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One is not amused: BBC apologises for sex jokes about Her Majesty

Warning: The following article contains comments that some readers may find offensive. 

In a day where it seems like nothing is off topic, the radio show, Don’t Make Me Laugh, managed to push it too far.

Back in April on The Queen’s 90th birthday, the BBC Radio 4 show, hosted by David Baddiel aired a show about Her Majesty and sex.

The show which featured guests Sara Pascoe, Omid Djalili, Russell Kane and Adam Hess received 12 complaints that the programme was offensive, especially considering it was on her birthday.

David Baddiel started off the second round introducing the topic: “…in an effort to demonstrate just how grown up and sophisticated we’ve become…I would like you Russell Kane to tell us why there is nothing funny about the fact that…”

To which the announcer followed with: “the Queen must have had sex at least four times [laughter from the studio audience]”. Referring to the fact she has four of her own children.

The four guests made many comments  about what goes on behind closed doors between Her Majesty and the Duke of Edinburgh. Comedian Russell Kane saying: “Four times we have to think of republicanism as we imagine four children emerging from Her Majesty’s vulva and for me– [audience laughter] …”

The show which regularly broadcasts at 2300 was moved to 1830 that day and the BBC has noted that it was  “a regrettable failure of editorial judgement and compliance processes” after having received many complaints from those listening.

The following day BBC issued an apology on their Corrections and Clarification page: “While BBC Radio 4 comedy is a broad church and often pushes boundaries, we would like to apologise for this broadcast of Don’t Make Me Laugh. We never intended for the scheduling of the programme to coincide with the Queen’s birthday and are sorry for the offence caused by its timing and content.”.

They also removed the programme from the BBC iPlayer, cancelled any repeat broadcasts that were to happen, moved the show back to its late night time slot and sent an apology to Buckingham Palace.

The regulatory body, Ofcom found Don’t Make Me Laugh in breach of the Broadcasting Code. The BBC has not recommissioned the series according to Radio Today.

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