BBC News

Ofcom clears Britain's Got Talent burlesque act


ITV1 show Britain's Got Talent has been cleared by media regulator Ofcom over a routine by a risque burlesque act.

Beatrix Von Bourbon was first seen on a pre-recorded show at about 20:25 BST on 31 March and her performance was repeated three times.

There were 75 complaints from viewers who felt the routine was inappropriate during a family show.

But Ofcom ruled that the performance was "carefully edited" and not in breach of its code regarding children.

Defending its broadcast, ITV described Von Bourbon's act as "a highly stylised combination of comedy, mime, dance, rather than simply striptease".

'Margins of acceptability'

The broadcaster said the routine had "been edited and masked appropriately" and that "Beatrix's audition was treated in a consistent manner with previous acts of a similar nature".

Ofcom said it was aware that some viewers "may find the sexualised nature of burlesque performances potentially offensive".

Its ruling continued: "However we noted that the images of Ms Von Bourbon adopting mildly provocative positions and limited and partial nudity were fleeting."

The watchdog did find a brief image of the performer's "partially obscured buttocks when she unzipped her skirt" as being "on the margins of acceptability" and reminded ITV to take note of its guidance in future.

Ofcom concluded that ITV took account of the pre-watershed audience "and did not convey an overtly sexualised theme".

There were 15 more complaints regarding the same act when Von Bourbon made it through to the live semi-final of Britain's Got Talent on 9 May.

Overall, Ofcom found that "as with the performance on 31 March 2012 - the act and partial nudity on this occasion were appropriately limited and brief in duration, and the act as a whole would not have exceeded the audience's likely expectations for a programme of this nature on this channel".

More on this story

  • BGT opera couple make first album