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Swearing and sound complaints prompts Ofcom to consider Comic Relief probe

The Comic Relief telethon broadcast last weekend has received very a mixed reception as far as the viewing public and critics are concerned, generally it was considered to be very much below the standard of previous shows.

One of the major concerns expressed by viewers was the performance of Vic Reeves along with Russel Brand, a person who seems to court controversy as routine. Ofcom is looking into complaints and criticism on social media for pre-watershed profanity and sound problems.

The comedians appearing on television today appear to have great difficulty in entertaining and making an audience laugh unless they resort to swearing that would not be heard in any normal household, except perhaps when the thumb, instead of the 50mm nail, had been hit with a hammer! No longer do they seem able to replicate the comedy greats of just a few short years ago, Morecambe and Wise, the Two Ronnie’s for example.

A spokesman for Ofcom said that that most of the complaints it received related to content rather than technical issues, these profanities came before the “watershed” which is a time when it is believed that most young people will be in bed.

The complainants were particularly incensed at the sketch involving Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer in character as The Stotts, in which Susanna Reid was joking being interviewed by the two when Reeves, who was wearing a kilt, flashed a fake penis between his legs.  Viewers also complained about the use of swearwords before the watershed during a Mrs Brown’s Boys skit with former JLS star Aston Merrygold.

At one stage in the show and still before the watershed, a technical hitch occurred and Russel Brand, who was hosting the show, exclaimed f***ing hell” live on air. Now this is the same person who with his “sidekick” Jonathan Ross thought it was the hilarious on a BBC Radio2 show for the two of them to leave lewd answerphone messages for actor Andrew Sachs, in which Brand boasted of having had sex with Sachs’ granddaughter Georgina Baillie.

Andrew Sachs was one of the nation’s favourite in his portrayal as waiter Manuel in Fawlty Towers and the complaints to the BBC came in by the sacks load. There was another great show of course which did not in any way rely on profanity to get laughs.

The highlight of the show according to many was the Love Actually sequel, starring Hugh Grant, Keira Knightley and Colin Firth, but for many like one viewer who is reported to have said “The worst Red Nose Day I’ve ever watched. Not one funny sketch and two different ‘comedians’ swearing before watershed. Disgusting.”

That seems to sum up the feelings of the majority who watched the show, great shame as the proceeds from the telethon help a huge number of underprivileged children across the globe.



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