C4 repeats Frankie's Harvey gag

...as Ofcom investigates

Channel 4 has stood by Frankie Boyle, by repeating Tramadol Nights without cutting his contentious joke about Katie Price's disabled son Harvey.

The second screening comes after the model’s lawyers lodged a formal complaint with TV watchdogs Ofcom, after the broadcaster declined to apologise for the gag.

The regulator will now launch an investigation into whether the joke breached the broadcasting code on harmful and offensive material after receiving about 50 complaints.

In the letter to Ofcom, Price's lawyers Archerfield Partners drew comparisons with Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand's comments about Andrew Sachs's granddaughter that caused such ructions.

They wrote: ‘The central offence in that broadcast was that Mr Brand had “fucked” Andrew Sach's granddaughter. Clearly, Mr Boyle goes far beyond that – as Brand and Ross managed to avoid referencing disability, rape, incest and paedophilia."

The law firm added that the gag ‘singles out a vulnerable individual… who is recognizable, meaning these comments expose him to ridicule and humiliation’.

The episode, which first aired on Tuesday, was repeated at 11.05pm last night as scheduled and without cuts.

Earlier in the evening, Price thanked fans for backing her. On Twitter, she wrote: ‘Very humbled by level of support over Harvey. Thank you. Discrimination in any form is awful.’

Boyle’s joke was: ‘I have a theory about the reason Jordan married a cage fighter - she needed a man strong enough to stop Harvey from fucking her.’

Harvey, Price’s eight-year-old son with ex- footballer Dwight Yorke, has a condition known as septo-optic dysplasia, which makes him blind. He is also on the autistic spectrum, gains weight easily, and finds walking difficult.

After the first airing Price said: ‘Harvey Price is a little miracle… If Mr Boyle had a tenth of his courage and decency, he would know that to suggest, let alone think funny, that Harvey may sexually attack me is vile and deeply unfair. Mr Boyle clearly has serious issues and those that give him a TV platform to say such disgusting things need to look at themselves very honestly.’

Published: 11 Dec 2010

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