Watch out for the BBC's next offensive

Share
Related Topics
Unlikely as it seems, I have been praying for the BBC. I have been praying that the BBC will come to its senses and not put out offensive material to poison our minds. And now it seems, after a period of despair, that my prayers have finally been answered. First of all, there was the glad tidings that Radio 4 had decided not to broadcast a new "comedy" programme called Eamonn, Elder Brother of Jesus, for fear that it might offend people. The controller of Radio 4, Mr James Boyle, did not say whom it might offend, but I think I can suggest who. Everyone! Elder brothers, Christians, Irish people, relations of Jesus, people called Eamonn, the Christian Brothers - almost everyone. James Boyle said his decision had nothing to do with his being a Catholic, but it was plain that Catholics would also be offended by the suggestion that Jesus had an Irish brother, so I think we can take it that James was telling a little white lie there. And if he wasn't, then he should have been.

Then, as if that wasn't enough of an answer to my prayer, comes the wonderful news that the BBC has decided to drop a comedy TV programme written by Ian Hislop and Nick Newman called Gobble, which depicts a Britain in the grip of a fictitious "mad turkey disease". The programme has already been made. It was due to go out. But the BBC has apparently withdrawn it for fear of causing distress to people in Scotland who have recently been suffering from the series of deaths from the E coli bug. (And, they might well have added, for fear of offending people who run turkey farms for a livelihood, people who are vegetarians, and people who have turkeys in the family, or indeed people who have Douglas Hogg in the family.) Excellent! At last the BBC has begun to see the light. At last a bit of sensitivity and good taste at BBC HQ. But there is a long way to go yet. In order to spare people's feelings, may I submit this list of offensive programmes which figure prominently in my nightly prayers and which should be dropped forthwith?

1. Grand Prix racing. Deeply distressing to anyone who has ever been involved in a road accident. For Damon Hill to be voted BBC sports personality of the year is adding insult to salt in the wound.

2. One Foot In The Grave. Very offensive to anyone who is likely to die soon, or is just thinking of dying, or who has actually recently died.

3. Absolutely Fabulous. Causes immense pain to anyone with a drinking problem, to anyone with a mother or daughter, or anyone who takes fashion seriously, if anyone still does. I gather, by the way, that this programme will not be returning to our screens. This will be excellent news for any empty-headed woman viewer who habitually tries to smoke, drink, talk and walk on high-heeled shoes simultaneously, as Joanna Lumley's character did so often, and who must have been humiliated beyond belief by the portrayal, if she could focus on it.

4. Woman's Hour. Absolutely mortifying for any man who habitually feels excluded.

5. The News. Deeply scarring for anyone who is a refugee, a war victim, a Palestinian, a politician, a member of the Royal Family, a Lanarkshire butcher, a farmer, a policeman, an Irish terrorist, a Catholic and so on. All these people? A policeman, for instance? Certainly. How often do we hear on the news statements such as: "Police have still made no progress in finding the killer of 18-year-old so-and-so"? How do you think the police feel when their failure is blazoned across the news? Humiliated. Suicidal. Every bit as bad as an E coli bacteria sufferer faced with a programme about "mad turkey disease", that's how bad. In fact, a lot, lot worse.

6. Derek Cooper's The Food Programme on Radio 4, which must cause perpetual pain to all those of us who cook badly, buy mass-produced foods and stick to a rotten diet. Especially in Scotland, which we all know has the worst eating habits in Britain, and where, if The Food Programme is to be believed, Scots are likely to die an earlier, fat-saturated death even if they don't go to an E coli-linked grave. What must it be like to live in Scotland and hear what The Food Programme has to say about your diet?

The list is endless.

I only pray that the BBC will continue to come to its senses and not risk offending anyone.

Do we want a BBC that takes risks? I think not.

Luckily, the way things are going, we are in no danger of having one.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Junior VB.NET Application Developer (ASP.NET, SQL, Graduate)

£28000 - £30000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Junior VB.NET ...

C# .NET Web Developer (ASP.NET, JavaScript, jQuery, XML, XLST)

£40000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# .NET Web De...

Clinical Negligence Solicitor

Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: HAMPSHIRE MARKET TOWN - A highly attr...

Network Engineer (CCNP, CCNA, Linux, OSPF, BGP, Multicast, WAN)

£35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Network Engineer (CCNP, CCNA, Linux, OSPF,...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

The power of anonymity lies in the freedom it grants

Boyd Tonkin
Rebel fighters walk in front of damaged buildings in Karam al-Jabal neighbourhood of Aleppo on August 26, 2014.  

The Isis threat must be confronted with clarity and determination

Ed Miliband
Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone