Thank you, Broadcasting Standards Council, for making clear last week what can and cannot go on breakfast radio. The polite inquiry "Can I have a shag?" on Chris Evans's Radio 1 show is deemed "not suitable for a breakfast-time audience". But what about "piss off", "bugger", "bloody" and "crap" - other words featuring in Evans's show last May? "Rated as weak to medium in the council's research," the BSC says. "The occurrences had been fleeting and within a comic or humorous context, with 'bugger' used in gentle self-deprecation." So that's all right then.
Drama out of a disability
A pressure group, One in Eight (the proportion of disabled people in the population), was launched last week in London with the purpose of combating what it says is stereotypical and negative portrayal of disabled people in the media. One of its founder members is Charles Denton, head of BBC drama, who says it is a disgrace that 7.5 million people in Britain are affected by disability yet denied a true reflection of their lives.
The actor Alan Cumming, who supports the group, called for disabled roles to be given to disabled actors, citing the "absurdity" of a disabled actor being asked to train a non-disabled actor in wheelchair use for a recent episode of The Bill.
Denton, who has a daughter with disabilities, urged producers to include disabled characters where disablement is not the storyline and to raise disabled issues in long-running drama series. "I would like to see the impact of a disabled baby in EastEnders," he said.
"Because of the obsession with the body beautiful, these people have been shuffled to the back of the pack. But, like women's and black people's rights before, I do believe this is an issue whose time has come."
The group has circulated material to the Writers' Guild, scriptwriters and producers at the BBC, and to production companies.
For more information contact Richard Rieser on 0171-254 3197 or write to 78 Mildmay Road, London N1 4PJ.
None o' that in here
There is outrage in the chapels of north Wales over BBC Radio Cymru's risque promotional material for its daring dive-down-the-age-scale in search of new listeners. The campaign is based on a sexy parody of Salem, a painting by Vosper of an old woman in Salem Baptist Chapel in Llanbedr, Gwynedd. In a television trailer, the old woman's paisley shawl slips off to reveal a young woman's shoulder, complete with tattoo of the Radio Cymru logo. The production team had hoped to make the film on location in the original chapel, but was shooed away by the minister when he found out about the content. The Rev Idris Selby says: "I feel personally that it is offensive, and to use the most sacred of places as a place of amusement is inappropriate."