Breach of Rule 2.3

Ofcom acknowledges that slope is a term of offence more widely used in America and Australia. However it is also capable of causing offence in the UK particularly to people of Asian origin. Further, Ofcom research has indicated that viewers are likely to consider a word to be more offensive if they understand it to be making a derogatory reference to specific characteristics of a defined ethnic group.

Ofcom therefore considered whether the broadcast of this offensive word was justified by the context. Top Gear is widely known for its irreverent style and sometimes outspoken humour, as well as the banter between the three presenters. We also noted that regular viewers of Top Gear were likely to be aware that the programme had previously used national stereotypes as a comedic trope, particularly to describe the characteristics of cars. Various nationalities have, at some point, been the subject of the presenters' mockery during the history of this long running programme. The regular audience for this programme adjusts its expectations accordingly.

In our view, however, in this case Jeremy Clarkson deliberately employed the offensive word to refer to the Asian person crossing the bridge as well as the camber of the bridge. Ofcom noted that this sequence was scripted in advance, and that clear consideration was given at the time of production to using the term slope to formulate what the production team intended to be humorous word play around it. There was clearly an opportunity both during filming and post-production to research the word and reach a more considered view on whether it was mere slang and had the potential to cause offence to viewers.

We took into account that the BBC said the programme makers intended the use of slope to be an inoffensive, humorous play on words , but that the broadcaster accepted now that the word was capable of causing offence in the UK and apologised. We noted that the BBC provided no other arguments to justify the potential offence in the context.

Ofcom concluded, however, that in the circumstances of this particular case there was insufficient context to justify the broadcast of this material. The BBC did not apply generally accepted standards so as to provide adequate protection for members of the public from offensive material. As a result there was a breach of Rule 2.3.



Updated: Ofcom to look into it...

200 viewer complaints about Sky News looking through suitcases of air crash victims

Link Here28th July 2014
OfCom, the UK TV censor, has received around 200 complaints over this past Sunday's on-air live segment where reporter Colin Brazier went through a Malaysian Airlines crash victim's suitcase.

OfCom's Elliott Ball told iMediaEthics:

There are 201 complaints, relating to coverage on Sky News on 20 July from 12pm and throughout the day. These are being assessed. A decision has not been made yet as to whether there will be an investigation.

Sky News apologized shortly after Brazier's segment. Brazier also penned a column this week apologizing for his actions.

Update: Meanwhile the BBC grovels to a few easily offended viewers

28th July 2014. See  article from

N ews at Ten,
BBC One, 18 July 2014


We received complaints from some viewers who felt the images and descriptions used in a report on flight MH17 were too graphic and upsetting.

Response from BBC News

We appreciate that Daniel Sanford's report from the site of the Malaysian Airlines crash contained images and language which would be distressing to some viewers. With this in mind, we included a warning prior to the report. We must stress that this piece was not intended to sensationalise the crash, but to give a powerful sense of the extent of the tragedy that resulted in the loss of so many lives.

The report on the News at Ten was one of the first reports by a British broadcast journalist from the crash site of the MH17. This was an extremely harrowing scene, which was reflected in the images and descriptions used within Daniel's report.

BBC News is always aware of the need to report with sensitivity, whilst also maintaining our principles of accurate, factual and impartial news coverage.



How to Kill a Dead Parrot...

Putting the Monty Python O2 show on pre-watershed live TV

Link Here26th July 2014

I attended one of the MONTY PYTHON O2 screenings at a local cinema, and in the case of GOLD censoring the 7:30pm broadcast, there were two issues at play here.

Firstly, no one at GOLD was intelligent enough to realise that there wasn't a cat-in-hell's-chance of this live show being PG-friendly, for a Sunday evening broadcast! If they did, then they were being extremely naive. As such, no channel could have broadcast the show live at that time of day, on any channel, unless there had been an enforced PIN-locked restriction.

The heavy cuts in the first half of the show, related to THE PENIS SONG (NOT THE NOEL COWARD SONG), and the following two additional, never-before-seen verses, that talk about owning a vagina and an arsehole. As per the Penis Song lyrics, the Pythons used every available term to describe such parts of the body, and on-screen lyrics were visible on the huge screen behind the singers/dancers, including the infamous c-word.

