back to article Beeb to cut the f**king swearing

The BBC's head of television yesterday declared that the corporation's output would next year feature less of Jonathan Ross telling Gwyneth Paltrow he'd "f*ck her", lest such choice language alienate viewers. BBC Vision supremo Jana Bennett said Auntie would “push back” the number of expletives gracing the airwaves, following …


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  1. richard
    IT Angle

    rossy on that gormless birds show

    rossy was on lily allen's show and it was embarrassing to hear how much swearing they could both get out. yeah, it would be bad enough to be on her show, but it was like a sponsored swearing competition, as if they were trying to be 'street'.

    and i'm no fucking prude, but the gwyneth paltrow comment was a bit much (although very true)

  2. Harvey Stembridge

    Who Gives a S**t ?

    The entire "Manuelgate" saga is out of hand. Now the Beeb anounce this new policy of reducing swearing.. So what? .. Our young folk are killing each other in the streets... Our way of life is constantly under threat from religious extremism and the bl**dy BBC is worried over offending some "precious" actor and reducing the intances of good old anglo saxon...For Christs sake get a little perspective !!!

  3. Liam

    ffs !*%#

    ihope they dont start bleeping out on the comedy stuff like mock the week!

  4. Ross Fleming

    "anybody who tried to count swearwords"

    "has got a rather limited existance?"

    Ever seen the South Park episode 'It Hits The Fan"? The ancient Knights of Standards and Practices will be along shortly at this sudden increase in the use of cursed words...

  5. Alastair


    And so, just like the aftermath of the Hutton Report, the BBC again agrees to lose any edge it once had in a desperate bid to remain so inoffensive that people continue to pay for it.

    I bloody love the license fee (40p a day for all this?) but if the BBC keeps having to shy away from doing anything even slightly controvertial or testing then I really don't see the point. They're supposed to have the freedom to say things that aren't necessarily popular, now we're all going to end up run by bloody advertisers.

    (And no, I'm not referring specifically to the Ross/Brand crap. Every now and then they go over the line and should apologise, but they shouldn't have their wings clipped so much they can only walk)

  6. caffeine addict

    A title is required.

    Yes, too much fucking is annoying, but you have to be sensible about it.

    This morning they had to apologise when David Walliams said 'shag'. Shag pile? fine. Shag tobacco? fine. Shag a seabird? Fine. Shag a person? No, sorry... we'll have to apologise for that one...

  7. Dan White


    Not that I give a toss about Ross / Brand-Gate, but to be honest it was starting to seem like, "Ooh look at me. I said a naughty word. Aren't I edgy and cool".

    Maybe I'm getting too old, but Stephen Fry strikes me as an excellent of example of someone who can entertain without having to return to the playground.

    Now I'm off for a mug of cocoa and a nice lie down... :-)

  8. bluesxman

    fuck the fucking fuckers

    I've paid my TV licence, I expect to see full and varied use of all the wonderfully colourful aspects in the English language.

    I see they're playing the "won't somebody think of the children?" card. There are very few "mainstream" expletives that I know now that I didn't already know and use at the age of 7. Albeit I'd never use them in from of the parents (at age 7, I mean ... now it's a different story). Which seems a tad ironic, my 7 year oldness censoring himself for the benefit of his parents -- "won't somebody think of the ... parents?"

    In closing, 25 years of swearing hasn't done me any cunting harm.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    After the watershed a audio message..

    should come on and tell anyone who doesn't like swearing to f**k off.

    Seriously, if you don't like it, don't watch it. Just don't complain and ruin fun stuff for the rest of us who don't give a s**t about a bit of swearing.


  10. dervheid

    "anybody who tried to count swearwords on the BBC"

    needs their fucking head examining.




  11. Stuart Harrison
    Thumb Up

    Anybody who tried to count swearwords on the BBC...

    Needs to get a f*cking life...

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ross wasn't swearing

    It's a fairly well know colloquialism for that even worse euphemism "make love to".

