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UK TV and Radio News

2020: July-Sept

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Updated: All at sea...

Sky Atlantic resumes its experiment to show adult content during the daytime but with PIN protection

Link Here6th October 2020
About a month ago Sky Atlantic started showing adult content during daytime but with PIN protection.

Sky Atlantic channel had broadcast:

  • THE WIRE at Noon, in daily double-bills
  • THE SOPRANOS in daily double-bills at 4:35pm
  • GAME OF THRONES was shown at 7:45pm.
The EPG warned of each show containing strong language/mature content.

But now Sky Atlantic has dropped all of its PIN-coded daytime programming, and has returned back to regular, safe, daytime programming instead. So, away goes THE WIRE, RIVIERA, and THE SOPRANOS, and back comes CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATIONS, BLUE BLOODS and ELEMENTARY - all of which are either cut or rendered family-friendly.

Seems the PIN-coding experiment wasn't worth it for Sky.

Update: Daytime Donovan

17th September 2020. Thanks to Jon

Sky Atlantic are starting their pre-watershed, PIN-encoded daytime showings again, but with one show only, RAY DONOVAN at 9:50am each weekday only.

I have no idea what Sky schedulers are playing at!

If anyone has any idea what Sky is up to, let us know via comments on Facebook ca_facebook_comments.jpg

Update: Resumed

6th October 2020. Thanks to Jon

Sky Atlantic are going back to PIN-coded programming again.

This week it's daily double-bills of TWIN PEAKS (the 2019 Season) at 10am, followed by RIVIERA, THE LEFTOVERS , and EUPHORIA , all showing before 9pm.

Sky Comedy (EPG 113) is also doing one PIN-encoded show at 10am daily, of DIVORCE .



Killing Whitey...

BBC responds to complaints about a joke on Frankie Boyle's New World Order

Link Here26th September 2020
Full story: Frankie Boyle...Whinges about Frankie Boyle and Mock the Week
The BBC received complaints about a joke on Frankie Boyle's New World Order where a black comedian, Sophie Duker, jokingly supported the idea of 'killing whitey'.

In a segment where the panelists discuss if the movement glosses over the complexities of a world where we all need to come together and kill whitey, Boyle played a clip of black author James Baldwin talking about black power in an interview on the Dick Cavett Show in the 1970s.

Responding to the clip, Duker said white power is Trump Tower - a nod to Left-wing allegations that the US President is a racist.

She continued: But when we say we want to kill whitey, we don't really mean we want to kill whitey. Duker then quips to the panelists we do to roars of laughter.

The BBC has now responded on its website to the complaints, as always without explaining what the complaints were about. The BBC wrote:

We received complaints from people who felt comments made during the programme were offensive.

Our response

Frankie Boyle's New World Order was shown after 10pm and its content is within audience expectations for a post-watershed, topical, satirical programme from a comedian whose style and tone are well-established.

Every week on the show Frankie puts forward a number of topics for debate, this episode was no different. The panellists' comments were in response to a motion that was written and presented in line with the programme's tone and style.

Sophie Duker is a talented comedian and a regular panellist on Frankie Boyle's New World Order, and we look forward to continue working with her at the BBC.

Update: Another joke

28th September 2020. See article from

Frankie Boyle defended by BBC after Priti Patel joke sparks a few more complaints.

The comedian joked that the Home Secretary is the one woman in Britain who can orgasm by imagining a slow puncture at sea in reference to the refugee crisis



Buffy on E4...

Comparing old DVD cuts with recent TV showings

Link Here24th September 2020
BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER has recently been airing late at night on E4. A couple of episodes were cut for DVD release and so it is interesting to compare these with what is being shown by E4 in 2020.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 3: Dead Man's Party is an episode of the action horror TV series  by James Whitmore Jr.
Starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, Nicholas Brendon and Alyson Hannigan. BBFC link IMDb

Cut by the BBFC for 12 rated 2000 DVD. Uncut on US and UK TV.

In Dead Man's Party, at around the 35m mark, Giles (played by Anthony Stewart Head) is in his car. He is trapped by marauding zombies and his car keys are outside on the road, dropped after a tussle with one of the zombies. So in order to flee, Giles hotwires his own car. The BBFC cut about 2s to remove the hotwiring moment (when Giles pulls-out the wires from underneath the glove box, and touches them together to start the car's engine).

The DVD removes this, but E4 are showing the uncut original broadcast version. I also believe a head-butt has been removed from the DVD edition, but this also remains in the E4 broadcast edition.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 6: Bargaining: Part 1  is an episode of the action horror TV series  by David Grossman.
Starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, Nicholas Brendon and Emma Caulfield Ford. BBFC link IMDb

Pre-cut prior to be passed 12 without BBFC cuts for 12 rated 2003 DVD. Uncut in the US.  

In Bargaining - Part One, at around the 30m mark, Willow (Alyson Hannigan) is preparing a magic spell in a field, and a fawn walks onto screen. She grabs it, stabs it and bleeds it out. The UK DVD editions were pre-cut by Fox, who presumably felt it better that they cut the scene entirely, rather than have the BBFC potentially risk asking them to remove stuff.

