Complaints Reports

Programme Complaints & Interventions Report

These reports are case summaries of complaints which appeared to raise issues of substance in relation to the interpretation of the ITC Programme Code. Summary statistics of non-substantive complaints can be found in the full reports which are obtainable from the ITC.

Showing Complaints & Interventions Report for BRITISH COMEDY AWARDS 1998

Channel: ITV (LWT)

Date & time: Saturday 12 December: 9.00 pm

Complaint from: 12 viewers (not upheld)

Background

The transsexual singer, Dana International, presented one of the awards at this televised ceremony, hosted by Jonathan Ross.

Issue

Twelve viewers complained about comments Jonathan Ross made to Dana International, which they found offensive to her and to transsexuals.

Assessment

The ITC carefully considered the comments in the context of this live event in which Jonathan Ross has established a reputation for an abrasive and risqué style of compering. In reply to complainants, the ITC noted that the remarks in question formed only a small part of a long, good-natured awards ceremony. Presenters of the awards took part voluntarily and would, the ITC believed, have been well aware of Jonathan Ross’s style of compering. Although his remarks may have seemed uncalled for to some viewers, they were not malicious.

Conclusion

Whilst the ITC appreciates the sensitivities involved in jokes about transsexuality, it did not believe in this case that Jonathan Ross’s comments had been in breach of the Code.