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Sunday 17 March 2013

Red Nose Raspberry

Most people agree that telethons, like Children In Need and Comic Relief’s Red Nose Day, are A Good Thing. They may have their longeurs, and the urging to donate does get overdone sometimes, but it’s for a good cause, and shows just how good we are at being charitable and caring. But these programmes are broadcast on the BBC, and for some in the press, this is a problem.

Donate? What the f*** for, c***?!?

The problem is judged to be particularly serious at the empire of the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre, so both the Daily Mail and Mail On Sunday must, by the iron law of Beeb bashing, go in with both feet at every opportunity. This year, in the wake of Red Nose Day, it has been the latter title that has done the deed, firstly by accusing the Corporation of swearing.

Coming from the Dacre attack doggies, and the gofers of Martin Clarke, accusations of swearing are a bit rich, as is the headline “Anger as BBC turns Red Nose Day blue with explicit sexual references in sketches broadcast before 8pm”. Mail Online has plenty of explicit sexual references available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. No watershed for Clarke’s crowd.

But they do have evidence of this “blue” language, surely? Well, Rowan Atkinson apparently said “shag” before 2000 hours on Friday. So that was the cause of those “many parents ... left fuming over explicit sexual references”, was it? Strangely, unlike the now customary Twitter trawls, the Mail has not provided any examples, instead citing the Beeb’s removal of a sketch as proof.

This is a first: usually whatever the BBC says is thrown back at it with interest, phrases like “weasel words” and “passive- aggressive” being popular. What is not a first, though, is to command a pundit to go over the top in support, and here we get an appearance from one of the Mail’s dubiously talented bevy of Glendas, the appalling Liz Jones.

When you popped on that red nose, you made things WORSE” whines Ms Solitary and Friendless. “I find it obscene that a bunch of white, rich celebrities can produce not even good comedy so that they and we can feel better about ourselves”. Liz’ airbrush just dispensed with Lenny Henry, who has been a Red Nose Day regular ever since there was Red Nose Day.

And she says we just make things worse by giving, which may not impress those who benefit from those donated millions. Comic Relief somehow becomes an accessory to the foreign policy of the USA and France. And there just has to be a dig at Muslims, because, well, they’re Muslims. As Hugh Grant observed on this morning’s paper review on The Andy Marr Show (tm), this is just mean spirited.

And that’s the name of the game at the Mail, so no change there, then.

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