Gimme an F...

Burke rapped over swearing

Kathy Burke has landed ITV in hot water over her four-letter tirade about Gimme Gimme Gimme at the British Comedy Awards.

When accepting the award for best actress at the December ceremony, she railed against the media for ignoring the comedy for so long.

Her outburst, broadcast live on TV, attracted eight complaints to the Broadcasting Standards Commission, which today ruled against the broadcaster legally responsible, Channel TV.

Collecting her award, Burke said: "This is nice, it's about fucking time".

"Gimme Gimme Gimme has won fuck all. Everyone hates it, except for the public. I'd like to say a big thank you to [co-star] James Dreyfus. He got a right slagging from the gay press for doing the show - fuck them.

Guests had been warned about saying anything likely to cause offence - especially after the notorious 1993 incident in which Julian Clary cracked a joke about fisting Norman Lamont.

Producer Michael Hurll said: "It's like going to the motor racing to watch the crashes. People know that outrageous things will happen. When you look at it though, eight complaints out of six million viewers isn't very many."

But despite the fact taht Burke's tirade was broadcast after the watershed, the TV watchdog upheld the complaints.

"The repeated and unrestrained use of the 'F' word by some of the award winners had exceeded acceptable boundaries for broadcast," it rulred.

  • Sky One was rapped for airing an episode of animated comedy Family Guy at 5.30pm, even though it contained references to 'pimps' and 'whores'.
  • And Jonathan Ross was criticised for comments he made on his Radio 2 show despite the BBC's assertion that 'running over elderly or terminally ill people might not be usually considered a suitable subject for humour, [but] regular listeners would know that the presenter had not intended the remarks to be taken seriously. '

Published: 28 May 2003

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