Page last updated at 14:05 GMT, Wednesday, 12 November 2008

No C4 curbs on Oliver's language

By Torin Douglas
Media correspondent, BBC News

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver will not be asked to cut down his swearing in his new series, Channel 4 has said.

Jamie Oliver
Oliver's latest show will be called Jamie Saves Our Bacon
The declaration comes amid calls from MPs and Michael Grade, executive chairman of ITV, to curb "indiscriminate" bad language on TV.

Oliver's use of "the f-word" was criticised by MPs this week, with one accusing broadcasters of turning the airwaves into a "sewer" of bad language.

Speaking at Channel 4's winter season press launch, however, head of programmes Julian Bellamy said he thought broadcasters in general - and Channel 4 in particular - had got the balance right.

TV must not lose its nerve and give in to "cultural conservatism and censorship" following the row over lewd calls made on Russell Brand's Radio 2 programme, he said.

In that case, he continued, a mistake had been made, apologies given and action taken.

'Shock and anger'

Defending Oliver's on-screen swearing, Bellamy said: "When you watch these shows it's very clear that the fruity language he uses is a real response to the shock and anger at what he sees [and] his passion and determination to change things.

"People know what to expect from Channel 4 and we have a duty to push boundaries."

Michael Grade
Grade offered his thoughts on bad language on TV earlier this month
In the Commons this week, culture secretary Andy Burnham said that at times a line had "clearly been crossed".

Former Labour minister Denis MacShane agreed, asking: "Why has British broadcasting got to be in the linguistic sewer of our great language?"

ITV chairman Michael Grade spoke out earlier this month on the subject, calling on broadcasters to take greater care over the use of "the f-word".

"Not enough consideration is given to a very large section of the audience who don't want to hear that word or such words," he told the Broadcasting Press Guild.

Oliver's new Channel 4 series, Jamie Saves Our Bacon, will encourage people to buy British pork because, he claims, welfare standards in the UK are higher than those overseas.

In the show he claims the British pig industry is "on its knees" because so much pork is imported from EU countries.

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