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Last Updated: Monday, 10 January 2005, 13:42 GMT
Should BBC have shown Jerry Springer opera?
David Soul as Jerry Springer
The broadcast of Jerry Springer - The Opera on the BBC has caused widespread controversy.

The BBC has defended its decision, saying that as a public service broadcaster it should provide programmes that appeal to the differing tastes and interests of people in the UK.

Do you think Jerry Springer - The Opera should have been broadcast by the BBC? Are Christian organisations right to object? Is the BBC's justification valid? Did you watch it?


This is a second page of your comments:

If only the people who post their messages here in support of this production, were aware of the consequences of such blasphemy.
Peter, London

To those who obviously haven't seen it - this play is not comedy like a seaside postcard, it's comedy like Shakespeare: it uses humour to show up society's flaws and dilemmas. Freedom of speech is a crucial right which helps to protect other rights by, for example, giving voice to protest, and the ability of others to quash that right is a frightening danger. I support the showing of Jerry Springer: The Opera on BBC2.
Ryan Taylor, Sydenham

Christianity is not immune to having itself questioned and scrutinised. But this show does neither. Instead Jesus Christ is held up to ridicule for the sake of entertainment. I would not be bothered by an evening dedicated to atheism, but to degrade religious beliefs in this way is another matter. Will the BBC be fair and show equal insensitivity to other religions or is it just Christianity that is fair game?
Martin Downes, Swansea, Wales, UK

Organised religion offends my standards of taste and decency, but I put up with it when a religious person or programme is on TV spouting what I believe is patronising made-up nonsense and presenting it in a moral context. It needs to be pointed out that 'Jerry Springer - The Opera' is of superb aesthetic quality - I have seen it on stage twice so I have the right to voice that claim. It is also a deeply thoughtful show that examines complex moral issues in an intelligent way. The religious objectors don't care to consider any of this - very few of them have seen the show. I'm sorry if they're upset, but it's tough.
Mike, Edinburgh

Blasphemy is not the issue, basic standards are
Diane Saunders, St Albans, Herts
You may think this is just one more 'religious nut' jumping on the band wagon. However, as a double licence payer (student daughter) I am disgusted that so much money from decent ordinary people is being wasted on vulgar, swear-word littered, bad taste, American rubbish. Blasphemy is not the issue, basic standards are - common decency states that there are things you can say and do and things you can't - is the BBC exempt?
Diane Saunders, St Albans, Herts

I think religious groups have a right to be offended and a right to have their say about programmes, but they have no right to tell other adults what they can and cannot watch on television. What arrogance to believe they can decide what I am allowed to see and hear! Surely they can register their complaint in the most sensible fashion by refusing to watch programmes which they find offensive.
L Bennett, St Leonards-on-Sea

The show should not be aired. It's a disgrace. I certainly don't pay my licence to have programs like this shown. I know I have a choice not to watch but that means one less channel with 'acceptable' shows for me to choose from.
Mr S Honeyfield, Bournemouth England

I fully support the BBC showing the Jerry Springer opera. I do not believe that the stirring up of religious sensitivities (of any faith) should be a reason for banning any work of art.
Keith Payne, Marlborough, UK

At last the BBC gets something right! The BBC's decision to show Jerry Springer The Opera is the best thing to come onto the BBC since Little Britain. I have seen the show and it is amazing, the talent, the show and the whole concept. Whilst there is some swearing and some issues that may offend, it is all about freedom of speech and of course entertainment. For those that don't want it to be screened, some simple advice... Don't watch it. For everyone else watch it on TV, then go and see it at the theatre, it's fantastic.
Mark Brooks, London

The BBC should certainly not be showing this programme. It is our money you are spending on this offensive item, presumably hoping to attract viewers by the "shock value". I am not part of an organised group and have never before complained about a programme - usually I consider that those who do not want to watch can switch off. However, this is a step too far. I agree with those who suggest a similar programme relating to other religions would not have been entertained in these sensitive times. Shame on you for lowering your standards so much.
Mrs S Brown, Aldershot UK

I would like to thank the BBC for showing Jerry Springer the Opera. It is a true classic. Clearly it is a send up, and it is disappointing that these protestors seem to have no sense of humour. Moreover, it is disturbing to hear of so called Christians making death threats against BBC employees. The BBC fulfilled its public service remit and provided those of us with a sense of humour and the lack of resources to get to the West End, with a very enjoyable evening. Thank you.
Heather Savigny, Norwich, UK

Having watched small snippets of this obscenity last night I find it objectionable that it is classed as opera, or any form of civilised art-form for that matter. Is this really what part of my licence fee goes towards?
Maris J Teteris, Barnet, UK