On the DVD you see the fawn being grabbed, and Willow suddenly grabbing and thrusting a dagger that lies to her left (screen-right), but whilst you see the fawn struggle before dying, you don't see the actual mutilation of it. There is then a noticeable audible jump, and we see Willow conclude the spell, with blood all over her hands.

Now with E4, it's a hybrid version that is being broadcast. The scene is uncut, in that there are no audio jumps - as it was originally intended and broadcast, however, once Willow grabs the dagger and thrusts it, the image has been ever-so-slightly reframed, and zoomed-in, so you can see just moments of the fan thrashing about (its head pops into the bottom part of the screen a couple of times), but the not sight of the dagger actually killing it, nor it dying from the wound, and nor then the sight of the dead carcass. Then when the scene changes to Willow with blood on her hands, the framing is back to how it should be.

E4 vs Fox

Whilst these episodes have aired late at night, after 23:00, its interesting that they are leaving some moments uncut, but not others. I wonder if its E4 who have made the hybrid edit from Becoming - Part One or whether Fox has now decided the sight of a beloved character killing and mutilating a baby deer was just inappropriate and too distasteful, and have now -themselves - re-edited the offending killing, to soften what was a very shocking and brutal moment?

Aspect Ratios

The US DVD releases are uncut, and in 4:3. The UK, and Australian DVD releases, and the E4 versions, are all in 16:9 (1.78:1 ratio), as were the original UK BBC2 broadcasts, from back in the day. (BBC2 aired this episode uncut, well after 23:00 hours, if memory serves!)

Whether any new DVD or Blu-Ray releases would now be in 4:3 or 16:9, and feature the original uncut version, the hybrid E4 version, or an even more toned-down edition of this scene, I guess we'll never truly know. (Joss Whedon, the show's creator, wants the show to only be seen in 4:3, across all episodes. Europe and modern-TV channels, want the show in 16:9, so there's been a consistent battle between him, the fans and TV networks, over which version is the correct one, and there are lengthy debates online as to which is best and who is right.)

Also, despite Seasons 1, 2 and 3 all airing in 4:3, and Seasons 4, 5, 6, and 7 in 16:9, which is how BBC2 aired them and which the UK and Australian DVD's replicate the US releases are all in 4:3. E4, however, have broadcast all episodes and all Seasons in 16:9 (and the first two Seasons especially, don't look very well-framed, as people's heads are tightly framed, tops of heads have been cut-off, and everything just looks awkward and zoomed-in).



Half baked complaints...

200 people whinge to Ofcom about a coronavirus joke on The Great British Bake Off

Link Here24th September 2020
The Great British Bake Off has returned for another run, but this time with comedian Matt Lucas.

But it seems that a Matt Lucas joke has prompted a few worthless complaints to TV censor Ofcom.

Ofcom has said that about 200 people complained about a light hearted sketch about Boris Johnson addressing a coronavirus press conference from behind a podium bearing the message: Stay Alert, Protect Cake, Save Loaves.

An spokesperson said: We are assessing these complaints against our broadcasting rules, but are yet to decide whether or not to investigate. This is Ofcom speak for the complaints already being thrown down the garbage disposal plughole.




Another religious broadcaster fined for inciting violence

Link Here21st September 2020
Full story: Ofcom on Religion...ofcom keep religious extremism in check
Ofcom explained its fine for Panjab Radio:

Panjab Radio is a faith and cultural radio station for the UK Asian community, broadcasting in Punjabi.

On 24 August 2018 at 22:00 Panjab Radio broadcast the Shamsher Singh Rai Programme, an occasional show on the station, with around four editions per month. The programme focused on Punjabi poetry and featured live calls from listeners expressing their feelings through poetry.

During this programme, the presenter advocated, justified and supported violent retributive action against those he considered to have shown disrespect towards Sikh places of worship. He did this without challenge or other sufficient contextual justification.

In accordance with Ofcom's Procedures for the consideration of statutory sanctions in breaches of broadcast licences, Ofcom considered whether the Code breaches were serious, deliberate, repeated or reckless so as to warrant the imposition of a sanction on Panjab Radio.

Having considered the representations made to us, Ofcom has decided to impose a financial penalty of £30,000 and to direct the Licensee to broadcast a statement of Ofcom's findings on a date and in a form to be determined by Ofcom.



Strictly virtue signalling...

BBC responds to complaints about same sex dancers on Strictly Come Dancing

Link Here19th September 2020

Strictly Come Dancing
BBC One, September 2020

We've received complaints from some viewers about a same-sex pairing on the programme.

Our response

Strictly Come Dancing is an inclusive show and is proud to have featured same sex dancing amongst the professional dancers in group numbers in previous series.

We have stated, in the past, that we are open to the prospect of including same sex pairings between our celebrities and professional dancers, should the opportunity arise.

Nicola Adams requested an all-female pairing, which we are happy to facilitate. The show is first and foremost about dance, the sex of each partner within a coupling should have no bearing on their routine.



Offsite Article: New World Order: The battle of the snowflakes...

