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Monday, 11 February, 2002, 09:18 GMT
Watchdog attacks Madonna outburst
Madonna handed Martin Creed the Turner Prize
Madonna handed Martin Creed the Turner Prize
Pop icon Madonna has earned Channel 4 a slap on the wrists for her four-letter outburst while presenting the Turner Prize art award.

The singer swore live on TV as she announced the winner, Martin Creed.

Despite their best efforts, producers failed to "bleep" the word out and the commercial TV watchdog, the Independent Television Commission, found Channel 4 had breached its code of conduct.

The channel made two apologies after the outburst, which was transmitted before the 2100 watershed.


Five viewers complained about the broadcast made from London's Tate Britain gallery.

Channel 4 had put special precautions in place because of the singer's reputation for shocking and she had been cautioned about how she should behave.

Producers said she appeared to be taking the event very seriously, but despite several requests would not allow the station to see her speech.

Martin Creed's exhibit was controversial
Martin Creed's exhibit was controversial
Channel 4 said its "trust in Madonna had been abused".

During the ceremony Madonna claimed awards shows were "silly".

She said in her speech: "Does the artist who wins the award become a better artist? Is it nice to win 20 grand?

"Art is always at its best when there is no money, because it is nothing to do with money and everything to do with love," she said.

"It can be inspiring, inexplicable, provocative and infuriating, but we cannot live without it."

Mr Creed's controversial work The Lights Going On and Off won the 20,000 award.

His installation centred around an empty gallery with a pair of flashing lights.


Meanwhile a soft-porn channel has been criticised by the commission after a cable firm's bungle led to homes receiving unencrypted shows.

A technical hitch led to NTL customers in Epsom, Surrey getting Television X - the Fantasy Channel for hours on end.

A viewer complained after receiving the service, despite not having subscribed.

Although NTL accepted it was to blame for the problem the commission said it only had the power to act against the channel and not the carrier, the cable firm.

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30 Jul 01 | TV and Radio
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