Ofcom clears Dancing On Ice judge Jason Gardiner over Sharron Davies 'faecal matter' comment

Dancing On Ice judge Jason Gardiner did not fall foul of broadcasting rules by condemning a performance by Sharron Davies as like "faecal matter that won't flush", Ofcom ruled today.

The TV watchdog received more than 400 complaints following the judge's put-down about the former Olympic swimmer, who was eventually knocked out of the contest last night.

But Ofcom found that the cutting remark by Gardiner - who was likened by the regulator to a "pantomime villain" - was within the rules.

During an episode on January 31, Gardiner told Davies, 47, who was wearing a brown costume: "It was like watching faecal matter that won't flush - it goes around and around and around and in the end it doesn't go anywhere."

Ofcom received 443 complaints, with viewers saying the comments were offensive, upsetting and unsuitable to be heard by children.

The watchdog found Gardiner used "unusual language" which was "potentially offensive" - but the watchdog considered that he is well-established as the acerbic "nasty" judge on the ITV1 show.

Ofcom said Gardiner "seems quite content to play up to his 'pantomime villain' image within the format of the show".

"This was demonstrated by the fact that every comment he makes is almost invariably booed by the audience, as was the case regarding the comments he made about Sharron Davies on this occasion."

It also noted that others on the show immediately distanced themselves from the remarks and presenter Holly Willoughby swiftly moved on to the next judge, Karen Barber, and pointedly asked her not to comment on Davies's costume.

Ofcom also said the remark "could be considered to be more of a medical term rather than a more commonly-used offensive word" and was used to evaluate a performance, rather than being against a particular person.

The ruling said: "Ofcom considered that the audience to this programme, in general, would have come to expect negative comments being expressed by the judges about particular contestants, and that this would have been particularly the case concerning comments made by Jason Gardiner."

The ruling continued: "We noted that a number of complainants expressed concern that the term 'faecal matter' was unsuitable to be heard by children who might have been watching.

"While Dancing On Ice is intended for a family audience, it is not a programme that is primarily aimed at children."

Davies bowed out of the contest last night. She was up against Inbetweeners star Emily Atack in the skate-off but was voted out of the competition by the judges, who opted unanimously to save her younger rival.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Life and Style
Marie had fake ID, in the name of Johanna Koch, after she evaded capture by the Nazis in wartime Berlin
historyOne woman's secret life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
News
news... and what your reaction to the creatures above says about you
News
Jihadi John
newsMonikers like 'Jihadi John' make the grim sound glamorous
News
newsAnother week, another dress controversy on the internet
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Junior Business Systems Analyst - High Wycombe - £30,000

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Junior Business Systems Analyst role...

Guru Careers: Talent Manager

£30-35k (P/T - Pro Rata) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienc...

Sauce Recruitment: New Media Marketing Manager - EMEA - Digital Distribution

£35000 - £45000 per annum + up to £45,000: Sauce Recruitment: The Internation...

Day In a Page

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003