Link Here18th September 2020
Full story: Frankie Boyle...Whinges about Frankie Boyle and Mock the Week
This right-wing outrage culture is not helping the fight against wokeness. By Tom Slate

See article from



Updated: Britain's got no talent for speaking openly about sensitive issues...

24,500 people complain to Ofcom about a Black Lives Matter dance performance on Britain's Got Talent

Link Here 17th September 2020
Full story: UK TV Talent Shows...A talent for whingeing
Britain's Got Talent has been the subject of 10,267 viewer complaints from furious viewers over an act on the show. This is the second highest tally of complaints in the last ten years.

Ashley Banjo led the Diversity dance troupe in a Black Lives Matter routine. The performance, which saw Jordan's brother Ashley lying on the floor with a white police officer kneeling on him , referenced the death of George Floyd in the US. There were also backing dancers performing dressed in riot gear and the group took the knee during the performance.

Ashley reported that he had received a barrage of abuse over the performance. He tweeted:

So much to say... But I'll Just let the performance talk. Thousands of messages of Love and support - Thank you. For the thousands of messages of hate and ignorance - Thank you. You highlight exactly what needs to change. Sending nothing but love to you all. 

The Sun seemed a little reluctant to describe what the complaints were about but summarised that they were insisting that a political statement had no place on the talent show.

Update: More complaints

16th September 2020. See article from

TV censor Ofcom has confirmed the number of complaints for Britain's Got Talent have continue to rise over the weekend and now stand at 23,308.

 An ITV spokesman responded to the complaints:

Britain's Got Talent has always been an inclusive show, which showcases diversity and supports strong storytelling in all forms and ITV stands behind the decision to broadcast Diversity's performance on BGT.

Ashley and the group are a great example of the talent, creativity and diversity of modern Britain and their performance was an authentic, heartfelt response to many of the issues and events which have affected society in 2020.

Update: Ofcom dismisses the complaints

17th September 2020. See report [pdf] from

Ofcom received approximately 24,500 complaints about this performance on Britain's Got Talent.

We also received a number of messages of support and praise for the performance. In summary, the complaints about the performance raised a range of concerns, including that it:

  • was unsuitable for a family audience due to themes of violence and racism;
  • encouraged societal division and was racist towards White people;
  • negatively portrayed White police officers, including in a depiction of the death of George Floyd, and encouraged violence against the police; and,
  • expressed support for the political organisation Black Lives Matter.
Ofcom has assessed this programme against the relevant rules in the Broadcasting Code. Our assessment is that this programme did not raise any issues which warranted investigation. In our view, Diversity's performance was an artistic expression of topical social issues and did not contain any content which was racist, unsuitably violent or otherwise inappropriate in the context of this programme.

Given the significant publicity surrounding this case and the high volume of complaints received, we have decided to publish our reasons for this assessment.



Extract: Stop deleting our comedy shows -- what we watch shouldn't be heavily restricted...

TV is now a battleground for society's culture wars. The new director of the BBC might axe left-wing comedy, but humour exposes what defines, unites and divides us

Link Here8th September 2020

Only a few months ago, in the wake of the murder of George Floyd, producers at major channels and streaming services quickly made moves to clear their catalogues of anything that could be perceived as racist. In this rush, the most iconic episode of Fawlty Towers was removed. It later reappeared with a warning at the start.

At Index on Censorship, as part of a report in the upcoming autumn issue, we did a tally of just how many shows had been taken off air. The result? Dozens. And some of the biggest as well. On the BBC, Little Britain was taken down in its entirety. The same fate befell Bo' Selecta! from All4. Other has-beens include episodes from 30 Rock and Scrubs .

...Read the full article from



The British Wokecasting Corporation...

BBC adjudication about the anti-government rant by Emily Maitlis on Newsnight

Link Here6th September 2020
The BBC has published it consideration of complaints about an anti-government rant by Emily Maitlis on Newsnight. The BBC writes:

Newsnight, BBC Two, 26 May 2020 03 September 2020


A number of viewers complained that the opening section of the programme showed bias against the Government, and/or its Chief Advisor Dominic Cummings and that the programme was inaccurate to state that Mr Cummings had broken the rules on lockdown. The ECU considered the complaint in the light of the BBC's editorial standards of impartiality and accuracy.


This edition of Newsnight was broadcast at the height of the controversy over a journey taken by Mr Cummings with his family to Durham, and a subsequent trip to the nearby town of Barnard Castle. It sought to examine in detail the available evidence and assess the political fall-out from the decision by the Prime Minister to defend his Chief Advisor. The opening remarks, by the presenter Emily Maitlis, set the scene.

At the beginning of the programme:

Tonight, the public can see that Dominic Cummings broke the rules, so why is the Government tying itself in knots to defend him?