Isn't it awfully nice to own a penis
Isn't it frightfully good to have a dong
It's swell to have a stiffy
It's divine to own a dick
From the tiniest little tadger, to the world's biggest prick
So three-cheers for your willy or John Thomas
Hooray for your one-eyed trouser snake
Your piece-of-pork, your wife's-best-friend, your percy or your cock
You can wrap it up in ribbons
You can slip-it in your sock
But don't take it out in public, or they will stick you in the dock
And you won't a'come a'back!"

It's fun to own your own vagina
It's great to have your friendly thatch
Your minge, your twat, your kitty cat
Your nest, your nasty or your snatch
It's great to have a monkey furrow
Your finger pie, your lunchbox, or your catch
Your camel toe, your bearded clam
Your bottom at the front
Your monkey minge, your muffin or your old Sir Berkely Hunt
Your honeypot, your hairy friend
But never call it cunt
Or we won't be coming back

Isn't it awfully nice to own a bottom
Isn't it frightfully good to have an ass
It's swell to own a tuschy
It's diving to own a scut
From the skinniest little buttocks
To the world's largest butt
Three cheers for your posterior or anus
Hooray for your lovely sit-upon
Your fundament, your fanny, your cheeky little dear
Your rump, your haunch, your hams, your stern, your fanny or your rear
But be careful how you handle it, or you'll be caught, I fear
And you won't come back

So, to be fair to GOLD, they had no choice to censor it, but they should have been aware that none of this was ever going to be remotely suitable for family viewing, in the first place. Why they didn't just time-delay everything, and then air it, starting from 9pm onwards, I don't know? No one would have complained if they'd done that!

Secondly, in the second half, there was a potentially libellous set of jokes about Paul Dacre, the Daily Mail editor, and his paper's bad review of the MONTY PYTHON LIVE show. I'm not sure if the jokes were left in for the post-watershed repeats, but GOLD didn't want to risk his wrath on their little channel. Hence, more censorship and editing of that sequence was needed.

Ultimately, whilst the censorship was ridiculous, and ridiculously horrible (the screetchy bleep tone they used was horrific), GOLD really should have known better! They'd already had 9 previous performances to check on the suitability, but were determined to go for ratings, rather than time-delays, and thus opted to air it live, but heavily censor the show, based on a script they had - something that heavily backfired on them, going from the numerous complaints on their Facebook page.

Lastly, the other thing that annoyed people, was the fact that GOLD could have, and maybe should have, announced that their Live transmission wasn't going to be complete-and-uninterrupted - either because of censorship or because of over-runs. The show ran 15 minutes later than advertised, and I believe that GOLD ended their Live transmission early, during the PARROT SKETCH, just to stay on schedule! If fans had known beforehand, and had been primed that two uncut repeats were planned, then fans would probably have cut GOLD a lot more slack. But no one said anything. And as such, GOLD has been rightly pilloried.

Definitely one of TV's messiest "Live" showings ever produced, and one that will go down infamously in TV history of how NOT to air something live on TV!

P.S. For what it's worth, the uncut Live show itself was fab!

But the Pythons also opted for some PC self censorship

See article from . Thanks to Alan

The I Like Chinese song was self censored and lost the verses

I like Chinese.
I like Chinese.
They only come up to your knees,
Yet they're always friendly,
and they're ready to please.

I like Chinese.
I like Chinese.
There's nine hundred million of them in the world today.
You'd better learn to like them;
that's what I say.

I like Chinese.
I like Chinese.
They come from a long way overseas,
But they're cute and they're cuddly,
and they're ready to please.

These were replaced by

I like Chinese,
I like Chinese.
They copy everything they sees.
But they're up on the boom
so they'll do as they please.'

I Like Chinese,
I Like Chinese.
They're still a little Communese,
But Americans don't need to fret now
China has bought all their debt.'

Python Terry Jones said:

Eric obviously knows why he changed the lyrics. I suppose it was dropped for reasons of political correctness. Why keep singing "they only come up to your knees"?

