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 Review: Miranda Hart and co deliver the festive goods
tvReview: Older generation get hot under the collar this Christmas
comedy Erm...he seems to be back
tvReview: No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa
tv Gymnast Louis Smith triumphed in the Christmas special
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Exclusive: Abusers using spyware apps to monitor partners reaches 'epidemic proportions'
- 2 Margaret Thatcher 'expressed fears of Asian rising' at Anglo-Irish summit in 1984
- 3 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
- 4 Sussex couple die in suspected Christmas Day 'suicide pact'
- 5 The Unluckiest People of the Year 2014 (and one very unlucky giraffe)
Downton Abbey Christmas special 2014, review: Love is everywhere, actually
The Boy in the Dress, TV review: David Walliams' Boxing Day treat is a celebration of being different
Vagina canoe artist defends herself over ‘obscenity’ charges
Doctor Who Christmas special, review: No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa
The Interview film review: Controversial gross-out satire is broad, bawdy and bad - but undeniably entertaining
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Immigrants make UK racist, says Ukip councillor Trevor Shonk
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Katie Hopkins speaks out on childhood obesity: 'Parents of fat children should be prosecuted for child cruelty'