Dominic Cummings broke the rules. The country can see that and it's shocked the Government cannot. The longer ministers and the PM tell us he worked within them, the more angry the response to the scandal is likely to be. He was the man, you may remember, who always got the public mood who tagged the lazy label of elite on those who disagreed. He should understand that public mood now; one of fury, contempt and anguish. He made those who struggle to keep to the rules feel like fools and has allowed many more to assume that they can flout them. The Prime Minister knows all this, but despite the resignation of one minister, growing unease from his backbenchers, and dramatic early warning from the polls and a deep national disquiet, Boris Johnson has chosen to ignore it. Tonight we consider what this blind loyalty tells us about the workings of Number 10. We do not expect to be joined by a Government minister but that won't stop us asking the questions.

Section 4 of the Editorial Guidelines demand due, rather than absolute impartiality, defined as adequate and appropriate to the output, taking account of the subject and nature of the content . Presenters may not give their opinion on controversial subjects but are allowed to offer their professional judgements, provided they are rooted in evidence. It is against this guideline that the complaints have been assessed.

Some complainants have also argued that it was inaccurate to state Mr Cummings had broken the rules. To the extent that Ms Maitlis offered this as a statement of fact it would potentially engage Section 3 of the guidelines on accuracy. However in the ECU's view, given the question of accuracy is in this case inextricably intertwined with that of impartiality, the latter is the pre-eminent test against which this broadcast must be judged.

In the ECU's view there was clear evidence at the time to support the assertion that many, though not all, voters felt anger at Mr Cummings' behaviour. The story had run prominently in the media for several days, and a petition calling on him to resign had gathered a large number of signatures - reaching one million shortly after the Newsnight broadcast. A number of Conservative MPs had also expressed disquiet, and the unhappy mood on the backbenchers was reflected in a later contribution from the programme's Political Editor Nick Watt. To that extent Emily Maitlis's opening remarks in relation to the public and political mood of the country were rooted in evidence and a legitimate professional, rather than personal, opinion. The ECU also took into account the fact that a programme like Newsnight is designed to provoke debate and discussion. Viewers expect presenters to ask difficult and challenging questions on their behalf and there is more latitude to play devil's advocate under such circumstances than in a conventional news bulletin.

BBC News say that the remarks were intended to explain the questions Newsnight planned to raise about Mr Cummings' trips. In the ECU's view however they went beyond an attempt to set out the programme agenda. The definitive and at times critical nature of the language -- asserting without qualification that Mr Cummings broke the rules, that the country could see that , and that the Prime Minister was guilty of blind loyalty in refusing to sack him, placed the presenter closer to one side of the debate over his behaviour. At the time of broadcast a statement from Durham Police had yet to be published and arguments over Mr Cummings' behaviour were largely based on varying interpretation of rules which lacked an agreed arbiter, and concerned laws yet to be tested in the Courts. In the ECU's view the opening remarks did not sufficiently acknowledge such uncertainties.

BBC News has conceded that the introduction did not meet the required standards on accuracy or impartiality. In earlier responses it accepted that more should have been done to explain the purpose of the piece, and that the script risked giving the perception that the BBC was taking sides and voicing an opinion on a controversial matter. Whilst some complainants believe BBC News should have gone further, in the ECU's view this is sufficient to judge the editorial matter resolved. This means that although a breach of standards has been identified, no further action is required.

Some complainants also expressed concern at the managerial response to the breach of standards. However the ECU's remit does not extend to judging whether disciplinary action against individual members of staff is warranted or what it should consist of, as that is a matter for BBC News and not the complaints process.

Complaint resolved



Upstanding TV...

Claims of a first for the programme Me and My Penis which features several erections

Link Here31st August 2020
Erect penises appeared on broadcast television on Monday reportedly for the first time in a new taboo-shattering Channel 4 documentary. Me & My Penis , which aired at 10pm, showed footage of eight erections as men pose for naked photographs while discussing male issues.

The erections are shown in an entirely artistic photographic context, and Channel 4 feels that filming them doesn't break any rules.

The subjects filmed for the documentary are photographed by London-based British artist and fine art photographer Ajamu, whose radical portraits of the male body have pushed boundaries and provoked cultural debate.

While he shoots their intimate photographs, the men discuss their varied experiences -- from the pleasures of sex to stories of infertility and sexual abuse, post-traumatic stress disorder, homophobia and mental health. The programme, which airs at 10pm, will show footage of eight erections as men pose for naked photographs while discussing male issues.

Broadcasting watchdog Ofcom has previously said there is no ban on showing erections on TV, but it would have to be justified by the context.



Identitarian sexuality...

BBC commissions a new series documenting human sexuality from a gender/identity bent

Link Here27th August 2020

BBC Three has commissioned a major new documentary series exploring human sexuality, hosted by Cara Delevingne.

The series has been jointly commissioned by Hulu and BBC Three and is currently in production by Naked, a Fremantle company.

Planet Sex is an epic six-part documentary series in which actress, activist, model, author and LGBT advocate Cara Delevingne explores the biggest questions in human sexuality. Why are some of us straight and some of us not? Is there even such a thing as straight? Are gender and sexuality independent or intertwined? Why do our sexual tastes vary from person to person and culture to culture? The series will explore and address key questions related to our gender, our sexual orientation, our relationships, the popularity of porn, and more.