Of course the BBC was right to broadcast Jerry Springer - The Opera. I do not acknowledge the right of minority pressure groups, whether religiously based or otherwise, to determine what I can or cannot watch on television. It is time that any residual blasphemy laws were repealed. Why should I respect the views of Christians who have to resort to them to justify their opinions? A religion should be able to command respect on its own merits. It should not need special and outdated legal protection.
Robert Charlesworth, London

If this had been about the Muslim faith or other beliefs the BBC would, rightly or wrongly, not have screened it. Whist I hold no religious beliefs, I find it incredible that the BBC has acted in what can only be described as a discriminatory way and towards the state religion of this country.
Lynn Hayward, Lowestoft, Suffolk

I thoroughly enjoyed every minute
Ellen Dixon, Sheffield, England
Thank you BBC for showing something that has made my licence fee worth while paying. This was the first opera I have watched and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute, all credit to the cast and writers. Not all of us live in London and have access to or the money to see these productions live so full marks to the BBC for allowing a wider audience to benefit. I was sorry to read that religious groups now feel the need to prosecute the BBC, presumably the writers, producers and cast of the live show will also suffer the same fate. I feel the BBC gives ample coverage to a variety of religions, particularly Christianity - do we ever see Songs of Praise from a Mosque? If anyone listens to Radio 4 on a week day morning they will here a variety of beliefs being aired on Thought for the Day, most of which I disagree with, but then I simply exercise the option not to listen.
Ellen Dixon, Sheffield, England

Brilliant! The best, funniest and most thought-provoking programme shown for years. Congratulations to the BBC for having the courage to show it. The argument that it shouldn't be shown because some licence payers object doesn't hold water. Songs of Praise is not my cup of tea but I don't protest because it is funded by my licence fee. The BBC is living up to its duty to reflect the full diversity of cultures within society. More please!
John Syme, Clydebank, Scotland

Clearly with 40,000 complaints made to the BBC over the Springer programme, the Corporation has made a serious error of judgement. Now is the time to examine the special position it holds as it is clearly out of touch with the people it serves.
Keith Ransome, Wirral UK

Two hours of obscenity and profanity.
Richard Driver, Newton Aycliffe, England
I am disgusted our £121 license fee should be used to fund such filth. Two hours of obscenity and profanity. Worst of all was the blasphemy in Act 2. If Moslems and Sikhs can complain about what offends them, why shouldn't Christians. After all, this used to be a Christian country!
Richard Driver, Newton Aycliffe, England

Having watched and thoroughly enjoyed Jerry Springer: The Opera, I am thankful to the BBC for showing it and saving me the cost of tickets and train fare to London. If people are offended by it, they don't have to watch it; the BBC provide more than enough alternative viewing. Thanks, BBC, for not giving in to the pressure the holier-than-thou minority.
Jennifer, Cambridge, UK

I enjoyed the Jerry Springer Opera, what was all the fuss about? JC is portrayed in a loincloth on crucifixes everywhere, and why couldn't he be fat? I thought the final message "Look after yourselves - and each other" seems to chime with all the major religions.
Alix Gaffney, Edinburgh Scotland

Thanks for showing this brilliant satire. Why are so many Christians so literal minded? One of the best satires on secular values I have seen for a long time.
Ian Murray, St Albans UK

The show is trying to comment on the media circus that many people aspire to become part of
Michelle White, Portsmouth, Hants
I thought that the Jerry Springer opera was one of the most offensive and blasphemous things I have ever seen. But I enjoyed it. You know why? Because I have a sense of humour. I can understand the difference between serious drama and satire. I can see that the show is trying to comment on the media circus that many people aspire to become part of and the mythology that dominates modern religion. It is not wrong or illegal to question to organisations that are part of our lives (religion, media etc). In fact, it's every person's right and obligation to do so. There is a clear choice here. If you want to see it, watch and learn. If you don't, you could watch something really offensive like Celebrity Big Brother.
Michelle White, Portsmouth, Hants

The BBC is showing cavalier disregard for the opinions of 40,000 people (as reported by Five Live) who object to the blasphemy and bad language. They would not dare show such disdain for any other religious, racial or sexual orientation group as they do to Christians. I shall press the government to prevent this discrimination when the charter is renewed.
David Depledge, Coventry, UK

I think the BBC should show this. Let us make up our own minds. If think I will find something offensive, I don't watch it. I probably wouldn't have bothered if it wasn't for all this publicity.
Neil, Essex, UK

I find that the BBC is now taking the rights of its viewers away from them. When over 40,000 have said no to the Jerry Springer Opera and they still insist on showing it. I believe that Christians have the right to complain as we are just as much as part of the community as everyone else.
Megan Franck, Dudley

The BBC should not avoid controversy. As a public service broadcaster it needs to appeal to, and cater for, a wide and varied audience. Although a show like this does not appeal to everybody it does appeal to a large part of the BBC audience. These people have a right to see this type of programme, in the same way as that small number who has a right to object. However, an objection does not mean a programme should not be aired, the viewer at the end of the day has the final say with the off button.
David Bain, Nairn, Scotland

