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".
ReviewThese heroes in a half shell should have been left in hibernation
Sek, k'athjilari! (That’s “yes, definitely” to non-native speakers).TV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Jack the Ripper: Scientist who claims to have identified notorious killer has 'made serious DNA error'
- 2 Banksy arrest hoax: Internet duped by fake online report claiming artist's identity has been revealed
- 3 Drink alcohol and eat meat to improve male fertility - but cut down on coffee, studies suggest
- 4 Former East 17 frontman Brian Harvey turns up at Downing Street and 'demands to speak to Prime Minister'
- 5 The inventor of the Facebook 'like' button says he never made a 'dislike' button because he feared the 'unfortunate consequences'
Doctor Who, Flatline - review: Clara isn’t half bad as the Time Lord
Downton Abbey review series 5, episode 5: Period drama falls disappointingly flat
Star Wars memorabilia called a 'bit of plastic' on Antiques Roadshow by Fiona Bruce valued at £50,000
Fury, film review: Brad Pitt is intriguing as unsympathetic war hero
Star Wars Episode 7 has almost finished filming
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
Lord Freud: Tory welfare minister apologises after saying disabled people are 'not worth’ the minimum wage
Lord Freud hangs on as MPs of all parties 'call for his head' over disability comments