In this deeply personal, but also universally relevant series, Delevingne plans to put her mind and body on the line, opening herself up to experiments and demonstrations in the world's leading sex research labs, visiting communities who experience gender and sexuality very differently, and voyaging into people's hearts and homes to share their unique stories.



Countdown to offence...

Jamaican officials complain about a clip for an upcoming Countdown skit on the BBC comedy programme Famalam

Link Here24th August 2020
A Jamaican minister is set to make a formal complaint over a BBC Three sketch from the show Famalam , which she has described as outrageous and offensive. Kamina Johnson Smith, Jamaica's minister of foreign affairs and foreign trade, tweeted:

This is outrageous and offensive to the incredible country which I am proud to represent along with every Jamaican at home and within our diaspora... I will immediately be writing formally on this! #StopThisShow

Ramocan told HuffPost UK:

It is unbelievable that the, BBC an institution with an international reputation for trustworthy broadcasting, could find itself in the gutter of promoting such harmful and destructive pornographic material that can only serve to damage the morals and values we seek to encourage in our young people.

This broadcast which serves to tarnish and insult the image of Brand Jamaica must be immediately pulled from the BBC programme. I call on all well-thinking listeners and viewers to join us in this call.

Nathaniel Peat, Global Jamaica Diaspora Council lead for the south UK and chairman of Jamaicans Inspired said:

The program is over sexualised, regressive, discriminatory, derogatory and has stereotypical racist tropes especially at a time when Black Lives matter has highlighted the need for a more balanced and better portrayal of black people in the media.

It is deeply upsetting that the national broadcaster has chosen to promote this highly explicit content on a public forum such as twitter that has exposure to youth as young as 14, what type of image does this set in their minds when there already is a lack of positive black role models that are seen in the British media.

The clip has also been slammed by high commissioner of Jamaica to the United Kingdom Seth George Ramocan, who claimed it serves to tarnish and insult the image of Brand Jamaica.

A preview of the segment titled Jamaican Countdown , a parody of the long-running game show Countdown , includes jokey language used towards the female character selecting numbers and letters. Part of the sketch also shows the silhouette of a man, referencing the stereotype of black men having large penises.

The programme is made with a cast of black British actors, and presumably the programme makers too.

The BBC posted the following response on its website:

Famalam is a well-established, award-nominated BBC Three sketch comedy show that is now in its third series. It stars some of the UK's best comedy talent and explores aspects of contemporary life from a black perspective.

Like many sketch comedy shows Famalam finds humour in a wide range of scenarios and regular viewers who are familiar with the tone of the show will know that it has a reputation for challenging stereotypes and confronting social issues. We can assure you that the intention of this sketch isn't to diminish Jamaican people or Jamaican culture, and nor is there any intention to cause offence.



Commented: Miserable UK film and TV directors call for an end to sex scenes...

Trade association reminisces about the Hays Code.

Link Here 24th August 2020
Full story: Coronavirus...Internet censorship and surveillance
Directors UK, the trade association for screen directors in Britain, suggested some miserable alternatives to avoid sex scenes with physical interaction while social distancing is required, in an update to its Directing Nudity and Simulated Sex guidelines.

The guidelines suggest that characters could be shown fixing their own clothes/re-dressing after the event or limbs could be depicted moving under bedclothes, while another option is to show the closing of a bedroom door and leave the action to the viewer's imagination.

Directors are encouraged to find inspiration by revisiting classic films such as It Happened One Night or Casablanca , which were made under the Hays Code that was introduced in the 1930s and prohibited the depiction of sex on screen in Hollywood.

Bill Anderson, who has directed episodes of Doctor Who and was part of the team who has worked on the guidelines. He said that directors and writers would have to come up with different ways to show intimacy, and he encouraged programme makers to question whether a sex scene is absolutely necessary.

For productions that require sex scenes, alternative ideas from the guidelines include motion capture and digital performances, green screen or animation to composite the required encounter and another suggested option is casting real life couples who won't need to socially distance.


Update: No Sex Please, We're British Filmmakers

We've said it before, and we'll probably say it again, but there is little doubt that moralisers and neo-puritans are rubbing their hands together at the possibilities that Covid-19 has presented them.

24th August 2020. See article from



Opinions that are anything but universal...

Complaints about the removal of gay relationships from TV showings of the children's cartoon Steven Universe

Link Here23rd August 2020
The children's cartoon series Steven Universe has sparked controversy in the UK. The Cartoon Network affiliate censored a scene from a chapter of the series in which a dance with romantic overtones was seen between the characters of Pearl and Rose Quartz, two women.

The LGTB news website PinkNews denounced the tweak in the broadcast of the ninth episode of the second season of the series, which has had numerous fans among children and adults since its premiere in 2013.

The difference between the original chapter and the version issued in the United Kingdom has gone viral on social networks, where fans of the series have shared videos comparing the two sequences: There is an online petition calling for the end to the censorship of gay relationships in children's TV shows.

Cartoon Network UK has issued a statement in which they attribute the change to the age rating system:

We have to make sure that everything that is broadcast is appropriate for children of any age, regardless of their time slot. We think the lightly edited version is more comfortable for both children and their parents.



