Barrymore criticised by TV watchdog

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The Independent Online

Michael Barrymore, the entertainer, was criticised by a television watchdog yesterday for cracking an adult joke at the expense of eight-year-old twin girls.

The Broadcasting Standards Council said Barrymore's comments to the children "strayed beyond what might be regarded as acceptable boundaries of taste and decency". The two girls were part of a dance troupe who were appearing on ITV's Barrymore on 26 March this year.

Barrymore joked to one that if she wanted no more than one baby, she could send her future husband to her twin sister.

Four viewers wrote to complain about the sexual content of the interview with the girls, and they and three others also objected to the dancers' revealing costumes and provocative dance routine.

The BSC said: "The interview was conducted in such a manner that it exploited the children and made them the innocent butt of adult jokes.

"In these circumstances, it strayed beyond what might be regarded as acceptable boundaries of taste and decency."

Scenes from the first episode of the television prison drama The Governor also breached BSC guidelines by depicting "graphic, extreme and excessive violence".

Eighteen viewers wrote to the BSC to complain about the episode screened on 14 May this year in which a sex offender was shown being assaulted by other prisoners.