Comedian Ross Noble's 'elephant man' impression ruled 'acceptable' by BBC
Tuesday 12 March 2013
Comedian Ross Noble's impression of "elephant man" John Merrick in an edition of Have I Got News For You has been ruled to be "at the margins of acceptability" by the BBC Trust.
But the Trust's editorial standards committee said the comic was making a reference to the screen portrayal of the disfigured Merrick by actor John Hurt, rather than mocking people with disabilities.
The committee said the show did not breach editorial guidelines by screening the footage.
Noble did his impersonation as he bantered with panellist Paul Merton and made a gag that actors in a fast food advert had trained at the John Merrick Academy of Drama, as he jokingly performed the famous line "I am not an animal" from the The Elephant Man in a slurred voice.
The committee did not uphold a complaint about the show, screened in June, but added that it "considered that the impersonation of John Merrick's speech and physical disability, in particular, was at the margins of acceptability".
Arts & Ents blogs
Sherlock series 3: Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman provide teasers for the biggest comeback in British television
Miley Cyrus, Robin Thicke and Lady Gaga attacked by Noel Gallagher in 2013 music rant
Sir Elton John lashes out at Russia’s anti-gay laws in Moscow show
Doctor Who Christmas special 2013: New pictures released of Matt Smith's finale
Grace Dent on TV: Imagine – Who’s Afraid of Machiavelli?
- 1 Cameron's freebie to apartheid South Africa
- 2 Is this the scariest advert ever? Japanese tyre commercial comes with its own disclaimer and health warning
- 3 Sherlock series 3: Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman provide teasers for the biggest comeback in British television
- 4 A forgotten episode in Russian history leaves links with the Philippines
- 5 People will try to reduce Mandela to a lilting reggae tune about ‘love’. They will fail
- < Previous
- Next >