  13. richard tanswell


    So what happened to free speech? The BBC is funded by the taxpayer in a supposed country of free speech...yet they do not allow their entertainers this freedom! Why are they paying the likes of Woss and Brand all this money if they then tell them what to do???

    Am I the only one who actually found what those two did funny? Mr Sachs was rude enough not to turn up on their show after being invited. Brand did indeed previously sh@g Sachs' grand-daughter so he never actually lied about anything!

    What's the f*cking g*d D@mn motherf*cking problem with this c*nting government and it's agencies? Britain has lost it's sense of humour, it's banks, it's terrorists have even b*ggered off to India!! Is there anything left for us to enjoy or shall we all just move to Bridgend?

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What a load of boll...


  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The easiest way... stop Jonathon Ross from swearing on TV, is to simply not allow him back on the air.

  16. Ginger

    Fucking marvelous

    That's all we need. Jonathon Ross back on TV, even if he's not swearing

  17. Elmer Phud

    Haven't we been here before?

    “And now on BBC 2, Martin Scorcese’s Badfellas, which has been specially ruined for television”

    “Did you fun my wife ?”

    “No I didn’t fun your wife”

    “Fun you, you muddy funster”

    “Suck my cake, you cake-sucker”

    “Suck my lozenge”

  18. Tim
    Paris Hilton

    But that's all JR can do

    If the bad language goes what else can Johnathan Ross do?

    Paris because JR probably has done her as well

  19. Adrian Challinor

    Nanny state

    Is this a case of Aunty becomming Nanny?

    Ross was on well after the watershed. If you don't like his style there is magic button people can press, its called "OFF". Why do these people bother if they know they are going to be offended?

    Pass the coat - mines the one with "how to swear in 20 different languages" in the pocket.

  20. Alan Fisher

    Ahhhh f*** it!

    I only watch the BBC to see some decent f***ing swearing so if they're going to f***ing cut it back, I'll stop f***ing bothering!! I remember once they showed a "decency dubbed" version of Robocop with all the swearing replaced by harmless words like "freaking" and "airhead" and so forth, it was hilarious but also rather puritanical!

    What next? Nothing but endless Eastenders reruns on the BBC?? It's quite sad...I'm not a big swearer myself but I don't see any harm in it (except the word c*** which I just dislike) and if it entertains??? hmmmm

    Mines the one with the starched white collar attached and the buckle hat hanging next to it

  21. AC


    can we just have no jonathan ross instead, what a talentless clucking funt he is.

  22. Tim

    Swear words

    Why do swear words have to be justified? You hear them all the time late at night and in the pub. Surely a warning would suffice saying that the following program may contain swearing the same as violent and sexual scenes are warned about before films.

  23. alastair


    don't mind the swearing - its the leftie bias and the licence fee I object to

  24. Les Matthew
    Thumb Up

    @Elmer Phud

    “Suck my lozenge”

    Icon says it all.

  25. Anonymous Coward

    Especially ruined for television indeed.

    For years I never knew the BBC had cut Spaceballs as I hadn't seen it in the cinema, only found out when I bought the DVD and discovered when Dark Helmet goes to turn off the autodestruct and finds a note tagged "out of order" and says "Fuck! Even in the future nothing works!". Along with cutting the combing the desert "We ain't found shit!" and the "I'm surrounded by assholes" section shortened.

    Actually I'm suprised they didn't retitle it "Spacesphericals", those muddy funsters...

  26. richard

    @richard tanswell

    "Am I the only one who actually found what those two did funny?"

    nope, i thought it was hilarious and exactly what brand does everyweek, yes, he's a naughty boy, but that is what he does. everyone should go and find it and have a listen, pure comedy, as long as you understand what brand's humour is.

    good to see andrew sachs furthering his career by appearing as manuel at the Prince Charles gig the other week, the silly, sad old turkey.

  27. Elmer Phud

    re: Eastenders

    Some time in the distant past my daughter said that she didn't like Eastenders as it wasn't real.

