Turtlely inappropriate...

Harry Hill rapped over clips

Harry Hill’s TV Burp has been condemned by TV regulators for showing footage of survivalist Bear Grylls biting the head off a live frog.

Ofcom added that the programme was also wrong to show footage of a turtle apparently being roasted alive in its shell on an open fire.

Although the scenes had been previously broadcast on ex-SAS man Grylls’ own pre-watershed Channel 4 show, Born Survivor, the watchdog ruled that they were unsuitable for Hill’s younger audience.

A total of 44 viewers complained to Ofcom about the footage, broadcast on ITV1 after 6pm on Saturday March 24. They were worried about the animals’ welfare, said their children had been upset by the scenes, and questioned whether it was right for Hill to make jokes about the topic.

The broadcaster argued that the clips were suitable for the time of transmission, containing nothing more potentially upsetting than Baywatch, You’ve Been Framed and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, which all went out at a similar time.

It also pointed out that the turtle was not cooked alive, as Born Survivor had originally shown the animal being killed.

Ofcom rejected both arguments and said that ‘by editing the clips so that viewers were not aware that the turtle had been killed before being cooked, the offence caused was compounded’.

It ruled: ‘Given the longstanding popularity of Harry Hill’s TV Burp with families and young viewers, and taking into account the potentially high number of children available to view the programme at this time, Ofcom found that the clips were inappropriately scheduled.’

Published: 30 Jul 2007

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