I think that this just shows just low the standards in this country are falling that the BBC feels it right to show such filth. Once this is shown it lowers the standard that broadcasters will go to even further. Who is going to make a stand in broadcasting and say enough?
Tim Freeborn, Bath

I am vehemently opposed to censorship on religious or any other grounds
Victoria Clarke, London, UK
Frankly I can't stand Jerry Springer, but I am vehemently opposed to censorship on religious or any other grounds. The BBC's decision to screen Jerry Springer: The Opera is absolutely right. Britain embraces freedom of speech and long may it remain so. Congratulations to Mark Thompson for his decision.
Victoria Clarke, London, UK

For goodness sake, if you object to it, don't watch it. You can't stop others from watching what is quality entertainment. All the hype you have created has merely increased the audience ratings for tonight.
Nigel, Swindon, Wiltshire, UK

I'd be offended if it wasn't shown. Why shouldn't we have the chance to see it? If you don't like the show don't watch it. The BBC should reflect the needs of the whole country. There's no commandment against humour, and plenty of liberal Christians enjoy a good laugh as much as anyone else.
Paul Davey, Haywards Heath, UK

I think the BBC should broadcast this. I really do not know what all the fuss is about. If anyone does not want to hear bad language or does not want to view risqué material then it is easy, do not watch it, find another channel.
Steve Pennell, Burnley, UK

I feel very strongly that the programme should not be shown. Despite the DG's comments, it is still very clearly offensive to many people - Christian and non-Christian alike. Although arguments may be made as to the degree of blasphemy, its intention and disrespectful approach are very clear. Please pull it, even now.
Kevin Moloney, Bristol, England

I paid £50 to see it in London last year and enjoyed every minute. People around us were getting up and walking out, they made their choice. It is being screened late at night for an adult audience, if someone doesn't want to see it, then don't watch it. I find soaps mentally offensive so I don't watch them.
Daniel Doyle, North Walsham, Norfolk

Whatever happened to broadcast standards that reflect the best of social values?
Victor, Oxford, UK
Certainly a show like this is highly offensive to certain religions, but beyond that such a presentation is totally without taste and sensitivity. Whatever happened to broadcast standards that reflect the best of social values, not the worst? Certainly BBC has the right to air such trash, but the real question is why should it sink to this level in the first place?
Victor, Oxford, UK

At first I thought NO this should not be broadcast. Why? Because I am a Christian and several friends had e-mailed me to voice their protests. I then began to think about this and whilst I still find the subject abhorrent and not to my taste, I think we are getting into a dangerous situation here where one group of people with one opinion is able to control what the others wish to watch - i.e. they believe they have the divine right to make a superior choice. Freedom of speech, whilst not always being to our own individual taste, is what has encouraged and engendered a wealth of innovative and inspirational television in the United Kingdom and the BBC has been a shining example of excellent free speech and thought throughout the world.
Beverly Peberdy, Paphos, Cyprus

Although the BBC is a public service broadcaster, if a programme is going to cause great offence to viewers then it should take their views into account. If the BBC decided to press ahead with screening Jerry Springer, following the protests of Christians it clearly has no regards for their feelings or respect for their beliefs.
Marcia Dixon, London, UK

There are two things here. If you think it might be offensive - don't watch. If you think other people shouldn't be able to view it - you're wrong. What free thinking adults can and can't watch shouldn't be dictated by minority pressure groups.
Paul Bettison, St Albans, England

This is the sort of controversy the BBC should be creating in its role as a public broadcasting service. This programme gives me the opportunity to see one of the most talked about West End shows for FREE and from home. If you don't want to watch, no-one's forcing you to. (Besides, I wonder how many of you who complained will watch it 'out of interest' this evening and will end up enjoying it).
Sam, Bedford, Beds

I urge you to reconsider the screening of this programme (Jerry Springer - The Opera). In doing so you are making a public statement that the BBC has no moral standards and no respect for a belief or religion. You are in the process of repositioning the BBC as an organisation to one of low credibility and low morals. The very thing that has given the BBC its unique quality is the ability to stand above other media. This will now be lost.
John Tuck, Wokingham

Freedom of choice is important
Mark Leigh, Bolton, UK
There are a lot of people who do not have any religious feelings though they may have feelings about decency. This does not mean that we should endorse censorship. Freedom of choice is important and I imagine that most of the religious complainers or the self-appointed, self-righteous, guardians of public morals who want to censor this production haven't seen it - and if they don't want to see it, they do not need to switch on the TV. The choice is theirs AND ours.
Mark Leigh, Bolton, UK

I have seen the show on stage - twice - and am greatly looking forward to the television airing. The critics should realise that 1) it is being screened well after the watershed and 2) they have an OFF switch.
Ian G, Scarborough, England

