Now Ofcom probes Queen jokes | More scrutiny for Don't Make Me Laugh © PolizeiBerlin / Creative Commons

Now Ofcom probes Queen jokes

More scrutiny for Don't Make Me Laugh

Ofcom is to investigate Radio 4 panel show over Don’t Make Me Laugh over jokes about the Queen.

Eleven listeners complained to the broadcasting watchdog over the episode which aired on the Queen’s 90th birthday in April and asked the comedian panellists to speak on the topic:  ‘The Queen must have had sex at least four times.'

The BBC has already apologised, saying the gags were a ‘serious breach’ of editorial guidelines after receiving 100 complaints directly.

On the day after the offending show aired, the corporation apologised saying: ‘While Radio 4 comedy is a broad church and often pushes boundaries, we would like to apologise for yesterday’s broadcast of Don’t Make Me Laugh.’

It also alerted Buckingham Palace to the apology.

The BBC guidelines state that ‘unduly humiliating, intrusive or derogatory remarks aimed at real people… must not be celebrated for the purposes of entertainment.’

And in judging the complaints, the BBC Trust said: ‘However high a profile an individual might have, it did not necessarily make it acceptable for them to be the target of highly personal, offensive, intrusive, or degrading humour.’

‘The offence felt was compounded by the date of the programme’s transmission,’ they concluded,  but added that trustees ‘found it hard to imagine circumstances in which this broadcast at any time or on any day would not have given rise to significant unjustified offence.’

Don’t Make Me Laugh, was devised by David Baddiel, who also hosts it, and co-produced by his company Fierce Tears. Guests  on the episode that contained the round about the Queen were Omid Djalili, Sara Pascoe, Russell Kane and Adam Hess.

Published: 18 Jul 2016

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