    "No one even says 'Bloody' ". She'd seen and heard her parents having mild disagreements over petty things and knew that no decent row is without a few choice words (she's now studying English).

    How many fights have been in the Queen Vic with no-one going "Come on then, let's fuckin' 'ave you". Not ever a 'tosser' or 'wanker' - both mainstays of East End culture. Will we end up getting rid of Bill Shakespeare's stuff about 'purses' and 'daggers' ?

  28. Anonymous Coward

    @caffeine addict

    "Shag a seabird? Fine" - er, thats beastiality and is only fine on Four. !!

    Suprised expression or one of contentment ?

  29. Stu

    @Other commenters who think the swearing is great'll likely find that most people don't give a hoot about the swearing. Its true that if its placed in a strategic way in a sentence, then it can warrant a chuckle.

    Ross and Brand are on significant BBC wages, and they sit in their offices prior to the shows and write f**k, s**t and c**t (only in special circumstances on c**t you understand) down on a script and call it comedy. It really isn't!!

    Now if they write a truly awesome piece of comedy and throw in a swear word or two to enhance it, then all the better.

    Anybody here used to watch 'Whos line is it anyway?' with neckless Clive Anderson prior to when the US took it on and cocked it up. Not a swear word to be heard (99.99% of the time) and had me literally in stitches. To me, Ryan Stiles, Colin Mochrie, and Greg Proops made that show.

    Goes to show that swearing has very little impact on true comedy.

  30. blue

    Freedom Fried

    >So what happened to free speech?

    The people who valued it didn't stand up to the authoritarian kill-joy 'I don't like it so no-one else should have it' types.

  31. Fab De Marco

    I Remember that Robocop!!!

    They even replaced Scumbag with Crumb-bag. It was after 9.00 I thinkm I can hand;e the word scum!

    Seriously though, If you don't like swearing don't watch it! Lifes too short to be offended by words.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Intercourse the penguin - the 21st century way

    Can one say camel's toe on the BBC? Front bottom?

  33. Thomas Bottrill

    Don't limit swearing

    I don't want Charlie Brooker beeped at 10:30 at night on a channel with about three viewers.

  34. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    Re: Bwilliant

    "Mr Sachs was rude enough not to turn up on their show after being invited."

    Did he accept the invitation and then just not show up? If not, then I suggest you look up the distinction between "invited" and "ordered".

  35. William Towle

    Don't Mention the Where?

    article> the Andrew Sachs "Manuelgate" scandal also passed judgement on Ross's chat-up line to the US thesp

    There isn't much about his present nationality I could confirm quickly, but apparently he was born German and immigrated to England (still German? See Surprised me...

  36. Alexis Marett


    I watch the BBC every night, a tally up all the swear words then I write a complaint to OFCOM!!!! - I don't really.

    Now the Internet reports the news faster than the new papers can, the papers need to find something to write about, so they go after the BBC because everyone pays for the service. The BBC will never win with the papers taking chunks out of them,

    But I do agree Ross does swear a lot, I sometimes feel really uncomfortable watching him!

  37. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Chicken Town

    I swear freely and liberally (interesting but true choice of words) on a daily basis. But that doesn't mean I swear all the time or don't know any other words. Shock is often used to raise ratings and it can sometimes be pretty annoying if you have people apparently swearing just for the sake of it. But the BBC should be representative of everyone out there including the denizens of John Cooper Clark's immortal "Chicken Town" aka Salford. Middle England can fuck right off.

  38. VulcanV5

    Freakin Ross

    Lacking much in the way of brain cells, it's not surprising that Ross has thus far proved incapable of producing one original thought or one original sentence. An overpaid talentless adolescent, he (and the similarly puerile Brand) have benefited solely from the presence of so many other overpaid talentless adolescents in what passes for the BBC's production management structure.

    It is from them that the cfry has gone up "we need Ross, we need Brand, to capture the yoof market".

    And it is from the BBC's own newly published stats that the truth emerges: less than 20% of Ross's audience is aged under 25, and Brand's audience totalled 1/15th of that attained by fuddy ol' "Today".