Jones said the changes had not been an issue for the rest of the team and added that they had been made silently .



Extract: Does Ofcom come under the Ministry of Silly Walks?...

Monty Python Live at the 02 marred by obtrusive and clumsy censorship

Link Here23rd July 2014

UK TV Censor

It was truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, the chance to see the Monty Python troupe live in their final show at London s O2 arena.

But just minutes into the show, which started at 7.30pm, an hour-and-a-half before the television watershed, chunks of dialogue were rendered inaudible by a beep. Not just any beep, either, but the shrillest, whiniest, most grating beep you'll ever hear in your life. The picture clumsily cut away to a long shot of the venue, presumably lest lip readers could see the colourful, but ludicrously banned, strong language

One routine was obliterated entirely when the broadcast cut away to a pre-recorded item featuring Michael Palin in drag, explaining why the television audience weren't allowed to see it.

Ofcom (or "effing Ofcom" as it was briefly renamed in our house) decided some of the show's content breached its pre-watershed guidelines. If Gold had refused to kowtow to its demands, it would have been heftily fined. The post-watershed second half of the show was broadcast without interference. While the censoring didn't completely ruin the whole evening, it certainly marred our enjoyment.

Gold repeated the show last night, with the missing content reinstated, but that's hardly a substitute for the thrill of of being part of a live communal TV event.

...Read the full article



Vulnerable to Interpretation...

Ofcom publish research findings about soaps and pre and post watershed violence on TV

Link Here18th July 2014
Ofcom writes in a press release:

Ofcom has published research on consumer attitudes and trends in violence shown on UK TV programmes.

The research supports Ofcom in its role in protecting TV viewers, especially children. It looks at how violence on TV has changed since Ofcom issued guidelines to broadcasters in 2011 to avoid programmes being shown before 9pm that might be unsuitable for children.

The research comprises two separate reports. The first study focused on public attitudes towards violence on TV among people from a range of ages and socio-economic groups.

The second was an analysis of four popular UK soap operas, which looked at instances of violence, or threats of violence, and people's views on them. Research findings

The first report, on the views of audiences, found that different demographic groups showed subtle differences in their views about violent content. However, all agreed that children should not be exposed to any sexual violence on TV before and straight after the watershed.

People considered the time of broadcast to be the single most important factor in determining the acceptability of violent content on TV. Viewers were prepared to tolerate moderately violent scenes before the watershed; however, all agreed that strong scenes with a vulnerable victim were unacceptable before 9pm.

The research also found that viewers have a sophisticated ability to analyse contextual factors when assessing whether violent scenes were acceptable. Many people said they watched violent content for a number of reasons. Some said it made genres, such as action or drama, seem realistic and provided tension, therefore contributing to their TV viewing experience.

The study of soap operas not only looked at violent scenes, but also measured those with menacing or threatening behaviour, and violence that was implied off-screen.

It found that violence in soaps was usually clearly indicated in advance, so viewers were unlikely to be surprised when it took place. The research showed 79% of violent scenes were judged credible and rarely surprised viewers. Broadcasters have also used violence in soap operas to help raise awareness and generate public debate around social issues such as domestic abuse.

Instances of strong scenes, portraying violence that might make the viewer uncomfortable, were very infrequent, at 6% overall. Depictions of terror during violent scenes, such as the imbalance of power in a fight, near fatal violence and post-traumatic stress flashbacks, varied between 3% and 5% in the soaps covered.

The report also found that the amount of violence, or threats of violence, has varied over the years. EastEnders has shown a decline from 6.1 violent scenes per hour in 2001/2002 to 2.1 in 2013.

The level of violence in Coronation Street has remained fairly steady, at around three scenes per hour over the same period. There was an increase in Emmerdale, from 2.5 to over 4 scenes per hour, while Hollyoaks has also shown a rise, from 2.1 scenes per hour between 2001 and 2002 to 11.5 scenes per hour in 2013.




Channel 4 fictional drama recommended by the family and friends of Airey Neave

Link Here18th July 2014

Utopia, Channel 4's controversial new drama, aired as planned amidst a 'furore' over its interpretation of the death of Airey Neave. The second series of Dennis Kelly's controversial programme earned solid reviews for its conspiratorial look at IRA releated events of 1979.

