MEDIA: BBC upholds docks' complaints

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The Mersey Docks and Harbour Company has made two complaints to the BBC about comedians showing support for the dock workers sacked by the company in its long-running industrial dispute.

On the comedy game show They Think It's All Over regular panellist Lee Hurst (right) wore a T-shirt, already popularised by Liverpool striker Robbie Fowler, supporting the dockers.

The BBC said that while the T-shirt would have been difficult for viewers to read, the show was not an appropriate place to support one side of an industrial dispute. Uefa fined Mr Fowler pounds 900 in March for showing fans the same T-shirt in a Uefa cup tie.

In a separate complaint, the harbour firm objected to an episode of Radio 4's Jeremy Hardy Speaks to the Nation in which the comedian discussed taking up a collection for the sacked workers. The BBC admitted that Mr Hardy had crossed the dividing line between satire and advocacy. Paul McCann