    In pursuit of the self-serving delusion that hey, we're young! We must be important! the Beeb's adolescent retards have been responsible for the epic waste of licence payers' money and the perpetuation of the myth that employing the likes of Ross and Brand is somehow "good" for national broadcasting.

    That the inarticulate and immature Ross is to be allowed to get his snout back in the licence payers' trough says all there is to say about the failure of the publicly funded national broadcasting organisation. It's no longer a case of the sooner Ross goes the better but the sooner the better that the BBC's access to public funds is cut off. With the kind of ratings Brand was getting, no commercial outfit would've stumped up his salary, and for the kind of audience Ross is allegedly satisfying, only an outfit catering to morons on benefits would seek to employ him -- though where they'd find commercial advertisers wishing to target that particular audience profile, Gawd knows. But perhaps Ross could do it on Minimum Wage.

    As for the earlier remark about Andrew Sachs being a silly sad old turkey, at least he's a turkey the nation took to its heart, unlike the Ross species that seeks to take everyone else into the gutter.

  39. ThinkingOutLoud
    Paris Hilton

    F***ing Gwyneth Paltrow

    Yes Jonathan, I would too. Not expecting Cold Play to appear on your show next year, though.

    Paris because JR and I probably would. Me first 'cos I don't like stirring someone else's porridge...

    Oh, you were not eating, were you?

  40. Anonymous Coward


    I'd like to know why swearing is already censored from the music on BBC radio but not TV. It's not just F-bombs either. The other week I heard Colin Murray (so after 10pm) playing Helicopter by Bloc Party and it had "bastard" wiped out of the lyrics - completely ridiculous. I'm sure that BBC TV has swearing aplenty at that time of night. Why the double-standards?

  41. Anonymous Coward

    Re: Nanny state

    "Is this a case of Aunty becomming Nanny?"

    That's all very well but why should we have to pay (through the license fee) for something that we don't want to hear?

    Jonathan Woss is a tw*t anyway. All he does is swear and laugh at "rude words". If he ever said anything genuinely funny, I must have missed it.

    I bet he was the first to look up f*ck and b*stard when he got his first dictionary and pissed himself. Most of us got past that stage before we left school.....

  42. Thomas Bottrill

    @AC RE: Radio

    Radio doesn't have a watershed - technically, you should never swear on it.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    RE:Don't Mention the Where?

    The US bit is referring to Gwynneth Paltrow, not Andrew Sachs. I had to read this twice before it dawned.

    However, my main complaint is the money paid to Mr. Ross (and many of teh other BBC "talent").

    £6,000,000 per year is a lot of money. I am pretty sure you could replace Ross with someone on only £1 million and still be guaranteed on getting someone talented, popular and entertaining.

    £5 million would allow the exemption from the license fee of another 35,000 low income families, which should surely be a much better use of what is effectively my money than paying a single person, IMHO for £6 million quid of taxpayers money I would expect the BBC to employ Princess Diana.

  44. Patrick R
    Thumb Down


    So nobody at the BBC got it when he told Nigella Lawson she was "#1 on his list of MILFs" a year ago ?

  45. Seán


    It's terrible seeing the BBC dying like this bit by bit until it's just amorphous shit like the US channels. It would have been nice if the BBC could have survived into the internet era but it's just not to be.

  46. Oldfogey
    IT Angle

    Radical suggestion.

    Now I suppose I have no entitlement to an opinion, as I long ago used the ultimate OFF button and so don't have a telly, this its not my money they are spending.

    Nevertheless, how about a radical experiment?

    Ban ALL swearing on ALL broadcast media for a period of one year. At the end of that time, see whether people are still actually aware that there is no swearing.

    I suggest this because I don't swear (no, not even when it slips out) (old Round the Horne joke, hence completely clean and smutty at the same time). People never believe this, "Oh, come on, everybody swears", but when challenged have to admit I do not.

    Why not? Just never have.

