C4 drops Frankie Boyle chat show

'Wogan with paedo jokes' won't make it to air

Channel 4 has dodged almost certain controversy by dropping Frankie Boyle’s planned new talk show.

A pilot episode of Frankie Boyle’s Rehabilitation Programme was filmed last month – but channel chiefs have reportedly decided not to take it to air.

At the time, head of comedy Shane Allen described the show as ‘like Parkinson or Wogan, but with paedo jokes’.

And with no return for his notorious sketch show Tramadol Nights, it means the broadcaster has no current plans with the comic who dropped the station in so much hot water.

Channel 4 has apparently confirmed that both Tramadol Nights and Rehabilitation Programme have been dropped, but the broadcaster has not yet been able to supply an official response, despite Chortle requesting one at 9.30am yesterday.

Boyle sparked media outrage when he made a joke about Katie Price’s disabled son Harvey – sparking 500 complaints and criticism from MPs and charity groups. Ofcom, the broadcasting watchdog, ruled that the remark was ‘highly offensive’, but did not insist on any on-air sanctions.

At the time of the row Channel 4 said it would stand by Boyle, with chief executive David Abraham admitting the joke had been cleared ‘all the way up the line’. ‘The context of the joke was clearly and manifestly satirical,’ he said.

But Boyle has said he understood why C4 did not order a second series of Tramadol Nights. He said: ‘I was really happy with it, but you can see why they didn’t want to recommission something that was getting them front-page hatred and I was a bit relieved. A six-week panel show takes six weeks to make.

‘Because I was involved from storyboard to editing, Tramadol took over six months, and loads of that was late nights and six-day weeks.’

Published: 30 Jan 2012

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