Category Archives: Media News

Brexit: Wife Swap Special Returns to C4

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Channel 4 is set to bring back its multi-award winning format Wife Swap for a one-off Brexit special. The show that allowed families to experience different lifestyles and perspectives on the world, returns for an intimate look at the nation’s biggest talking point – Brexit.

The 60-minute episode, due to air later this year, will be the first since the show ended nearly eight years ago.will see couples from either side of the Brexit debate swap households for one week and live with a family with very different views.

Emily Jones, Commissioning Editor, at Channel 4 said:” Wife Swap was largely about how people chose to run their homes, but it always had political undertones. Now the world has changed and recent events have brought political issues into the heart of every household. What better time to bring back this much loved format to explore Brexit and hear firsthand the conversations happening in every home”.

Wife Swap first arrived on Channel 4 screens in 2003 and quickly became a global phenomenon. The final series aired in the UK in 2009.

 

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Peter Tatchell remembers George Michael

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Jason McCrossan’s guest on 106.9 SFM Saturday Breakfast penned an article for his PeterTatchell foundation website and also the Pink Paper in which he states “Anyone who remembers George Michael solely for his music is missing the real importance of him” – he is human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell who shared his memories of George and a chance encounter before he was famous in a gay bar in London.

Remembered: DJ DaveCash 1942 – 2016

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Dave Cash was one of Radio 1 and Capital Radio’s original DJs who later reinvented himself as a bestselling novelist. Although he originally intended to apply to Radio Caroline, fate intervened and he began working for Caroline’s biggest rival Radio London.

It was during his early days on Radio London that Cash struck up an on-air partnership with a then 19-year-old trainee DJ called Maurice Cole, who became better known to millions as Kenny Everett. After the Government outlawed pirate radio stations Cash joined Radio Luxembourg, then in 1967 he became one of the founding DJs on BBC Radio 1 alongside the likes of Tony Blackburn, Pete Murray and Alan “Fluff” Freeman.

In the late 1960s Cash hosted episodes of Top of the Pops on BBC Television. He supplied the voice-over in The Who’s cult film hit Quadrophenia in 1979 and took a cameo role alongside Dennis Hopper in the sci-fi comedy The American Way (1986). By then he had become programme controller of Radio West, the commercial station based in Bristol, when it was launched in 1981.

In 1999 Cash returned to the BBC, working in local radio across the south of England, broadcasting weekend shows of rock classics and country and western tracks on Radios Kent, Sussex, Surrey, Solent, Berkshire and Oxford. His recollections of life aboard a pirate radio ship, He Sounds Much Taller, appeared as an audio book in 2012.

Jason McCrossan spoke to radio commentator and former colleague Paul Chantler.

The Real Marigold Hotel Xmas special

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BBC Two has confirmed a two-part Christmas special for The Real Marigold on Tour, starring some familiar faces from the first series of The Real Marigold Hotel. Four of the original cast return to BBC Two as actress Miriam Margolyes, dancer Wayne Sleep, darts champion Bobby George and chef Rosemary Shrager test out different retirement communities around the world, travelling to Florida and Japan.

The series successfully premiered on BBC Two earlier this year with impressive ratings and critical acclaim. It’s the highest rating factual series on the channel this year with a series consolidated average of 4.1million/13.6 percent share, and was awarded a prestigious Rose d’Or Award.


The BBC has also announced the hit travel documentary series will move to BBC 1 when it returns to screens in early 2017.

The new cast of famous senior citizens embarking on a journey of a lifetime include entertainer Lionel Blair; actress Amanda Barrie, snooker champion Dennis Taylor; TV personality Rustie Lee; Doctor Miriam Stoppard; presenter Bill Oddie; singer Sheila Ferguson; and actor Paul Nicholas.

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Inspired by, but otherwise unrelated to the blockbuster film, the series documents the authentic experience of eight characters in their golden years as they head to India on an experimental adventure to see if they would consider retiring to the other side of the world. The new four part series will see the group travel thousands of miles from home and this time land in Kochi, a city in the southwest Indian state Kerala, to test whether they can set up a more rewarding retirement than in the UK.

