Mike Graham says comedy ‘should be brutal’
The row has seen talkRADIO’s Mike Graham blast the decision to slap “discriminatory language” warning on some episodes of the vintage BBC comedies, with the radio host stating that “some comedy is offensive.” Mr Graham said that the corporation’s attempts to police comedy to make sure nothing is offensive as “pointless” because in his view comedy “shouldn’t be pretty, it should be brutal.”
“Some comedy is offensive,” added Mr Graham.
He continued: “‘Comedy is not pretty’, is something that Steve Martin, the comedian, said. And it isn’t. It shouldn’t be pretty it should be brutal, it should be horrendously cruel that’s what comedy is.
“That’s the kind of comedy that most people if you ask them seriously actually like.
“Lefty comedians now are going to have a terrible time now saying anything about anyone now in American politics because they all slavishly have to be in a love-in with Joe Biden.
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“They won’t be able to make fun of the US President any more. What are they going to do?”
His co-host Mark Dolan added: “I don’t think people tune into comedy shows to be force-fed politics.
“So we all have our ideas about how the world should be and how it should be run, we don’t need to get advice on that from a sit-com.”
It comes after an episode of The Royle Family was given a warning on BBC iPlayer – “Contains discriminatory language which some viewers may find offensive”.
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The episode in questions first aired on October 7 1999 and shows Jim Royle, played by Ricky Tomlinson, watching an episode of Changing Rooms and subsequently brand presenter Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen a “nancy boy”.
Mr Dolan continued: “The more politically correct comedy will get the less funny it will be.”
“Absolutely,” Mr Graham continued: “The more television producers and commissioners try to make sure nothing is offensive, it will literally become pointless, there will be no point in making it, will there.”
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It comes at a time when the BBC is facing major competition from streaming services such as Netflix.
The BBC sparked controversy last year when it ended free TV licences for most over-75s.
Under the changes, over-75s must now receive pension credit to get a free TV licence.
Speaking in July, Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK, said: “At Age UK we’re bitterly disappointed by this decision on behalf of the millions of over 75s who have had a torrid time over the last few months and for whom this must feel like another kick in the teeth, during a terrible year.
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