Another BBC clampdown

Complaint over Boyle's 'Jew' gag

The BBC has promised to take tighter control of Radio 4 comedy Political Animal, following a complaint that a Frankie Boyle gag was anti-semitic.

One listener complained that the programme used the word ‘Jew’ in an offensive way – and the BBC Trust agreed.

Ironically, one of the show’s hosts, stand-up Andy Zaltzman, is Jewish.

The complaint was sparked by a routine Boyle delivered when a guest on the show June last year.

He said: ‘I'm quite interested in the Middle East, I'm actually studying that Israeli Army martial arts – and I know 16 ways to kick a Palestinian woman in the back.

‘It's a difficult situation to understand. I've got an analogy which explains the whole thing quite well: If you imagine that Palestine is a cake. Well, that cake is being punched to pieces by a very angry Jew.’

In its ruling issued today, the Trust, which oversees editorial complaints about the BBC, said: ‘The use of “Jew” in this context was inappropriate.

‘The commissioning editor has made arrangements with the independent production company for more effective editorial supervision of its output in future.’

Political Animal is made by the production arm of Avalon, the management agency that represents both Zaltzman and his Political Animal co-host John Oliver.

In October, some sections of the press criticised Boyle for making a sick joke about the Queen’s age on Mock The Week in the wake of the media outrage about Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand – even though the show was a repeat from several months earlier.

Published: 6 Jan 2009

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