His much publicized and highly anticipated “New Archbishop of Canterbury” sketch received so many complaints (apparently) that the BBC quickly decided to not broadcast the promised second part on the night itself and removed it from the recap at the end of the night (even though naughty Russell Brand purposely mentioned him when he did his own recap.)
Yesterday there were so many complaints that the BBC even cut the sketch from it’s stream all together. Quickly removed as well was the fact that
Rowan’s script was by Richard Curtis, founder of Comic Relief, co. writer of Blackadder creator and writer of Vicar of Dibley (the only sketch that received no complaints,) letting Rowan take the full rap for it.
According to the Daily Mail (who else) this has been one of the most complained about sketches for Comic Relief ever – with many people agreeing in the comments.
In fact, this seems to be the most “controversial” Comic Relief ever, with many parents were left over explicit sexual references in sketches broadcast before 8pm. It went on and on: Peter Kay was guilty of saying “arse” and “shit”, people complaining about the presenters making a joke (wow, on Comic Relief,) John Bishop being forced to apologize for an off-the-cuff comment. Even the “Call the Midwife” sketch was not repeated because of complaints.
The BBC quickly edited and deleted sketches (a sketch by Danny John-Jules being dropped because it mentioned “ Pussies”) and warned presenters to watch their language, making the middle half of the show almost unbearable, because all they had were appeal films (and even they were complained about resulting in only 3 being shown in heavy rotation.)
The show was already incredibly PC, but the BBC were so scared in fact, by the complaints, that the last few hours saw the repeat of only three sketches and one of the shows centerpieces: David Walliams in David’s Exes going virtually unseen, because they were afraid to announce it.
The presenters, who had rehearsed and written some very specifically timed scripts were left with sudden long gaps of silence to fill. Russell Brand filled his show by talking into the audience, showing his improvising skills.
What has happened people? This is Comic Relief we are talking about, where Rik Mayall as Alan B’stard jumped Tatcher in his underwear, where the same Mayall talked about “shagging” on a Relief single that kids bought. Now Rowan Atkinson isn’t even allowed to say it in a sketch.
Why have viewers, who must have been the ones to watch the Young Ones and Not the Nine ‘o’clock News as kids become more sensitive then any of the generations before them? Rik Mayall said he quit TV because it has become too PC, while Red Dwarf star Chris Barrie said the same and explained that this was why he couldn’t bring back “Spitting Image”. David Walliams said he could never get away with what his 70’s and 80’s heroes said and did. The BBC seems aware of this and repeats seem to exist solely of Dad’s Army, The Good Life and –there it is again: Vicar of Dibley. Faced with the option to bring back Blackadder or Red Dwarf it chooses to bring back … Birds of a Feather. Even on channels as Dave (and on new DVD releases) old shows are shown heavily edited for the new sensitive times. Comedy has never been less daring as it has been at this time which is bad, as it’s job is to poke fun at the times.