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Thursday, 31 January, 2002, 01:51 GMT
MPs' Brass Eye complaints rejected
The show generated hundreds of complaints
The paedophile spoof received hundreds of complaints
Complaints made by two Labour MPs against a spoof paedophile documentary have been rejected by television watchdogs.

Syd Rapson and Barbara Follett claimed they were tricked into appearing on the Channel 4 programme Brass Eye.

They lodged separate complaints with the Broadcasting Standards Commission (BSC), saying they had been treated unjustly or unfairly by the show.

But a report issued by the BSC on Thursday ruled that the complaints could not be upheld.

More than 1,500 complaints were made about the programme by members of the public and the Independent Television Committee (ITC) ordered Channel 4 to make an apology.

Serious documentary

Mr Rapson, MP for Portsmouth North and Mrs Follett, MP for Stevenage, both appeared on Brass Eye believing it was a serious documentary about paedophilia.

Singer Phil Collins
Singer Phil Collins says he was tricked into taking part
But the Chris Morris programme was actually an elaborate hoax, which poked fun at a number of celebrities and personalities.

Musician Phil Collins was among other celebrities tricked into backing an imaginary anti-paedophile pressure-group Nonce Sense - as in "Now I'm talking Nonce Sense".

ITN correspondent Nicholas Owen, television presenter Phillipa Forrester and comedian Richard Blackwood were tricked into warning viewers about a fictitious internet game that would allow paedophiles to watch children playing at home.

Victims mocked

After the programme was shown Channel 4 had to set up a special complaints line to cope with the sheer volume of calls.

Many viewers said it had mocked the victims of horrific crimes.

Despite being forced to apologise, Channel 4 said it stood by its decision to screen the programme.

It claimed the satire had raised valuable points about the sensationalism surrounding the issue of paedophilia.

Brass Eye has since been named as a contender for the title of best comedy production of last year at the annual South Bank Awards.

See also:

30 Jan 02 | Entertainment
Alanis joins Olympic line-up
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
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