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Monday, 17 September, 2001, 07:27 GMT 08:27 UK
Big Breakfast rapped for jokes
Richard Bacon
Bacon: Former Blue Peter presenter
TV watchdogs have rapped Channel 4 for jokes made by a Big Breakfast presenter about Alzheimer's disease.

The Independent Television Commission (ITC) said that Richard Bacon's comments during a newspaper review breached its code.

Brass Eye prompted thousands of complaints
Brass Eye prompted thousands of complaints
Bacon made jokes about poor memory after a news item about a new vaccine for the dementia-causing illness.

Viewers complained to the ITC and to the television channel after the remarks on a 7 June show.

Channel 4 apologised and is taking the matter up with the programme makers.

The ITC rules provide for the possibility of offending viewers with humorous remarks even if there is no malice involved.

Distress

Earlier this month Channel 4 had to apologise on air for a satirical documentary on paedophilia, Brass Eye.

At the time the ITC said that the scenes involving children in a sexual context had generated "offence and distress".

That show included mock TV news reports into suspected paedophiles, their behaviour, and how the public should take measures to keep their children safe.

The commission cleared reality show Survivor after complaints about scenes of rats being drowned, as they were thought to be editorially justified.

The ITC also said that news bulletins on ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and Sky were justified in showing footage of a disaster at a wedding in Jerusalem.

Viewers complained that the scenes after a three-storey building caved in were "voyeuristic".

But the ITC dismissed the criticisms.

See also:

04 Oct 00 | Entertainment
Channel 4 comedy 'unacceptable'
27 Jul 01 | TV and Radio
TV satire sparks 1,500 complaints
06 Sep 01 | TV and Radio
Watchdog orders Brass Eye apology
19 Jun 01 | TV and Radio
Big Breakfast washed up
30 Nov 98 | Entertainment
No more drugs - sacked Blue Peter star
30 Jul 01 | TV and Radio
Keeping tabs on TV
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