Daytime TV grows up...

Sky Atlantic and Sky Comedy start showing adult content during the daytime but with PIN protection

Link Here19th August 2020
Back in November 2018 Ofcom issued a statement changing the watershed rules for mainstream TV channels from January 2019.

At the time the existing rules allowed 15-rated films to be broadcast during the daytime on subscription film channels and up to 18-rated films on pay per view film channels, provided a mandatory PIN is in place.

The 2019 rule change extended this flexibility to all mainstream channels, at least those that had a system allowing for mandatory PIN protection.

And until recently, no TV channels took advantage of this new flexibility. Now it seems that Sky is taking the plunge on its Sky Atlantic channel:

  • THE WIRE is showing at Noon, in daily double-bills
  • THE SOPRANOS is showing in daily double-bills at 4:35pm
  • GAME OF THRONES is showing at 7:45pm.
The EPG warns of each show containing strong language/mature content.

Thanks to Jon who confirmed that the shows were completely uncensored, including the use of racially offensive language and all the f-words (and all the variations of it). He noted that indeed the shows have PIN protection for both the broadcast and the recording of it.

Sky Comedy (EPG 113) is also doing the same thing, showing adult shows during daytime hours, but PIN coded to stop underage viewers seeing the shows. VEEP, CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM, and SEX AND THE CITY, are being broadcast at 9am, 10:10am and 11:20am respectively.



Updated: You can't say that!...

BBC News responds to complaints about the factual use of the word 'nigger' whilst reporting what was said during a crime

Link Here9th August 2020
The BBC has issued a statement after a news reporter used the word 'nigger' when relaying how the word word used in a racially motivated crime.

Social Affairs correspondent Fiona Lamdin was fronting a segment about a black NHS worker who was hit by a car in a suspected racially aggravated assault, when she said the word whilst recalling racist language shouted at the victim by the attackers.

Viewers of the BBC report took to Twitter to criticise the reporter's use of the word, with one user writing : A white reporter just said the N word on BBC I hearing this correctly? Another wrote about how they were absolutely flabbergasted at the news reporter's choice of language, adding: Have they apologised for this disgusting behaviour?

The BBC is also receiving complaints about the broadcast. Ofcom reported that it had received 280 complaints about the issue.

In a statement about the broadcast, the BBC wrote on its website:

Clearly we would never want our reporting to become the focus of such an important story. We have listened to what people have had to say about the use of the word and we accept that this has caused offence but we would like people to understand why we took the decision we did.

This story was an important piece of journalism about a shocking incident. It was originally reported by some as a hit and run, but investigations indicated that racist language was used at the scene and it was then treated by the police as a racially aggravated attack.

The victim's family were anxious the incident should be seen and understood by the wider public. It's for this reason they asked us specifically to show the photos of this man's injuries and were also determined that we should report the racist language, in full, alleged to have been spoken by the occupants of the car.

Notwithstanding the family's wishes, we independently considered whether the use of the word was editorially justified given the context. The word is used on air rarely, and in this case, as with all cases, the decision to use it in full was made by a team of people including a number of senior editorial figures.

You are, of course, right that the word is highly offensive and we completely accept and understand why people have been upset by its use. The decision to use the word was not taken lightly and without considerable detailed thought: we were aware that it would cause offence. But, in this specific context we felt the need to explain, and report, not just the injuries but, given their alleged extreme nature, the words alleged to have been used - a position which, as we have said, was supported by the family and the victim.

These are difficult judgements but the context is very important in this particular case.

We believe we gave adequate warnings that upsetting images and language would be used and we will continue to pursue this story.

Update: 18,600 complaints

6th August 2020. See article from

The BBC has received more than 18,600 complaints about the factual use of the word 'nigger' in a TV news report.

Broadcast regulator Ofcom said it received 384 complaints about the same report.

In its fortnightly bulletin, the BBC said it had received 18,656 complaints about the incident by Sunday 2 August. That makes it the second-most complained about incident since the BBC began using its current system in 2017. Only Newsnight's biased opening monologue about Dominic Cummings in May received more, with 23,674.

Update: The left eats itself and so the BBC has to offer grovelling apology

9th August 2020. See article from

BBC director general Tony Hall has apologised and said a mistake was made after a news report containing a factual use of the word 'nigger' was broadcast last month.

The BBC initially defended the use of the slur after more than 18,600 complaints were made.

Hall said he now accepts the BBC should have taken a different approach. In an email, sent to all BBC staff, Hall said:

I recognise that we have ended up creating distress amongst many people.

In his message, Hall emphasised it was the BBC's intention was to highlight an alleged racist attack. He said:

This is important journalism which the BBC should be reporting on and we will continue to do so. Yet despite these good intentions, I recognise that we have ended up creating distress amongst many people.

The BBC now accepts that we should have taken a different approach at the time of broadcast and we are very sorry for that. We will now be strengthening our guidance on offensive language across our output.

Every organisation should be able to acknowledge when it has made a mistake. We made one here.

