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Home > Media

Go, Jerry

7 January 2005

Sticks and stones, as Rodney King or any disobedient Muslim woman will tell you, can break your bones. But words, or so the expression goes, cause permanent damage. No wonder then that so many complaints have tsunamied into the BBC following their decision to air the rocking shock opera Jerry Springer tomorrow night on BBC 2.

Apparently the thought of over 3,000 instances of the fuck-word and almost 300 of the cunt-word being broadcast when children and the easily-led are still breathing is just too much for the 15,000 individuals who have already lodged their complaints.

But of course it's not just fucking cunts that the complainants are afraid of. More importantly, Springer also contains blasphemy. The main bugbear is a scene in which a nappy-wearing Christ admits during a row with Satan that he is 'a bit gay'. Apparently this has really stuck in the collective Christian craw. So much so that instead of turning the other cheek like perhaps they ought, or tolerating the opinions of others like healthy citizens, Christians with sway have been having their say.

The result is an organised campaign to Stop Springer. Church leaders have been amassing support from their adherents. Hence the 15,000 letters. One such campaigner is the Right Reverend David Parsons of Highfield Road Baptist Church in Dartford. Through his bitching website, Parsons has been urging his sheep to voice their ire at this vicious thing they've not actually seen yet, this thing which 'depicts the characters of Jesus, Mary and God as self-centred sexual deviants... all in the name of comedy.' And as he bleats, the projected audience figures rise steadily, rapidly.

Oh, and here comes John Beyer, Director of Mediawatch-UK and sexless human turtle offspring of Mary Whitehouse. Maybe you've seen Beyer spilling his toss on some programme about censorship. But you probably wouldn't remember. He's the painfully hidebound, horribly infantile, permanently-tensed sphincter with the whining mouth. Beyer has written to BBC Chairman Michael Grade requesting that Jerry Springer not be aired. In response, Michael Grade sighed and told Beyer to go to hell and take his humourless Christ with him, only he whispered it on the back of the sigh, so no-one heard. The official line is that it is the BBC's role to broadcast a range of programmes that will appeal to all audiences - with very differing tastes and interests - and not just bland happy-fodder for moribund middle-English dullards with God for brains.

Finally, throwing in his heathen two-penneth is Terry Anderson from the National Secular Society. Anderson has urged the BBC not to give in to 'religious bullies'. 'This organised attack is the latest of a series of attempts by religious interests to control what we can see or say in this country,' he railed, waving his fist at the skies. 'Jerry Springer - The Opera is an award- winning show, and the fact it has run for two years in theatres demonstrates its popularity. It is the BBC's formal duty to reflect society and bring such plays to a wider audience who might not otherwise be able to see them at a theatre. Viewers have a right to see it. Those who are likely to be offended have a similar right to turn it off.' Exactly. And mind their own freakin business into the bargain.

Jerry Springer - The Opera is on BBC2 tomorrow night at 10pm.

Comment on this article: letters@thefridaything.co.uk

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