David Baddiel’s Don’t Make Me Laugh disappears from BBC Radio 4
BBC Radio 4 has not recommissioned the Don’t Make Me Laugh show with David Baddiel, with journalists linking the cut to a particular edition of the show from April.
The So Radio programme is hosted by David Baddiel and features different guests talking about various topics. It received complaints earlier this year after David and the panellists Omid Djalili, Sara Pascoe, Russell Kane and Adam Hess made jokes about the Queen’s sex life, broadcast on her birthday.
David himself tweeted about the news, further strengthening the theory that the end of the show is because of the Queen incident. He said: “I’m hoping maybe to pitch it again once we get past the 1960s. Oh no wait a minute, it’s 2016”.
A spokeswoman for the BBC says: “We’re lucky to receive hundreds of great ideas from brilliant comedians who want to work with Radio 4, and we always bring a mix of returning shows to our audiences whilst also finding space for new programmes in our packed schedule. This means not all shows get recommissioned as otherwise it would be impossible to try out fresh formats and ideas.”
The show was found in serious breach of editorial guidelines by the BBC Trust in June.
The programme in question was broadcast at 6.30pm on The Queen’s 90th birthday. It included the subject that “…The Queen must have had sex at least four times”. In discussing this, panellists made comments about the Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh in a way that was personal, intrusive and demeaning, according to the Trust.
The programme attracted a significant number of complaints from listeners concerned both about the content and the timing of the output. The BBC published an apology on its Corrections and Clarifications page the following day. It said: “While Radio 4 comedy is a broad church and often pushes boundaries, we would like to apologise for yesterday’s broadcast of Don’t Make Me Laugh. We never intended for the scheduling of the programme to coincide with The Queen’s birthday and we are sorry for the offence caused by its timing and content.”
A report into the incident found that there had been a failure of editorial judgement and of compliance. After, the Controller of Radio 4 and the Commissioning Editor no longer felt that the 1830 slot was right for this programme and the remaining episodes were moved to 2300.
Don’t Make Me Laugh is made by So Radio, a branch of So Television, now owned by ITV Studios.