BBC America beeps out swearing in The Thick Of It‎


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The Independent US

Malcolm Tucker might call it an "omni-*******-shambles". Viewers watching The Thick Of It in the US were instead presented with a 30 minute Morse Code bulletin after the BBC “beeped” out the political satire’s notorious swearing.

Armando Iannucci, creator of the series, which employs its own swearing consultant to produce spin doctor Malcolm Tucker’s profanities, raised the alarm after the BBC America channel broadcast the opening episode of the third series at midnight on Saturday.

“I gather the swearing was beeped on Thick of It? Anyone know if that's true,” he tweeted, adding “BBC America tells me nothing.”

A BBC America spokesman confirmed: “BBC America abides by basic cable television common practice in the US in using bleeps to cover profanity in its programmes. Bleeps were used during The Thick of It season three premiere on Saturday at 12am.” The swear ban had applied to previous series airings on the channel.

However Iannucci is allowed to swear like a trooper on his new HBO satirical satire Veep, about a fictional female US vice-president, which the New York Times said contained “an awful lot of cursing”. As a subscription cable channel, HBO is not subject to BBC America’s language restrictions.

Viewers complained about the “beeping” of The Thick Of It. One tweeted that the restriction was “like blurring the puppets on The Muppet Show.”