It should definitely be shown, I can't believe the fuss being made. Perhaps all those people who are complaining should go and live in Middle America so they can be with their own kind.
Peter Hatherall, London

I do not understand how the BBC can play down the number of complaints it is receiving on this programme. Were it to feature any other minority religion there would be a great public outcry. I have always held the BBC up to be the epitome of decency and fairness, but if this programme goes ahead it will have descended to the depths of the other third rate channels. Since the BBC is publicly funded, do the public not have a say in what is broadcast, especially when such a programme as this is to be broadcast? It's just another sign of the decline of national moral standards - when will people realise what a state this country is descending to?
Clive Holmes, Sowerby Bridge, West Yorks

Of course the BBC should show Jerry Springer - The Opera. It should continue to challenge its audience with diverse opinions, new ideas and radical approaches to all its output.
Mark Slater, Stockport

Yes, I will watch it. Congratulations BBC on not bowing to the pressure of a vocal minority. I am happy to tolerate others' religious beliefs, they should be happy to tolerate my lack of them!
Elaine Coates, Stockport, Cheshire

There is a huge difference between challenging someone's faith and ridiculing it. I am perfectly happy for anyone to challenge my faith and assured that I am quite capable of defending my beliefs. However from what I read of this opera it ridicules my faith, meaning it is offensive and unacceptable and so it should not be broadcast.
Revd Dr Mike Bossingham, Upwell, UK

It'll be interesting to note how many complaints there are once people have actually seen this programme.
Toby Coulson, Cobham, Surrey

I do not like to complain about something I have not seen and the use of bad language on its own is not something that would cause me to make a complaint - after all we all have an off switch on our TVs. However, if as reported, the play includes a scene with Christ dressed in a nappy I do strongly object to this being broadcast. I hope the BBC is not following the example of Channel 4 and revelling in the free publicity that comes from high levels of complaints. As a public service some standards must be maintained and causing such serious offence to those who have a religious faith is inappropriate.
Fr Keith Miles, Gloucester

I can see why Christians would be upset
Al, London, UK
I am an atheist and think the show should be broadcast. But I can see why Christians would be upset. I cannot imagine a programme that lampoons Islam or other ethnic minority religions being allowed to be broadcast, so why is it ok to ridicule Christianity? A play that criticised the Sikh faith was recently closed when followers of that religion complained. You cannot really blame Christians for wanting to defend their own religion in the same way. Playwrights should be free to criticise any religion. The current double standard where it is all right to pour scorn on Christianity while maintaining respect and sensitivity for all other religions is unacceptable.
Al, London, UK

Yes of course it should be broadcasted. This is an artistic piece of theatre, with a specific thought and idea to it and since this is art it is meant to generate debate!
Doeschka, London, UK

We wish to register our extreme disappointment that the BBC is broadcasting this programme. We are not against comic satire in itself, and believe it is good to challenge all beliefs, but there are limits and these will be breached if this programme is broadcast. We are both committed Christians and wonder whether the BBC would have been as willing to show this programme if the content had been offensive against other religions. We urgently implore the BBC to reconsider their decision.
Phil and Jane Villiers, Southampton, UK

I guess I am not surprised to find the BBC providing as entertainment that is offensive to most decent people. Nor am I surprised at it, once more, acting in a derisory manner towards the Christian faith. That it wouldn't dare treat the leaders of some other religions in this kind of way, shows how far down the ethical and moral spiral the BBC has now gone. I regret having to pay a licence fee to support such programmes, which can only have a corrupting effect on viewers.
Malcolm Jones, London, England

Television standards are clearly slipping and the high regard I once held for the BBC and the excellent breadth of programmes it once showed has, unfortunately, been eroded yet again with the showing of this distasteful programme. Whilst I understand the argument of those who say "just switch over", I am concerned that, soon, this level of programme will become the norm, leaving nothing acceptable to switch over to!
Edward, London

15,000 complaints - all duly and democratically noted. But out of a total viewing or church-going population of how many million? Let's maintain some sense of proportion here.
Andy D, Oxford, UK

I will simply switch the TV off
Prema Abraham, London, UK
I think it is distasteful for the BBC to screen something like this, it clearly does not intend to take into account the unprecedented number of complaints it apparently seems to have received. It also makes you wonder whether complaints by an ethnic minority carry more weight than those by others. As helpfully suggested by a couple of writers, I will simply switch the TV off. I often find myself not watching the BBC as much anymore as it does not hold the pride of place in terms of decency standards that it once held over the other channels.
Prema Abraham, London, UK

I think that as a public broadcaster the BBC has a duty not to broadcast a programme which pushes back the borders of taste and decency. The BBC is wrong to broadcast Jerry Springer - The Opera. Surely this contravenes the BBC charter at whatever time of day and with whatever warnings?
John G Simmons, Great Chishill, Cambridgeshire

If you don't want to watch it, don't watch it. I want to be treated as an adult and left to make my own decisions about what I choose to watch. Why do these religious groups think they know what is best for me? Why should the views of some religious groups deprive me from watching the Opera? I shall be watching and deciding for myself whether or not I find it offensive and if I do, I shall simply watch something else, problem solved!
Steve Harris, Bristol

Although I defend the BBC's right to broadcast this programme, my question is, would the BBC given the political correctness about in the UK at present broadcast the programme if the religious content was about Islam? If the number of swear words is correct then possibly some elements in society may a have a cause for complaint.

