Oi Enfield, No!

Comic's Churchill ad banned

A TV advert featuring Harry Enfield goading Winston Churchill as a ‘porky prime minister’ has been banned.

The commercial for broadband provider Madasafish sees the comic revives his role as loud-mouthed Frank Doberman, with his catchphrase ‘Oi Churchill, no!’

But watchdogs who vet ads before broadcast have decided the politician is too much of a national hero to be ridiculed.

In the advert, Enfield yells at a Churchill lookalike: : “Oi, Churchill. Well done for winning World War Two. Nice one.

“But if you was downloading saucy pics of Monty up at El Alamein using a dial-up connection, I should say, ‘Oi, Churchill, no!’ You should be Madasafish Broadband, you porky prime minister!”

But the Broadcasting Advertising Clearance Centre (BACC) ruled that the 30-second film was ‘likely to cause offence’ and said it could not be shown on TV.

Other adverts featuring Captain Cook and Albert Einstein have been allowed, but another which told viewers of the ban and directed them to the website to watch it was also aced

Enfield said the ban was “nanny-state rubbish”. “The premise of the advert is so ridiculous I really do not see how it can be offensive.

“I think people who are offended by it would either have to be without a sense of humour or a little bit bonkers.

"We are not talking about Jerry Springer - the Opera here.”

The company says: “Frank quietly explains to Winston that he ought to consider switching from his dial-up connection to Madasafish broadband. How can that cause offence?”

But Churchill’s grandson, the former Tory MP also called Winston, told The Sunday Times:  "It is a pretty pathetic level of comedy."

Ron Coomber, the head of the clearance centre, last night defended the decision to ban the advertisement. He said: "Churchill is a national hero and I do not think people want to see him lectured in this fashion. The nation expects better treatment of its national heroes and is not ready for a campaign like this."

>> Click here to watch the ad

Published: 16 Jan 2005

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