BBC escapes after Button swear-word complaint

Tue, 12 January 2010, 08:01

Jan.12 (GMM) The BBC has escaped without penalty after Jenson Button swore during the live British broadcast of the season ending 2009 Abu Dhabi grand prix.

The independent communications authority Ofcom revealed in its latest official bulletin that one viewer complained after Button was heard to tell his fellow podium sitters Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber: “F*ck, I should have waited”.

The BBC told Ofcom that it has “limited control” of the output of the F1 coverage because it is supplied by a third party, Formula One Management.

“However, it (the BBC) stressed that it asked formula one (management) to remind drivers that their conversations would be broadcast live and must not swear, and that formula one had given the drivers this reminder,” said Ofcom.

The BBC also said most viewers understand that strong language can be used during live sports events, and pointed out that the commentator had apologised for Button’s indiscretion before the word was removed from re-runs.

Ofcom also said viewers “value behind the scene moments” such as the post-race conversation between the drivers.

“To minimise the likelihood of recurrence, the BBC said it would, in future, make every effort to dip or mask the sound if there is an indication of the impending use of strong language,” added Ofcom.

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