However the primary question is that once again we have the publicly funded broadcasting channel in the UK prepared to broadcast a negative view of the Christian faith. I think this is possibly one more crack in the support of the BBC to retain its Charter.
John Hak, Chobham, Surrey

Of course it should be shown. Just get on with it
Glen Forde, London

Of course it should be shown. Just get on with it. People with strong religious feelings should realise these are not shared by the whole population and that the broad remit of public broadcasting includes items that are not to everyone's tastes. Religious oversensitivity is counter productive in our society, those who are complaining should show some of the tolerance that is the heart of Christianity.
Glen Forde, London

If it's fit to be shown on the stage without any changes then it should be broadcast. Christian organisations are right to complain, but they can boycott the show and not watch. All they have done is highlight the show and make it more likely that people will watch it. Does this strike anyone as singularly counter-productive?
Darren Stephens, Whitby, UK

Not everybody wants to watch the antiques roadshow and doctors. I can't wait to see it.
Garry Hutchinson, Middlesbrough, England

I would ask you not to show this production. It really is offensive to Christians and will only move the decency goalposts further apart.
Richard Easter, Westerham, UK

Well done, Brave Broadcasting Corporation. Those who are complaining about this go very quiet when a play is produced about supposed events in a Sikh temple, or when Jews are shown on TV in an anti-Semitic light, or when all Muslims are portrayed as terrorists or fanatics. And if we can't laugh at ourselves, then we really are lost. Jerry Springer-The Opera is subject to self-censorship.

I seem to remember similar concern, about 30 years ago, over Jesus Christ Superstar. The show survived, and so did we!! It seems that quite a few people need a sense of humour transplant. How fascinating that everyone is complaining before the event - or have they secretly been to see the show at the theatre first. Is pre-judgement of a situation, without full knowledge of it, based on Christian doctrine and principle?
Barbara Harris, London

It is a disgrace that a public body should behave this way towards the hand that feeds it
Joseph, Worthing, West Sussex

I would like to add my voice to the complaints about showing this provocative and blasphemous programme and demand its immediate withdrawal. Unfortunately, this has become a classic example of the ongoing endemic institutionalised anti-Christian stance taken by the BBC in recent years. All Christian comment and programmes have been marginalised to the very edge of programme making and availability.

It is a disgrace that a public body should behave this way towards the hand that feeds it. Perhaps all true believers in the Christian faith should withhold their licence fees and hit the corporation where it really hurts, and maybe encourage all those of decent moral and religious character to do likewise. Perhaps then we would all begin the get some of the respect we deserve as paying customers.
Joseph, Worthing, West Sussex

I've the seen the show and it's absolutely hilarious and I'll definitely be watching again on Saturday. I wish people would stop complaining about being offended when they haven't even seen the show. I'm gay and several parts could be considered offensive by me. The same goes for Blacks, Christians, Americans, you name the group, the show probably has some line or theme that could potentially cause offence.
Andrew, London, UK

If you don't like it turn it off - it's not hard. This right to criticise and offend religion should be extended to all of them however, not just Christians.
Tim, Bristol

Why haven't they been demonstrating outside the theatre in London where it is staged?
Dominic Melville, Thatcham

It seems strange that people are only protesting against this play now that it will be shown on TV. Why haven't they been demonstrating outside the theatre in London where it is staged? If they don't like the concept behind the play then they can choose not to watch it without inflicting their beliefs on the rest of us.
Dominic Melville, Thatcham, UK

The Jerry Springer Opera sounds really distasteful, so I will not be watching it. Why can't we be left to make adult decisions for ourselves?
Simon Moppett, Adderbury, UK

I personally think that it should be broadcasted by the BBC. Anyone can object according to the basic human rights. But my point of view is BBC should actually cater to different tastes of the public because BBC has got a large number of viewers. I personally adore BBC and i really like their efficiency in giving the public what they want. I will definitely watch it because as a person I really like Jerry Springer's talk show.
Chamila Brijesh, Wembley, UK

Firstly, I'd like to congratulate the BBC for generating so much publicity for what I personally think is a highly-entertaining, if rather irreverent, show. Secondly, I'd like to propose a deal with all those people who object to their licence fee being put towards tomorrow's broadcast.

