Friday 20 October 2017

Essex girl jokes on Radio 1 Comic Relief show did not breach broadcasting rules

The BBC show was investigated after it sparked complaints that quips were sexist and derogatory.

By Sherna Noah

Scott Mills’s Radio 1 show did not breach broadcasting rules with jokes about Essex girls, watchdog Ofcom has ruled.

The BBC show was investigated after it sparked complaints that quips were sexist and derogatory.

Jokes included “What’s the first thing an Essex girl does in the morning? Goes home”, “Why does an Essex girl wear knickers? To keep her ankles warm”, and “What does an Essex girl say after her doctor tells her she is pregnant? Is it mine?”.

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An Ofcom spokesman said: “We investigated a series of jokes made in this programme broadcast as part of Comic Relief.

“While we acknowledge that some of the jokes had the potential to offend, we found they were unlikely to have exceeded most listeners’ expectations.”

The jokes were broadcast in March as Mills and fellow presenter Chris Stark stayed on air for 24 hours in a marathon show to raise money for Comic Relief.

Bobby Norris, from reality TV show The Only Way Is Essex (Towie), made the quips after the hosts of the Radio 1 show told listeners he was there to say a “couple of sets of Essex girl jokes”.

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Mills had told listeners: “I’d like to point out, before anyone complains, this is a person from Essex, living in Essex on a show (Towie) about Essex.”

He added: “I’m enjoying this so much.”

Other jokes, which were sent in by listeners, included “What’s the difference between an Essex girl and an ironing board? Occasionally you have trouble getting the legs apart on an ironing board”.

A BBC spokeswoman previously said: “No offence was intended by the jokes that were broadcast during Radio 1′s 24-hour LOLathon to raise money for Comic Relief.”

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