We’re starting to wonder whether there is much difference between Chris Morris’ comedy creation and the increasingly slap-stick current affairs side show.
After Chandler Bing (OK, fine, Matthew Perry) had to be bundled out of a separate studio exit to Peter Hitchens following a heated debate over drugs courts, during which the Friends star repeatedly called the columnist “Santa” and “Peter Pan”, we didn’t think things could get much closer to Brass Eye.
Until, that is, Jeremy Paxman decided to announce during a segment on Wednesday night’s show what he thought the internet was really for: masturbation.
“Now as we all know, one of the main functions of the internet is to facilitate masturbation,” Paxo told the camera, introducing a feature on online pornography filters, before adding, “Or worse.”
Why? We’re not really sure. But our minds were instantly cast to the 2001 “Paedogeden!” episode, during which guest stars such as Dr. Fox and Phil Collins repeatedly warned the audience of the dangers of exposing young children to crabs with wondering claws and high-tech gloves that allowed offenders to feel their victims through computer screens.
It’s been a year laden with controversy for the show. There was Russell Brand’s interview during his guest editing stint at the New Statesman, during which the multi-million-earning comedian demanded a revolution, though stopped short of defining exactly what the point of one would be.
There was #beardgate, when Paxman’s newly sprouted chin strap of facial hair spawned a thousand tweets debating whether the TV host looked better with or without. And his David Dimbleby tattoo tribute, which saw Paxman felt tip his knuckles in support.
Then there was that episode that featured the Cookie Monster.
And tonight? Peppa Pig discusses Ian Duncan Smith’s "rash" early exit from the Commons during a debate on food banks. Probably. We wouldn't be surprised if she did.
But in all (sort of) seriousness, the one story that really should get an honorable mention among the 'can't believe it's not Chris Morris' elite this week should be this: Children Evacuated From Swimming Pool After Prosthetic Leg Mistaken For Paedophile. You're welcome.
Top ten TV complaints of 2013
Top ten TV complaints of 2013
1/10 Rowan Atkinson's Archbishop of Canterbury sketch on Comic Relief was the most complained-about TV moment of 2013 with 487 complaints.
2/10 LadyGaga's risque performance on The X Factor results show, along with Robin Thicke's 'Blurred Lines' show helped The X Factor rack up 734 complaints.
The X Factor
3/10 Ofcom received 965 complaints about 2013's Big Brother, with contestant Jemima Slade's racist remarks notching up the numbers.
4/10 Ofcom received 574 complaints about ITV News after its graphic pre-watershed coverage of Lee Rigby's murder.
5/10 Celebrity Big Brother was complained about 438 times after a 'slapping' incident between Sophie Anderton and Mario Falcone.
6/10 Shadow dance act Attraction won this year's Britain's Got Talent, but the show picked up 422 Ofcom complaints.
Britain's Got Talent
7/10 Soap opera Emmerdale picked up 376 complaints after a shock murder scene that saw character Gennie Sharma suffocated by killer Cameron Murray following a car crash in July.
8/10 BBC News was complained about 354 times, primarily for its graphic coverage of Lee Rigby's murder.
9/10 Joanne Froggatt as Anna Bates, who was raped by a visiting valet in Downton Abbey. The ITV drama notched up 252 complaints in 2013.
10/10 Soap opera Coronation Street was complained about to Ofcom 225 times.
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