I can't remember the last time I actually sat and watched a BBC channel, yet I too have to pay for a TV licence - mostly for the privilege of watching Sky One, DVDs, and having something to plug my PlayStation into. How about if all the money from people who have these concerns goes towards good wholesome programming such as reruns of The Good Life and As Time Goes By; and the money from the rest of us goes towards funding something that we can enjoy?
Carla, Bedfordshire

So, do two wrongs make a right? I'm prepared to bet that plenty of the isolationists don't rock my boaters whining about this now though it was disgraceful that ugly protests by a minority of Sikhs in Birmingham got a play cancelled. Toughen up and lighten up. I pay my licence fee gladly and for the price of two tickets to Jerry Springer the Opera. That makes this a bargain for my family!
Dan, London, UK

Yes I believe it should be shown as it is being shown well after the watershed and is aimed at an adult audience. All the people who are making a big fuss over it are just ensuring more and more people are going to watch it on Saturday.
Pat Crolla, Scotland

The program should not be shown because it contravenes the BBC's own standards of decency. If such standards are not upheld where will it end? Sure, we can all turn the program off but this is not just about free choice, this is a deliberate strategy to knowingly offend a considerable number of people across the nation, and in the face of an unprecedented number of complaints!
Andrew Wesley, Bristol, England

We live in a democratic society where we should be allowed to express our opinions and feelings without fear
Tracey, Kent, UK
I am very happy that the BBC will be showing the opera. We live in a democratic society where we should be allowed to express our opinions and feelings without fear. If I feel offended by the musical then I can simply choose not to watch it, without forcing my views on others and attempting to prevent them from watching something that offends me. Well done BBC - I hope you'll continue to stand by your guns!
Tracey, Kent, UK

I think this sort of trashy programme should be broadcast on BBC3 where it will not be out of place and parental control is available on the decoders. At this time it is a major mistake.
Colin, London

The Springer Opera is a demonstration of the degradation of modern society. Do we honestly have nothing better to show in our culture than "trailer-trash" TV show operas and tent based "art"?
D, Isle of Man

Nobody seems to mention the large number of awards that this piece has picked up, including best musical at the Olivier Awards, the Critics` Circle Awards and the Evening Standard Awards. I shall be watching.
JB, London, UK

How can you complain about something before you have seen it? How can you complain about something after watching something you know you are going to find offensive? Worst case scenario you have 4 channels in this country. Do everyone a favour, change the channel if you don't like the program! It's not rocket science!
Scott, Leeds, UK

The theatre production has been talked about many times and if people wished to see it they could go. I have no problem with the religious side as all religion should be above all that. I have a problem with all foul language on television "full stop". The flood gates have been opened and very quickly anything goes and I believe society reflects what appears to be acceptable on TV. Please do not put this show out tomorrow on BBC 2.
Allan Tottman, Horsham, West Sussex

I am a 56 year old Christian (admittedly not a churchgoer although I do say the Lord's prayer every night) and I have no objection to the BBC showing 'Jerry Springer' tomorrow night. I have seen the stage show in the West End. I knew beforehand that it was likely to be irreverent, which it is. I loved it as a piece of vibrant entertainment. I was not offended, and those who know they might be will presumably exercise their choice not to watch. When I saw the show, it never occurred to me that my religion was under threat; it is far too strong for that. I worry that the protesters apparently don't think that it is.
Michael Tomlinson, Wolverhampton, England

No. This should not be screened. There comes a time when the BBC should say No to the downward spiral of standards
Gwyneth Easson, Lisburn, N Ireland

I cannot see how the BBC can consider broadcasting this show. The BBC is a public service and paid for by the licence fee, I believe this material will be deeply offensive to the majority of those that pay. In addition you are asking those people with a genuine faith to finance a show that attacks their core beliefs. The argument that you can just not watch it doesn't not wash when it is going to be shown by a public broadcaster.
John Hillman, Horely, Surrey

Until the hype blew up in the press yesterday, I had no idea the show was going to be televised. All the protestors have done is brought it to my attention. I, like many others who would have been ignorant to its premier will now be watching.
Chris W, Skipton, UK

The BBC has no right to broadcast material considered offensive and blasphemous to Christians. Will it broadcast this opera if were considered blasphemous by other religions? This has nothing to do with serious intellectual thought. It simply to fulfil the egoistical atheist ideas of some "powers that be" in the corporation. Public money should not be used in this way
Michael Lomotey, London, UK

I find Jerry Springer - The Opera far less offensive to my intelligence than Celebrity Big Brother.
Emma, UK

The Beeb is really letting us licence-payers down with this cheap Springer tat
Mark Jacobs, London UK
Can we have programs about normal, well-balanced, problem-free people instead? Not many of the BBC's current offerings are about normal people. It is rare to even find apolitical, philosophical discussions on any channel, but the Beeb is really letting us licence-payers down with this cheap Springer tat.
Mark Jacobs, London UK

