Rowan Atkinson's Archbishop Comic Relief sketch prompts Ofcom investigation after 3,000 complaints
Rowan Atkinson’s Archbishop of Canterbury sketch for Comic Relief is to be formally investigated by Ofcom after it drew more than 3,000 complaints.
In the three minute pre-watershed broadcast, Rowan Atkinson dressed up as a generic Archbishop to talk about “shagging your neighbour”, “arsing about”, and why prayer “doesn’t work”.
The BBC received 2,819 complaints about its Comic Relief coverage, the majority of which centred on the Archbishop of Canterbury sketch. Ofcom heard a further 484 complaints from unhappy viewers, who raised concerns about the language used and the religious context.
A quarter of complaints to the BBC about the sketch were thought to concern religious offence, with the remainder relating to Atkinson’s use of pre-watershed language.
Media regulator Ofcom will now examine if Atkinson’s language was acceptable before the 9pm watershed and whether the BBC applied “generally accepted standards” in its broadcast.
The BBC later apologised for the sketch and removed it from its iPlayer service after the Comic Relief broadcast.
A statement released by the BBC last month said: “[Comic Relief] is made for a varied and wide-ranging audience, so getting the language, tone and content of the evening is extremely important to us…to any viewers we may have offended, we apologise.
“Rowan is well known for his comedy characters and this was an affectionate portrayal of an Archbishop figure, which was intended to amuse and entertain. We did not mean to cause any offence.”
The Ofcom investigation is underway and will deliver within 50 days.
TV Jungle security stepped up after murder and 'suspicious death' near to camp
Jeff Fletcher found fame in 1990s
'At times I thought he was me'film
Review: One Direction, Fourmusic
Review: The World of Ice and Firebooks
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 I'm A Celebrity 2014: Jungle security stepped up after murder and 'suspicious death' near to camp
- 2 Black Friday 2014: Opening times for Asda, John Lewis, PC World, GAME and Argos
- 3 To help fuel their propaganda machine against the poor, our government has now decided to redefine the word 'welfare'
- 4 Girl, 7, gets Tesco to remove 'stupid' sign suggesting superheroes are 'for boys'
- 5 Jeremy Hunt: 'I took my children to A&E because I didn't want to wait for GP appointment'
Jurassic World trailer: Chris Pratt stars in full-length trailer with Bryce Dallas and Ty Simpkins
I'm A Celebrity 2014: Jungle security stepped up after murder and 'suspicious death' near to camp
Zoella: YouTube sensation Zoe Sugg's debut novel set to become bestseller
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs
Naked free runner captured in breathtaking photographs above London's streets
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police