The depiction of Neave's death ruffled feathers, with friends, family and former colleagues of the Tory MP slamming the broadcaster for suggesting that he was an alcoholic who was assassinated by his own government rather than the IRA.

Neave's youngest son, William, 60, has spoken out against the drama, saying:

I don't know why Channel 4 would want to make such sensationalist claims when they are just not true. The suggestion that my father was a drinker is particularly upsetting and utterly dishonest. After his heart attack in 1959, he gave up drinking altogether. We may well have to take action over this.

Former Conservative Party chairman Norman Tebbit, who was a friend and colleague of Neave, described the programme as a new low point in British broadcasting. To attack a man like that who is dead and cannot defend himself is despicable, he told the Mail.

A spokesperson for Channel 4 defended the drama:

A conspiracy thriller about a fictional organization called The Network, Utopia occasionally blends real moments in history with fictional storylines, and therefore some events and characters have been adapted for dramatic licence.

It was not our intention to cause offence and Utopia does not suggest that any other real organisation was responsible for the death of Airey Neave. That period in history has been both widely reported and dramatized over the last 35 years and is the subject of many conspiracy theories.



Limp Response...

BBC respond to complaints about a football commentary

Link Here8th July 2014
The BBC responded to a few complaints about a football commentary but were too PC and whimpy to explain what was being complained about:


We received complaints from some viewers unhappy with a comment made during coverage of the Argentina v Switzerland match.


We acknowledge that the remark by commentator Mark Lawrenson about Switzerland's Josip Drmic' was inappropriate and we apologise for any offence caused by it.

In fact Lawrenson came under fire for a comment about Switzerland striker Josip Drmic's weak shot at goal. Lawrenson commented that Drmic should have put a skirt on .

This resulted in triggered 172 complaints to the BBC claiming it was offensive and sexist .



Even the oldies are enjoying Game of Thrones...

Ofcom report on continued public support for the TV watershed and note a significant decline in complaints about sex and violence

Link Here5th July 2014
Ofcom writes:

The watershed is 50 years old this month. In July 1964, Parliament passed the law that led to measures to protect children from seeing harmful or offensive material on TV in the evenings.

Fifty years on, new Ofcom research shows that most adult TV viewers are aware of the 9pm watershed as a valued way of indicating what is suitable for young viewers.

Ofcom's research shows that 98% of adults in the UK watch TV. Among TV viewers, 94% are aware that the watershed requires broadcasters only to show programmes unsuitable for children after a certain time (compared to 91% in 2008).

Today, more TV viewers believe the watershed is at about the right time (78% in 2013 compared to 70% in 2008), Ofcom's report on UK audience attitudes to broadcast media shows.

In the past five years, there have been falls in the number of viewers saying there is too much violence (35% of adult viewers in 2013, down from 55% in 2008), sex (26% in 2013 versus 35% in 2008) and swearing (35% in 2013 versus 53% in 2008) on TV.

One reason for this is a change in attitude among older viewers. The number of viewers over 65 who believe there is too much swearing (78% in 2008 compared to 55% in 2013) and violence (75% in 2008 compared to 52% in 2013) has fallen over the past five years.

Among those adults who had been offended by something on TV in the last 12 months (18% of adult viewers), nearly four times more people are likely to continue watching the programme than in 2008 (5% in 2008 versus 19% in 2013) and less likely to turn off the TV altogether (32% in 2008 compared to 19% in 2013). Protecting viewers in the future

While on-demand TV is estimated to account for only 2.5% of TV viewing, Ofcom recognises this poses new challenges.

Ofcom is working with Government, other regulators and industry to ensure that children remain protected if they choose on-demand TV over traditional broadcast TV, where Ofcom's strict watershed rules apply.

This would mean that consumers have a clear understanding of the protections that apply on different platforms and devices, and know which regulatory body to turn to if they have any concerns.

Of course the moralist campaigners are not impressed by the decline in whinges.

Pippa Smith of Safermedia said the report showed x-rated content has become normalised and viewers are desensitised to it.

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