I have the choice whether to rent a movie, or buy a paper or to see a film at the movies. I have a choice as to whether I spend my money on those pursuits. What I don't have currently, is a choice "NOT" to pay my license fee to the BBC. As such, when I totally object to this outrageous filth being shown on the BBC into which my funds, and those of many other Christians go, I have every right to demand that it be removed from the programming schedule.
Paul Whiteley, Catford, London

As someone with religious views, I can of course not watch the programme, but that won't change the fact that my views have been insulted buy its screening.
Andrew H, London UK

I think if the BBC is going to go ahead with broadcasting Jerry Springer - The Opera, it has to reinstate the BBC3 entertainment shows Popetown and Cyderdelic. You cannot have one set of rules for one show and another for others.
Jacqueline Laura Fleming, Scotland

People have the power to choose what they want to watch. If no one watched Jerry Springer or other shows that are "offensive" then TV channels would not show them. There seems to be a misconception that you have to watch TV. You don't. Read a book, rent a film, or better yet do some charity work. The irony of the situation is Media watch and the like have given this show far more publicity than it ever could have got alone. Well done to the BBC for sticking to their guns and being open about people's concerns.
Paul, London

By legitimising publicly funded attacks on faith groups the BBC is setting a dangerous precedent
Stewart Goudie, Edinburgh, Scotland
My objection to this show is that it shows Christians and their God other than they are. In so doing the programme projects a false image and influences religious views in the country. This is against the BBC Charter and brings the BBC into conflict with the groups it misrepresents. By legitimising publicly funded attacks on faith groups the BBC is setting a dangerous precedent that could lead to increased religious intolerance in this country.
Stewart Goudie, Edinburgh, Scotland

Well done to the BBC for standing up to this drivel from the Christian right. Complaints made before a show is even aired should simply be disregarded. And I hope all those protesting by burning their TV licences are promptly visited by licensing officials and fined £1000 for their crass stupidity.
Lee Jones, Oxford, UK

Further evidence of the dumbing down of the UK.
Gene, Birmingham, USA

I'm looking forward to watching a fun, provocative, great musical. If some people don't approve of it, then that's up to them. They should accept that people have different tastes and opinions that are just as valid as theirs.
Jane Smith, Portsmouth

I have a real problem with any of my cash going to a broadcaster who shows anything like this
GT, UK
Exactly when am I going to have the option not to be forced against my will to subscribe to the BBC's extremely expensive pay-TV service? I hope it's soon because as a Christian I have a real problem with any of my cash going to a broadcaster who shows anything like this.
GT, UK

As a Christian I believe that Jesus Christ is my personal saviour and I therefore find this broadcast very offensive. Leaving my religious beliefs aside for a moment I also find it very disturbing that the BBC are happy to broadcast this programme with the quantity of swearing, lack of moral standing and general bad taste in its content. In view of the 20,000 complaints already made against this programme I am left asking myself why the BBC are still going ahead with this broadcast?
Tracy Beech, Horsham, England

I strongly object to religious extremists using intimidation to censor the BBC
Alistair McBay, Perth, Scotland
Of course the BBC should show it. I pay my licence fee too, and I strongly object to religious extremists using intimidation to censor the BBC, which must uphold freedom of thought and freedom of expression.
Alistair McBay, Perth, Scotland

Show it and let viewers make up their own minds. The OFF switch is there for a reason so the offended should use it. If Christianity cannot withstand a little satire then it's not worth subscribing to. My husband and I, who have different views on Christianity, will probably watch it together and then have a heated debate about it - isn't that one of the purposes of the Beeb, to raise issues?
Sarah Allen, Somerset, UK

The real issue should be about personal choice and freedom of speech
Martyn, Peterborough
I, for one, have seen this production at the Cambridge Theatre. Whilst to some of the population, it may contain offensive language; the real issue should be about personal choice and freedom of speech. I was not forced to go to watch it in the West End, in the same way I will not be forced to watch it again on BBC2. Its continuing popularity in the West End shows that it is widely accepted as an enjoyable and witty production, and is a credit to the writers and performers alike. If you are offended switch off or watch a re-run of the Sound of Music, but please spare us the complaints afterwards. I will however, sit down at 10pm on Saturday and switch to BBC2 and enjoy seeing it again, perhaps from the best seat in the house! Well done the BBC!
Martyn, Peterborough

I do not intend to watch the programme because I would be offended by the way Christianity is ridiculed. However, in the same way as the Sikh play in Birmingham should not have been axed neither should this. While it disappoints me that such foul shows are produced I cannot argue for free speech and similar libertarian values and appeal for the show not to be broadcast. What worries me more is the habit that the BBC is developing for pouring the license fee into such sensationalist programmes.
Daniel Webster, Nottingham, UK