Update: 508 complaints

23rd August 2020. See report [pdf] from

The BBC later noted that it had actually received 508 complaints.

Update: 18000 complaints

15th October 2020

In a formal complaints bulletin the BBC noted that it received 18656 complaints about the programme.

Update: Ofcom has its say

22nd March 2021. See report [pdf] from

We consider that the use, in full, of highly racially offensive language during three pre-recorded news reports was unjustified in this context. However, given the action already taken by the BBC, we concluded that the programme did not raise any further issues warranting investigation by Ofcom.




Channel 4 looks into the world of swinging

Link Here9th August 2020
Channel 4 is trailing Swingers , a frank and enlightening observational-documentary looks to lift the lid on the swinging scene.

Filmed before the outbreak of Covid-19, Swingers explores the world of the everyday people who choose to do something different in their free time.

Meeting committed couples who claim swinging is the cherry on top of their already great relationship and single men and women who believe swinging is a safe and respectful way to satisfy their sexual desires without commitment; the single women being known as unicorns for their rarity on the circuit.

  The one off documentary will air later this year in an hour-long slot on Channel 4.



The Next Step...

BBC receives complaints about a same sex kiss in a children's TV show

Link Here3rd August 2020

The BBC has defended itself following complaints about airing a teenage same-sex kiss in a CBBC show.

About 100 viewers objected to a scene in which two girls share a kiss following a dance. It was shown in an episode of Canadian kids' TV show The Next Step which was broadcast in July.

The BBC confirmed online that complaints had been received about the storyline. The BBC explained that the kiss was part of its morality campaign to 'educate' kids in its progressive values. The BBC said:

This is an important part of our mission to make sure that every child feels like they belong, that they are safe, and that they can be who they want to be,

We believe that the storyline, and the kiss, was handled with sensitivity and without sensationalism, following as it did the portrayal of Jude and Cleo's developing relationship. And I'm afraid we do not agree that it was inappropriate for the audience age.

CBBC regularly portrays heterosexual young people dating, falling in love, and kissing. And it is an important way of showing children what respectful, kind and loving relationships look like.

Same-sex relationships have already featured in other CBBC shows such as Jamie Johnson, 4 O Clock Club, Dixie and Marrying Mum and Dad, and the first same-sex kiss on CBBC was in fact in Byker Grove, many years ago.



Offsite Article: Pressure grows on Ofcom to ban Chinese propaganda channel CGTN...

Link Here 27th July 2020
Surely a decision that could possibly be part of a chain of events leading to World War 3 should be taken by government ministers and diplomats, not a TV censor

See article from



More censorship...

ITV, Channel 4 and Sky bosses call for more censorship of news and advertsing on social media platforms

Link Here8th July 2020
Journalism is taking a massive revenue hit in the face of nominally free news circulated via social media. And traditional mainstream broadcasters are a little aggrieved that they are held to higher standards, and a more expensive, regulatory envirnoment, compared to their internet competitors.

Now three of Britain's largest broadcasters are calling on ministers to introduce new laws to even up the playing fields by requiring more regulation and censorship for social media news dsitribution. Of course the broadcasters site that old chestnut of supposed  'fake news' to justify the increased regulation.

In a joint letter published on The Times website, the heads of ITV, Channel 4 and Sky say that statutory regulation of online advertising is necessary, and urgent, given the scale of harm supposedly currently being caused to consumers.

Dame Carolyn McCall of ITV, Stephen van Rooyen, Sky's chief executive for the UK & Europe and Alex Mahon at Channel 4, home of the appalingly biased progressive propaganda bulletin called Channel 4 News, say that laws should be enacted urgently to hold online platforms and online advertisers to the same high standards as television channels. The broadcasters called for these new laws to be backed up with large fines that meaningfully incentivize major online platforms to comply with the rules.

The group were perhaps on firmer ground in noting that the internet companies had effectively stitched up the online advertising market. But again the broadcasters tried to justify calls to challenge the is advertsing status quo by citing misinformation as if the silly stories about 5G and coronavirus were bringing civilsation to its knees. The trio suggested that Facebook and Google's dominance in the digital advertising market is the cause of the "epidemic of disinformation" and wrote that "statutory regulation of online advertising is necessary, and urgent, given the scale of harm currently being caused to consumers."

They also argued that Google and Facebook should "bear the responsibility for the advertising they carry and liability for harmful or misleading ads" as broadcasters and claimed that their advertising models "reward and amplify many of the very types of content that the government wants to see tackled."



So how will notorious censors respond to being censored themselves?...

Ofcom censures Chinese propaganda channel for parading a Briton making a forced confession

Link Here 6th July 2020

China 24, News Hour
CCTV News, 27 August 2013, 12:00 and 14 July 2014, 21:002

CCTV News broadcast China 24, a news programme which reported on the arrest of Peter Humphrey and included footage of him appearing to confess to a criminal offence. It then broadcast a follow up report during News Hour, which reported on Mr Humphrey's subsequent conviction and included footage of him apologising for having committed the offence. He was named in both programmes, although his face was blurred.

