Entertainment & Arts

Queen radio show joke breached Ofcom rules

Queen Elizabeth II Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Queen Elizabeth enjoyed many celebratory events for her 90th birthday

David Baddiel's radio show Don't Make Me Laugh, which broadcast jokes about the Queen on her 90th birthday, has been found in breach of Ofcom rules.

The media watchdog received 12 complaints about the episode, which went out on 21 April on BBC Radio 4.

The BBC had already said it considered the jokes - about the Queen having sex - to be a serious breach of its editorial guidelines.

Ofcom said the comments had a "mocking and demeaning tone".

The watchdog added that "the potential for offence was increased by the fact that these remarks were broadcast on the Queen's 90th birthday".

It found the jokes were not justified by the context.

Image caption David Baddiel had joked that he hoped to pitch the show again "once we get past the 1960s"

The BBC Trust ruled earlier this year that the episode was in "serious breach" of its own editorial guidelines.

The broadcaster found that "there had been a failure of editorial judgement and of compliance" on its part.

The BBC Trust added that the broadcast had included "personal, intrusive and derogatory comments".

Don't Make Me Laugh was dropped by the BBC last month, although Radio 4 said the commissioning decision was not based on the Trust ruling on the episode featuring the Queen jokes.

Baddiel tweeted at the time: "I'm hoping maybe to pitch it again once we get past the 1960s. Oh no wait a minute, it's 2016."

The Fall investigated

Ofcom also ruled that an episode of Coronation Street accused of racism for a comment a character made about her hair did not break the broadcasting code.

The episode, broadcast in August, saw Eva Price, played by Catherine Tyldesley, visit Audrey's hair salon, where she remarked: "I have more roots than Kunta Kinte."

Kunta Kinte was a character from the novel Roots: The Saga Of An American Family, which tells the story of a young man taken from Gambia and sold as a slave.

The complaints led the show to "apologise if this dialogue has caused offence" and 473 people complained to Ofcom.

The watchdog also said it had launched an investigation into BBC drama The Fall over an episode which aired in October. Ofcom received complaints over scenes of asphyxiation and hanging.

A spokesman said: "We're investigating whether the depiction of suicide in this programme complied with our rules."

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