Ulster says sorry for swearing
Posted by
Ulster says sorry for swearing

BBC Radio Ulster has apologised after a live interview with Hollywood actor Tony Curtis contained a number of swear words.

It happened during the political and current-affairs phone-in programme Talkback on May 22nd 2009.

During the course of the interview Mr Curtis used the words “bastards”, “bullshit” and “fuck”. After each, the presenter apologised to the audience, as follows:

Tony Curtis [speaking of journalists]: “…some bastards go ahead and make them headlines.”

Presenter: “I guess I have to apologise for that Hollywood realism moment there.”

And later:

Tony Curtis [speaking of being nominated for an Oscar]: “Yeah but that was bullshit… I’m sorry.”

Presenter: “More Hollywood realism breaking through on Radio Ulster.”

Finally, towards the end of the interview:

Tony Curtis: “So I just got up and said ‘fuck off’.”

Presenter: “Oh no, now come on. We really, really can’t use that kind of language.”

Tony Curtis: “You can’t use that kind of language?”

Presenter: “We can’t use that language, no, I apologise to our listeners.”

Tony Curtis: “Now listen, my dear friend, you can take that, er…Oh, it is live.”

Presenter: “Yeah, we’re live, we’re live on the radio.”

Curtis: “I apologise to everyone…I don’t want to offend anyone. Everyone has the right to enjoy what life giveth.”

Ofcom received two complaints from listeners who felt this language was offensive and unsuitable for the time of transmission. The BBC has since issued a public apology which was reported in the media.

The BBC added that it was clear from Mr Curtis’s reaction that he was genuinely unaware that the interview was live and was under the mistaken impression that his comments could be edited out before transmission. Once he realised his error, he too apologised immediately, and again at the end of the interview, both men apologised to listeners.

So while Ofcom acknowledged that the apologies to listeners went some way in mitigating the potential offence of the language used, Ofcom considered that the language, in particular the use of the word “fuck” was likely to have gone beyond the expectations of the audience for a programme of this type and at this time.

The regulator found the station in breach of Rule 2.3 (material that may cause offence must be justified by the context) of the broadcasting code.

Hear more radio industry news like this at the top of the hour on inRadio - the radio industry's very own radio station. Listen now in a new window whilst you continue reading RadioToday or press play below.

0 0 437 25 August, 2009 Industry News 2:13 am 20098 Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

Leave a Reply

Looking for something else?


Subscribe to our emails to stay informed about the latest radio news and products delivered straight to your inbox.

Related Posts

No related posts were found
RAJAR Q3 2016 - October 26, 2016 at 11:00 pm (London)
WorldDAB General Assembly 2016 - November 9, 2016 at 10:00 am ()
Student Radio Awards - November 10, 2016 at 6:00 pm (The O₂ 10 Entertainment Avenue, London, SE10 0DY, England)
BBC Gillard Awards - November 10, 2016 at 7:00 pm (Newcastle)
Audio Production Awards - November 23, 2016 at 6:00 pm (BFI Southbank, Belvedere Road, London)
Radio TechCon 2016 - November 28, 2016 at 10:00 am (The Arts Theatre, 6-7 Great Newport St, London WC2H 7JB)
Salon de la Radio - January 29, 2017 at 10:00 am (Paris)
Salon de la Radio - January 30, 2017 at 10:00 am (Paris)
More events