Sunday, 1 May 2011

BBC reply

This is the BBC's reply to the critical analysis of Hislop's sexist language.  The first part is fair enough so I've printed the analysis off and I'll post it to them tomorrow.  The second part is the trite, ready-made response that was predictable

Thanks for contacting us regarding ‘Have I Got News For You’ from 22 April on BBC One.
I understand you were unhappy at some comments made by Ian Hislop on the programme, and that you’ve posted your complaint online on a blog.
We cannot comment or respond to what you’ve posted on your own blog, as this falls outside of our complaints process, which can be read in more detail at this page of our website:

However, we try to ensure that post-watershed, anarchic topical comedy panel series are well signposted and it’s generally accepted that some newer comedy series thrive on self-consciously exhibiting bad taste.  Viewers of ‘Have I Got news For You’ would be well aware of the type of humour exhibited by our regular panellists Ian Hislop and Paul Merton, and would also be aware that they do speak their own minds on the show.
While we credit our audience with knowing these are their own opinions, I feel I must stress that these shouldn’t be seen as being representative of those of the production team or the BBC as a whole.
As we’re a public service financed by the licence fee we must provide programmes which cater for the whole range of tastes in humour.  We believe that there’s no single set of standards in this area on which the whole of society can agree, and it’s inevitable that programmes which are acceptable to some will occasionally strike others as distasteful.  The only realistic and fair approach for us is to ensure that the range of comedy is broad enough for all viewers to feel that they’re catered for at least some of the time.
In closing I’d like to assure you I've registered your complaint on our audience log.  This is an internal report of audience feedback which we compile daily and is available for viewing by all our staff.  This includes all programme makers, including the production team behind ‘Have I Got News For You’ and our senior management.  It ensures that your points, along with all other comments we receive, are circulated and considered across the BBC.
Thanks again for taking the time to contact us.