We all, Christian and atheist, pay our licence fee
Adrian Ball, London
Yes the BBC is right to show Jerry Springer. I have no time for Christian organisations wishing to impose their values on society. In Britain we live in a free and open society and we all, Christian and atheist, pay our licence fee. I will be watching out of curiosity as I have never been tempted to see the show at the theatre but have been assured by friend who have seen it that it is well worth watching. And if I don't like it there is always the OFF button!
Adrian Ball, London

Earlier this week an article was featured about an American man suing a TV channel for making him sick because of the disgusting nature of the show he was watching. To him and to anyone else who has low tolerance for 'offensive' television I would say 'just don't watch it!' I know I won't be!
Helen, Banbury UK

First the Sikhs in Birmingham go on the rampage against a play in Birmingham now the Christians are getting upset with the BBC. Is it any wonder that so many people have little time for religions? Many religions appear to preach tolerance, however it seems to subject to them not being upset. Nobody is being forced to watch the programme, if you do not like it, do not watch it. There is plenty of unpleasant junk on TV the solution is the off button. All religions in the UK should be thankful that we currently live in a free democracy and they can worship freely. If they want to start imposing their values on others then they should not get upset if things happen to them. Northern Ireland is a very stark reminder of what happens when two religious communities cannot get along. If we are all going to continue to live in peace, compromises are required from all sections of society religious and non religious.
Chris Parker , Buckingham

Yes, we live in a free society. If you don't like, don't watch it.
Martin, Essex

Why should others censor my choices?
Raymond, Coventry
Yes of course the BBC should broadcast this show. The BBC produces many TV and radio shows that I choose not to watch or listen to. Why should others censor my choices? For those who complain: switch if off and monitor your children properly yourself!
Raymond, Coventry

This is exactly what I pay my TV Licence for interesting, challenging and fascinating new entertainment, instead of the usual run of bland comedies and endless reality shows. I want to see the Jerry Springer Opera and anyone who doesn't can just turn over and watch something inoffensive and utterly dull on other channels instead. I will be protesting strongly if the BBC gives in to people who are objecting before they've even seen the show (and what do they expect of a show called Jerry Springer? It's only reflecting the reality of the Jerry Springer chat show). I barely watch the BBC nowadays, so much of its output is formulaic, bland and safe, but I will be watching eagerly tomorrow night to see something new and exciting. And I will be deeply offended if one single swear word is cut. It's not only the moral minority who pay their licence fees!
Michelle, London

This programme should not be shown. It is insulting to Christians as it depicts Jesus and Mary as foul-mouthed sexual deviants. Would the BBC even consider showing programmes that showed Muhammad, Krishna, Abraham, Buddha or Guru Nanak in that way?
Kat, Leeds, UK

The BBC screens overtly religious shows such as Songs of Praise
Allison, London, UK
If the BBC screens overtly religious shows such as Songs of Praise, I fail to see why they can't show programmes at the other end of the spectrum. No one seems particularly worried about offending atheists do they?
Allison, London, UK

It is difficult not to see the BBC's decision to broadcast 'Springer' as yet another confirmation that the BBC is the public voice of the unelected Left, whose dogma requires the demonisation of British and particularly English history, Western values, and the Christian heritage. Society desperately needs broadcasters with real stature who can start to re-build social cohesion. The BBC covertly deconstructs and fragments society.
Frederick Robins, London

The BBC should show it if it thinks enough people in the UK wish to view it - let those in the Christian communities complain about it if they wish. Personally, I wouldn't watch it, simply because it doesn't interest me, not because it would offend me. What I find interesting is that religious communities demand that society shows deference and respect to their religious beliefs. While I think people should always be given respect, I feel strongly that beliefs should always be held up for question. Whether or not Jerry Springer -The Opera does this is open for debate.
Martin Devereux, UK

As an adult I am fed up with other people telling me what I should and shouldn't see and do. What's even more worrying is how pressure groups are now organising enormous complaint-lodging campaigns to try and give them impression of a public outcry to influence the way the country is run. The BBC should dismiss these complaints out of hand. Oh, and I won't be watching the Jerry Springer opera!
Chris, Bradford, England

Maybe offending religious beliefs only counts against minorities
Steve Tymms, England
It should not be shown, for pretty much the same reasons that the play in Birmingham was cancelled. It offends many people's religious beliefs. This is true for the play and the Jerry Springer show. But maybe it doesn't count for Christians. Maybe offending religious beliefs only counts against minorities. But, in this secular society, Christians are a minority too.
Steve Tymms, Welwyn Garden City, England

My thoughts turn immediately to the recent Sikh protest in Birmingham and the subsequent pulling of the play. I think the onus here should be on religious groups to provide evidence of the existence of their invisible gods first, then they may have a credible argument.
Andrew M, Walsall, UK




SEE ALSO:
Springer protests pour in to BBC
06 Jan 05 |  Entertainment
BBC urged to axe Springer opera
05 Jan 05 |  Entertainment
BBC snaps up Jerry Springer opera
18 Nov 04 |  Entertainment



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