Big Fat Quiz has no case to answer

TV watchdogs reject complaints

Broadcast watchdogs have rule that Channel 4 has no case to answer for causing offence in its Big Fat Quiz Of The Year.

A total of 180 people complained to regulators Ofcom that the show breached ‘generally accepted standards’ – after the Daily Mail whipped up a front-page campaign.

The paper highlighted the fact that guests Jack Whitehall and James Corden seemed to be getting drunk as they made jokes about the Queen, Barack Obama, Usain Bolt and Susan Boyle.

However, Ofcom have now assessed the complaints – and decided that they did not warrant investigation.

The decision was reported in just one line of its regular bulletin about its work, amid a nine-page list of similar complaints against other programmes that would not be investigated.

One further complaint that the Big Fat Quiz was racist was also deemed not to require further investigation, and another that it blurred the line between advertising and editorial content.

On New Year's Eve, the day after the broadcast, Channel 4 issued a statement in response to the complaints saying: 'Big Fat Quiz Of The Year is a well-established comedic and satirical review of the year's events with well-known guests and was broadcast after the watershed with appropriate warnings.'

Just five people complained to Ofcom initially, but the number grew to 180 after the Mail claimed the show ‘featured countless vile sexual jokes’ using ‘vulgar language’ – a tiny fraction of the 45,000 the paper whipped up over the Sachsgate incident.

It’s believed Channel 4 received a similar number of complaints directly, out of the 3.1million who tuned in to its initial airing.

After the furore, Corden played down any offence saying: 'It was good fun, wasn’t it? It was a laugh and good fun to film.'

And Tory MP Conor Burns, who sits on the Commons culture, media and sport committee, said he considered the jokes 'obscene' and 'unacceptable'.

Published: 4 Feb 2013

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