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Monday, 19 November, 2001, 13:51 GMT
Complaints over Robbie's TV show
Robbie Williams
Williams' show was broadcast after the 9pm "watershed"
The BBC has apologised after more than 500 viewers rang the corporation to complain about language used in a Robbie Williams concert special on Saturday night.

The show, which captured 7.3 million viewers, featured extensive banter from the singer between songs and a scripted dialogue with actor Rupert Everett.

The frank language of these exchanges led to the complaints to the BBC, while Broadcasting Standards Commission (BSC) received a further 27 complaints by Monday lunchtime.

"If anyone was offended, we apologise, " said a BBC spokeswoman.

Frank Sinatra
Williams is a big Frank Sinatra fan
"Rupert Everett's comments were intended to be tongue-in-cheek."

The BBC also stressed that the programme was broadcast after the 9pm "watershed", before which language, and sexual and violent content are more closely scrutinised.

But the spokeswoman said the number of complaints was "high" for a bad-language issue.

Earlier this year Channel 4 received more than 1,000 complaints over an episode of Channel 4's Brass Eye which satirised media treatment of paedophilia.

Live recording

The BBC One show, One Night With Robbie Williams, featured the pop star in a Frank Sinatra-style setting, backed by a jazz big band and singing classic songs of the 1940s and 50s.

It was a live recording of a concert at the Royal Albert Hall in October.

A BSC spokeswoman said the organisation would collect the complaints and pass them on to the BSC Commissioners in due course.

"They might want the BBC to make a statement - it's the commissioners' decision," she said.

See also:

27 Feb 01 | Music
Robbie: The great entertainer
04 Oct 00 | Entertainment
Channel 4 comedy 'unacceptable'
27 Jul 01 | TV and Radio
TV satire sparks 1,500 complaints
11 Dec 00 | Entertainment
Audiences shun racist language
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