Page last updated at 12:02 GMT, Monday, 22 February 2010

Dancing On Ice judge Gardiner cleared over Davies jibe

Jason Gardiner and Sharron Davies
Ofcom received 443 complaints about Gardiner's comments

Dancing On Ice judge Jason Gardiner did not breach broadcasting guidelines when he likened Sharron Davies' skating to faecal matter, Ofcom has ruled.

The ruling followed the former Olympic swimmer's exit from the ITV1 show, in which her skating drew criticism from resident "nasty" pundit Gardiner.

The watchdog recognised his reference to faecal matter "was potentially offensive to a number of people".

However, it said it was justified in the context of the programme.

Gardiner, it ruled, was "well established as the acerbic 'nasty' judge on Dancing on Ice and seems quite content to play up to his 'pantomime villain' image".

'Cut and thrust'

His comment, therefore, "would have been likely to have been recognised as part of the 'cut and thrust' of this contest by the majority of the audience".

Ofcom received 443 complaints about the 31 January edition of Dancing On Ice, in which Gardiner said Davies' first routine with skating partner Pavel Aubrecht was "like watching faecal matter that won't flush".

"It goes around and around and around and in the end it doesn't go anywhere," he added.

In its February broadcast bulletin, Ofcom said Gardiner's remarks had been fleeting and were partially prompted by the colour of Davies' costume.

The former Olympic swimmer left the competition this weekend, after finding herself in the skate-off for a third time.

Seven contestants still remain on the ITV1 show, won last year by former X Factor finalist Ray Quinn.

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