C4 drop I'm Spazticus sketch after police called

Channel 4 logo Channel 4 commissioned the comedy series to tie in with the London Paralympics

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A sketch in a TV comedy show, which saw a blind man groping a life model, has been pulled after police were called.

Students at Southend Adult Community College were unaware they were being filmed by hidden cameras as part of a prank for Channel 4's I'm Spazticus.

College principal Stephen Layman said they were "shocked" by the filming.

A Channel 4 spokesman said students "didn't see the funny side, so as a gesture of goodwill we won't be broadcasting the footage".

Forthcoming sketch series I'm Spazticus - which has been commissioned to tie in with the London Paralympics this summer - features "disabled performers pranking able-bodied members of the public".

Produced by Zeitgeist Television for Channel 4, it "uses the world of comedy to explore the world of disability".

Start Quote

Whilst this is far from revenge TV, we hope it is both barrier and ground-breaking ”

End Quote I'm Spazticus producer Jamie O'Leary, speaking in February

The prank, filmed three weeks ago at the college in Essex, showed a blind man groping a nude model during a life drawing class. Both the unnamed blind man and model were in on the joke.

However, the unwitting students were horrified, leading some in the class to call the police. Police did respond although no further action was taken.

"Southend Adult Community College agreed in good faith to participate in a project which we were informed was aimed at challenging people's attitudes to disability," said the principal, Mr Lay

"We were shocked and surprised to discover the filming that took place within the class did not reflect the brief supplied.

"Since this incident took place three weeks ago we have received categorical assurance from both Zeitgeist Television and Channel 4 that none of this material will be used."

An award-winning pilot of I'm Spazticus was first broadcast as part of Channel 4's Comedy Lab in 2005.

Speaking this February, producer Jamie O'Leary said: "Whilst this is far from revenge TV, we hope it is both barrier and ground-breaking - it will never be worthy and box-ticking but hopefully funny."

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