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Wednesday, 27 February, 2002, 10:00 GMT
Awards nod revives Brass Eye row
The show generated hundreds of complaints
The programme received more than 1,500 complaints
The row over controversial TV show Brass Eye has been reignited by its nomination for a Royal Television Society comedy award.

The Brass Eye Special's satire on the media's treatment of paedophilia is up against BBC Two's The Office and another Channel 4 programme, Phoenix Nights, for the Royal Television Society award.

The Talkback Productions programme provoked a record number of complaints to TV regulator the Independent Television Committee when it was broadcast last year.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, John Milton-Whatmore, chairman of the organisation Mediawatch UK, condemned the Brass Eye nomination.

A lot of common, decent people would have looked at this programme and been thoroughly disgusted

John Milton-Whatmore

Mediawatch-UK was formerly the National Viewers and Listeners Association, the broadcast monitoring group set up by the late Mary Whitehouse.

Mr Milton-Whatmore said viewers' complaints were not being heeded by broadcasters.

"What do we have to do, in phone calls and letters, to give them the impression that it wasn't light, it was perverted?" he said.

One of the show's writers, David Quantick, also speaking on the Today programme, said the programme was "groundbreaking stuff", and the complaints had been inevitable.

Brass Eye
Brass Eye is fronted by Chris Morris

"It should get lots of awards - all of them, really," he said.

But Mr Milton-Whatmore insisted: "A lot of people were offended by this.

"A lot of common, decent people would have looked at this programme and been thoroughly disgusted."

More than 1,500 complaints were made about the programme by members of the public after it was broadcast last July.


In January, the Brass Eye Special won a Broadcast magazine comedy award, seeing off competition from The Royle Family at Christmas on BBC One, Coupling on BBC Two, My Family on BBC One, and Channel 4's Phoenix Nights.

In the same month, the Broadcasting Standards Commission refused to uphold complaints made by two Labour MPs against the programme.

Syd Rapson and Barbara Follett had claimed they were duped into appearing on the programme.

Mediawatch UK's John Milton-Whatmore
"It is an unusual programme"
See also:

31 Jan 02 | TV and Radio
Brass Eye wins comedy award
31 Jan 02 | TV and Radio
Broadcast Awards winners in full
01 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Broadcast prizes for reality shows
31 Jan 02 | TV and Radio
MPs' Brass Eye complaints rejected
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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