    What this says to me is that swearing is so much a part of many peoples daily failure of communication, that they are not even aware that it is there - or not!

    The icon? Shhhh you know what.

  47. Henry Wertz Gold badge


    "Ever seen the South Park episode 'It Hits The Fan"? The ancient Knights of Standards and Practices will be along shortly at this sudden increase in the use of cursed words..."

    Yes I have (here in the US on Comedy Central.) The first airing on Comedy Central was completely unbleeped (they bleep a couple f-bombs but say shit all 162 times). People where shocked. SHOCKED! Actually they surprisingly weren't, there's still strict rules against swearing on the air here (see George Carlin's "7 dirty words") but recently they aren't much enforced. In general, stations are much stricter than they have to be (since the law's pretty ambiguous most stations don't want to risk a theoretically possible large fine.) Since they swear so much, this dragon like bursts out of some mountain hideaway and starts trashing the town. As Wikipedia says, :"Kyle destroys the dragon with an ancient magical rune stone belonging to a knight in the mystical Order of Standards & Practices."

  48. Darren Forster

    Sack Jonathan Ross

    Firstly there will be a lot less swearing coming out Jonathan Ross's gob next year as he wont be working with the Beeb for the next 6 months. Although I think the BBC should stop messing around with the licence payers money and sack this loser (does anyone actually watch his show anyway?? Ant and Dec are far more popular any day than Ross, and the Auntie handed them over to ITV along with Paul O'Grady - all top quality comedians that ITV probably pay a lot less for than the BBC pay for Ross).

    The BBC does have some really good and funny comedians out there such as Chris Moyles, but Jonathan Ross is just a waste of space and a waste of the TV licence payers money. I am really annoyed that I am being forced to subscribe to this losers pay packet just because I own a TV and live in the UK.

  49. A J Stiles

    Simple Technological Solution

    I have an idea for a simple technological solution.

    Whenever the sound of a swear-word is broadcast, it should be in opposite phases in the left-hand and right-hand channels. If you set your TV sound to mono, then the two will cancel out. It'll probably fuck up the rest of the sound effects, of course, but the sort of people at whom this is aimed probably don't care about that as long as they get to don't have to listen to swear words. If you leave it on stereo, then you will hear it as it was intended.

    I think everyone should be happy with that -- unless they only have an old telly with only mono sound .....

  50. Anonymous Coward


    No, not eating. And thankfully not drinking either; else you would owe me a new monitor and keyboard. thanks for the laugh!

  51. Mr C

    Whoreless PC EPG

    I see that Channel 4's PC thought-police have been at the Freeview EPG - my PVR recorded "The Devil's Whore" with the mysteriously censored filename "The Devil's Wh**e.rec".

    Back in the 80s Russ Abbot used to get away with "Miss Funny Fanny" and Friar Tuck spoonerism jokes on a Saturday tea-time. I don't seem to remember anyone being offended back then.

  52. Not That Andrew

    who needs a title?

    If you don't like Russell Brand or Jonathan Ross you can do what I do and avoid any show with either overpaid prat (except the HIGNFY where Ross gets humiliated, of course).

  53. John

    Ross isn't talentless

    I'm a big fan of his radio show but dont like his TV show mainly because of his unnecessary swearing.

    He has many faults but he isn't talentless. He has a very solid knowledge of TV, film and especially music. He researches most of his guests' work in depth and has often seen them live. He mixes inane banter with a good discussion of the work the guest is trying to market (well on his radio show he gets the balance right).

    Overpaid? Yes. Needs bringing back to earth. Maybe. But he's good and deserves to be back in some form.

  54. jon

    well, what will really happen...

    - is that Ross et al will move to ITV etc, where they start f-ing swearing at 1 min past 9...

  55. Richard Harris
    Thumb Down


    Somewhere, deep underground, a smug grin is spreading across the corpse of Mary Whitehouse.

