Frankly out of line

Skinner rapped for mocking disabled

Frank Skinner has been censured for mocking disabled people on TV.

He aped physical disabilities - walking with a limp and using 'silly behaviour' - as he and David Baddiel discussed how to fend off muggers.

But angry viewers complained to watchdogs at the Broadcasting Standards Commission, which yesterday upheld the complaints against Baddiel and Skinner Unplanned.

Their report said that Skinner appeared to be "echoing physical disabilities" on the unscripted late-night show.

ITV claimed that Skinner was illustrating the point that people are often wary of anyone who appears different and said he was "a comedian who did not use cruelty
as a source of humour".

The broadcaster acknowledged: "Clearly to some, the illustration of this appeared to refer to a variety of physical disabilities, and for this we apologise."

The commission also upheld complaints against Have I Got News For You after Paul Merton linked Weakest Link host Anne Robinson's trademark wink with the effects of a stroke.

Complaints about the use of the word 'wanker' on Radio 4's News Quiz and in Jonathan Ross's Radio 2 show were also upheld.

Published: 29 Apr 2003

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