UK

Stephen Fry Japan trip scrapped after A-bomb joke

  • 3 February 2011
  • From the section UK
Stephen Fry
Image caption The QI episode featured a discussion about the A Bomb attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Plans for Stephen Fry to film part of a documentary series in Japan have been shelved after complaints about nuclear bomb jokes in his quiz show QI.

The programme featured a discussion about a man who survived the blasts at both Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.

The Japanese Embassy accused the BBC of making light of the attacks, which killed up to 250,000 civilians.

The BBC, which later apologised, said the cancellation of the filming was due to the "strength of feeling" in Japan.

The offending episode of QI was broadcast last month and featured a discussion about Tsutomu Yamaguchi.

Mr Yamaguchi was the only person to have been officially recognised by the government of Japan as surviving both explosions.

Mr Yamaguchi was burnt in the Hiroshima explosion - only to travel by train to Nagasaki to be caught in the second attack three days later.

During the programme Stephen Fry and two fellow comedians discussed Mr Yamaguchi's survival.

Image caption The blast at Nagasaki. Over 180,000 people died in the two bombings.

Alan Davies suggested an A-bomb had landed on Mr Yamaguchi and "bounced off".

And Stephen Fry expressed amazement that the Japanese trains were still running after the blast.

The episode prompted a complaint to the BBC from the Japanese Embassy who accused the broadcaster of making light of the attacks.

The BBC responded by apologising, acknowledging the sensitivity of the subject for Japanese viewers.

The broadcaster has cancelled some of its plans to film a programme featuring Mr Fry in Japan, after recognising the "strength of feeling" that had been caused by the show.

A BBC spokeswoman said the filming schedule of the documentary about language - Planet Word - was now being altered.

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