Ofcom found that:

  • The programmes included footage of Mr Humphrey which had the potential materially and adversely to affect viewers’ perception of him. The Licensee did not take sufficient steps to ensure that material facts had not been presented, omitted or disregarded in a way that was unfair to Mr Humphrey.

  • The Licensee had not provided Mr Humphrey with an appropriate and timely opportunity to respond to the allegations of wrongdoing being made about him in the programmes as broadcast.

  • Mr Humphrey had a legitimate expectation of privacy in relation to the filming and subsequent broadcast of the footage of him without his consent. In the circumstances, Mr Humphrey’s legitimate expectation of privacy was not outweighed by the broadcaster’s right to freedom of expression and the audience’s right to receive information and ideas without interference. The Licensee had therefore unwarrantably infringed Mr Humphrey’s privacy in respect of the obtaining of the material included in the programmes and in the programmes as broadcast.

Ofcom also considers that the breach of Rules 7.1 and 8.1 of the Code is serious. We are therefore putting the Licensee on notice that we intend to consider the breach for the imposition of a statutory sanction.



Commented: Sky Recommends...

Sky adds PC disclaimer to 16 movies in its Sky Movies line up

Link Here3rd July 2020

The statellite and cable subscription service, Sky Cinema, has issued a political correctness disclaimer to its subscribers that some of its content contains outdated attitudes, languages and cultural depictions which may cause offence today. Sixteen films have the warning:

  • Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961). The only non-white character in the film Mr Yunioshi is played by white actor Mickey Rooney. Pretending to be a Japanese man, he wears fake teeth and puts on a Japanese accent.
  • The Jungle Book (1967 and 2016 live-action remake). There have been suggestions the character of orangutang King Louie, which did not feature in Rudyard Kipling's original novel, implied inequality between African Americans and Caucasians. It has also been claimed the character's portrayal is based on what white people thought about black people at the time, such as his poorer linguistic skills and him wanting to be like the other men.
  • Aladdin (1992). Critics have expressed concerns over the story's use of Orientalist stereotypes, while casting decisions also came under scrutiny, with Aladdin, Princess Jasmine and the genie played by white actors in the animation.
  • The Goonies (1985). The portrayal of Clever Data, a gadget freak who helps the boys in situations, speaks in a stereotypically Asian accent.
  • Dumbo (1941). Dumbo has been accused of containing racist stereotypes of African Americans at the time in the form of black crows, who use jive-like speech patterns. The main bird is even named Jim Crow, a nod to the racist segregationist Jim Crow laws of the time, and is voiced by a white actor.
  • Aliens (1986). The film has been accused of hi-tech racism and android apartheid due to the way in which humans in the film deal with the presence of other. It has been suggested the character of Ripley, played by Sigourney Weaver, treated them with fear and suspicion.
  • Trading Places (1983). The film was littered with controversies, including Dan Akroyd wearing blackface, continuous stereotyping of black people and women and frequent use of the n-word throughout the movie.
  • Flash Gordon (1980). The film's antagonist, Ming the Merciless, played by Max von Sydow, is viewed as a classic example of Yellow Peril xenophobia.
  • Gone With The Wind (1939). Gone With The Wind has been criticised for romanticising slavery and glosses over the horrors of slavery. The film also features the word 'nigger' throughout, which was used in the book.
  • Lawrence of Arabia (1962). Some criticised the film for feeding on racial stereotypes and on Western beliefs that Arabs needed foreigners to guide them.
  • Tropic Thunder (2008). Robert Downey Jr appeared in blackface for the comedy blockbuster, while many considered use of the word retard, uttered 17 times in the film to denote a person with learning difficulties, as unacceptable.
  • The Jazz Singer (1927). The musical drama was criticised for Al Jolson's use of blackface, though many have since pointed to the fact the actor was a civil rights advocate, often backing projects by black artists, including playwright Garland Anderson.
  • The Littlest Rebel (1935). Perhaps Shirley Temple's most controversial movie, The Littlest Rebel, in which she appears in blackface, is also accused of glorifying Confederate ideals, with black slaves appearing unhappy to be set free.
  • The Lone Ranger (2013). Questions were raised over Johnny Depp's portrayal of Tonto, a Native American, as it sparked a debate over whether actors should play a race other than their own. The actor himself said he considered the role an attempt to try to right the wrongs of the past, meaning poor portrayals of Natives in Hollywood.
  • Balls of Fury (2007). The ping-pong based comedy starring Christopher Walken was criticised for caricaturing Asian characters and carrying racist jokes and a running gag making fun of blind people.
  • T he Last Samurai (2003). Tom Cruise's role as a captain hired to train the Japanese army to fight a Samurai rebellion is considered problematic by some for the sense of American superiority portrayed in the film.
Sky say that they are reviewing a number of their titles across their platform and are adding any warnings where they think it necessary to flag issues of cultural sensitivities and attitudes which may cause offence as part of its broader commitment to tackle racial injustice.


Update: Can art survive woke culture?

3rd July 2020. See article from by Nick Dixon

Sky's bizarre film warnings show we no longer trust people to make or consume culture unattended.

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