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Last Updated: Thursday, 29 May, 2003, 09:05 GMT 10:05 UK
Swearing rap for comedy awards
Jonathan Ross
Jonathan Ross hosted the British Comedy Awards
Excessive swearing at the British Comedy Awards has earned a rebuke from a broadcasting watchdog.

And the Broadcasting Standards Commission has also chastised BBC radio DJs Sara Cox and Jonathan Ross for making light of serious subjects.

The British Comedy Awards ceremony, hosted by Ross, was screened live and unedited in December on ITV1.

Swearing, and particularly four-letter words, during the ceremony, sparked complaints from viewers.

And the BSC agreed that the unrestrained swearing was too much, even if it did go out on after the 2100 watershed.

"A standards panel watched the programme and took the view that the repeated and unrestrained use of the 'f-word' by some of the award winners had exceeded acceptable boundaries for broadcast," the commission said.

Suicide jokes

But the show's producer, Channel Television, defended it, saying that the strong language was only broadcast after 2130 and that a warning was given before the programme.

BBC Radio 1 DJ Sara Cox was reprimanded for taking a comic tone while talking about bizarre suicide during her breakfast show.

And BBC Radio 2's Jonathan Ross once again fell foul of the watchdog, this time for relaying comments made by his son that running over elderly or terminally ill people would make for an exciting day.

In April, a complaint against Ross was upheld over a racy joke that "went too far" during his Saturday morning show.

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