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Wednesday, 10 April, 2002, 15:12 GMT 16:12 UK
TV stunt show films royal funeral
Banzai
Banzai: "No harm or disrespect was intended."
Police stepped in to stop a crew from Channel 4's comedy show Banzai filming the Queen Mother's funeral cortege passing through west London on Tuesday.

The programme offers viewers the chance to bet on a series of wacky and surreal stunts.

Channel 4 refused to comment on reports that the programme had been planning an item which would allow viewers to bet on the speed of the Queen Mother's funeral procession.

A speed gun was being used at the scene, according to some reports.

The network issued a statement which said: "Banzai was covering the Queen Mother's funeral in its own, inimitable way.

The Queen Mother's funeral cortege
The hearse was travelling from London to Windsor

"No harm or disrespect was intended."

Police intervened in the filming, minutes before the cortege was due to pass by.

'Confiscated'

A Scotland Yard spokeswoman said: "Police spoke to a group of people from a TV company.

"They were given words of advice about their behaviour in relation to security and road safety."

She added: "Property was temporarily confiscated but no criminal offence took place. No further action will be taken by police."

It is not clear whether the Banzai crew managed to film any of the procession or not.

Banzai, which sends up the conventions of Japanese TV, won the award for best light entertainment programme at this year's 10th annual Indie Awards, which honour independent TV productions.

The programme allows viewers at home to guess the outcome of a number of filmed events, from how many pies can be eaten by a celebrity to how long a piece of elastic will stretch.

The series made its debut on Channel 4's pay-TV service E4 in 2000, and it uses digital TV's interactive facilities to allow viewers to play along with the stunts at home.


In DepthIN DEPTH
The Queen MotherQueen Mother
Nation bids a final farewell to a remarkable royal
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