Now it's Burpgate

Hill in another phoney 'offensive comedy' row

Sensitive TV viewers have complained about a Harry Hill sketch in which he compared a Vienetta ice cream to German tanks rolling into Poland.

Twelve of the show’s 6.8million viewers – or about 0.00018 per cent of the audience – apparently contacted watchdogs at Ofcom about the ridiculous sketch.

Some were apparently also upset because Hill displayed a potato snack in the shape of a swastika.

But although ITV said no one had complained to them, the whiff of dissent was enough to make a story in the Daily Star and The Sun today.

Journalists contacted the Board of Deputies of British Jews in a bid to ramp up the controversy, but a spokesman said they received no complaints, adding: ‘It just sounds like a load of silliness.’

Here is the ‘offending’ sketch:

Meanwhile, the press’s increasingly censorious attitude to comedy took a strange turn at the weekend, when the Mail on Sunday found offence when non was taken.

Its TV industry column The Zapper reported with apparent regret that no one complained about recent editions of Radio 4’s The News Quiz and BBC Two's Miranda – when clearly it believed they should.

Of the first, it suggested that host Sandi Toksvig didn’t show due impartiality in calling Tony Blair a ‘war criminal’, but noted: ‘According to the BBC's complaints unit no one has lodged an objection’.

Whereas they also reported that in a recent episode of her over-the-top sitcom Miranda Hart threatened to ‘do something unmentionable’, although it is unclear what that was.

‘There was not a single complaint, despite the Corporation’s promise to crack down on offensive language.’

In the show, Hart is awkward around any mention of sex, which she says is all ‘willies and front bottoms’; while in last week’s episode in frustration at a health club receptionist she threatened to ‘shit all over your towels’ and ‘wee all over your ball pool’.

Published: 30 Nov 2009

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