    Also, I can't believe that Gabby Logan had to appologise on Five Live for Frank Skinner saying "Bitch" on Sunday morning. She cited the new rules on swearing as the reason. Soon, all we'll be getting on the BBC, will be re-runs of Ballamory 24x7.

  56. Eponymous Cowherd
    Thumb Down

    Re:Sack Jonathan Ross

    ***"The BBC does have some really good and funny comedians out there such as Chris Moyles"***

    ROFLMFAO, Moyles, a "good and funny comedian". Nice to see that irony isn't dead!

    He's tops even Ross in the overpaid waste-of-space league table, by quite a margin, IMHO.

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I have a theory....

    Constant swearing does lead to increased violence. How?

    In a normal conversation, as it escalates to punches being thrown, you hear in stages

    1) normal conversation, 2) raised voices, 3) abuse+raised voices 4) fight!

    At any stage before 4 the situation can be defused by someone backing off, or sidetracking the argument.

    If you go to a club and have to shout over music you're already at 2. If you swear without realizing it you're effectively at 3. That only leaves a trigger being needed to get to 4. Just add alcohol or chemical recreation of choise to remove inhibitions.

    anyhoo, that's my theory...

  58. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ruined Robocop

    Pretty sure that was on ITV.

  59. spiny norman
    Thumb Down

    @I have a theory

    At least it explains Eastenders, where everyone is permanently at 3 and go to 4 at the drop of a rating.

  60. VulcanV5

    Moyles mouth wash

    I can't believe that in a discussion about offensive language, anyone would be insensitive enough, or stupid enough, to come on here and say "Chris Moyles".

    That is just so-oo DISGUSTING.

  61. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    To all those muppets who seem to think swearing is cool

    Why not just stay in your playground and swear at all the other kiddies to your hearts content? Adults don't need a constant diet of swearing. And no swearing isn't big, clever or particularly funny - its the last resort of the washed up comedian to get a few cheap laughs. If their act doesn't work without it perhaps they should bin the act and try another career, Or just stick to doing the student union circuit.

  62. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: To all those muppets who seem to think swearing is cool

    Can I be the first to say... oh, no, I can't, it's just too easy.

    Actually no it's not. Get to fuck, swearing is the fucking stuff of life, you fuck.


  63. HFoster

    Bavarian Firedrill


    I couldn't care less how much swearing is on TV after the watershed. Children ought to be in bed by then (although I rarely was), or doing something else (huffing glue, perhaps?). As to the old and easily offended... Well, if that game of bridge and half bottle of port hasn't finished them off, I think they deserve every-fucking-thing they get.

    There are far more important issues in the world than a bit of swearing on TV.

    How about the TV and advertising companies clamp down on bad grammar on TV? THAT is far more damaging and upsetting than the odd "fuck."

  64. Brezin Bardout

    @ I have a theory

    Quite right, ban swearing on the BBC so we can all look forward to less fights in nightclubs...

    Actually I agree with you to an extent, swearing can be aggressive and aggression does lead to fights. However, I really don't think less swearing on the BBC is going to have any impact on the amount people swear. My three year old only ever watches Teletubbies and the like and he never stops fucking swearing.

  65. mittfh

    ITV have missed a trick...

    With JR absent from the BBC for a few months, ITV could have given him an all expenses paid trip to Australia, where a certain reality show for misbehaving celebs (what other term would you use to describe the likes of Kilroy and Mallet?) is currently airing... would be even better if they could conveniently forget to arrange his flight back...

  66. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "The BBC does have some really good and funny comedians out there such as Chris Moyles"

    he really isn't,

    just, no....

  67. Anonymous Coward

    "making love"

    So, Johnny Woss reckons he'd like to "make love" to Gwynneth Paltrow. He has a point but I suspect the wife might have something to say about it...

    There - I said it without fucking swearing.

  68. RogueElement
    Paris Hilton


    If we're going to sent that offensive tw@ all the way to oz... can't we get him on some program where he goes diving for sting rays?

    (No offence to Mr Urwin; rather a much preferred alternative... RIP mate)

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