Terrorism & The Media with Prof. Charlie Beckett from London LSE

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News organisations descended onto a street in London to report on the latest terror attack to strike Europe recently.. A women in her 60s lay dead and 5 other people suffered stab wounds. Professor Charlie Beckett is Head of Polis a journalism think tank at the London School of Economics, and he spoke to Jason McCrossan on 106.9 SFM

Offensive Word Research: Ofcom

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DO NOT READ IF OFFENDED BY STRONG WORDS

Ofcom has published research exploring the latest attitudes to offensive language on TV and radio.  The report looks at words and gestures, exploring what people were likely to find unacceptable, and the reasons why they were judged to be offensive.

Live TV continues to have the greatest reach of all UK media formats, with 92% of people watching each week in 2016. Furthermore, nine in ten adults tuned into the radio, listening for an average of three hours daily.

The groups of potentially offensive language and gestures fell into two broad categories: general swear words – those with clear links to body parts, sexual references, and offensive gestures; and specifically discriminatory language, whether directed at older people, people of particular religions, people with mental health or disability issues, LGBT people, or racist language.

General and other non-discriminatory language
• For general swear words, the emotional impact associated with particular words was important. In particular, certain words like ‘fuck’ or ‘motherfucker’ were regarded as among the strongest offensive language and not acceptable before the watershed, with some respondents having concerns about their frequent use after the watershed.

• Words with clear links to body parts like ‘cunt’, ‘gash’ or ‘beef curtains’ were in general viewed in a way analogous to the more, or most, offensive general swear words. However, many respondents thought the less crass or vulgar words (such as ‘balls’ or ‘tits’) were the more acceptable before the watershed.

• Sexual references like ‘cocksucker’ or ‘prick teaser’ were typically evaluated in a similar way to the more, or most, offensive general swear words. They were seen as distasteful and often unnecessary, but acceptable if used in line with audience expectations after the watershed.

• Offensive gestures were viewed as broadly unacceptable before the watershed, but mostly acceptable after it. The ‘blow job’ gesture was the least acceptable because it was perceived as the most vulgar.

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Discriminatory language
• Unlike other forms of discriminatory language, respondents had few concerns about the terms assessed in this report that were potentially insulting to older people. These were mildly distasteful to some of the older participants, but many (of a range of ages) found them inoffensive or even, to some extent, humorous.

• Many of the words that were discriminatory on religious grounds were unfamiliar to some of the participants.  However, those who were familiar with words such as ‘Taig’ and ‘Fenian’ viewed them as generally offensive and potentially unacceptable.

• Views on words relating to mental health and disability differed greatly. Words such as ‘spastic’, ‘mong’ or ‘retard’ were seen as insulting and derogatory, and therefore viewed as being as unacceptable as the strongestracist insults, with their use requiring significant contextual justification. On the other hand, words such as ‘nutter’, ‘loony’ or ‘mental’ were seen as more commonly – used mild insults, and were therefore much more acceptable, both before and after the watershed.

• Stronger homophobic and transphobic terms such as ‘faggot’, ‘homo’, and ‘chick with a dick’ were seen as very problematic by participants. This was, again, because of the insulting and derogatory nature of the language. These words were considered much less acceptable than general swear words.

• Racist language such as ‘coon’, ‘nigger’ and ‘wog’ were among the most unacceptable words overall; they were seen as derogatory, discriminatory and insulting. Many participants were concerned about these words being used at any time, with their use requiring significant contextual justification.

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The 9pm watershed was considered crucial
The watershed on TV (or considering when children were particularly likely to be listening, in the case of radio) was seen as a good way of striking a balance between protecting children and respecting adult freedoms to watch TV or listen to radio when they wished. It was highly valued by almost all participants.

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Unfamiliar words
Not all words were familiar to participants, and this limited the detailed feedback that could be collected on little-known terms. The least familiar words (those that were recognised by less than 40% of participants) were on the whole slang terms relating to body parts or sex, as well as some ethnic or religious slurs. These words are indicated in this and following chapters with an asterisk (*). Older participants recognised fewer words overall, tending not to recognise more recent slang terms.

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‘Medium words’ were those more often employed as stronger insults, as well as some words considered more distasteful depending on how they were used. They were regarded to be potentially unacceptable before the watershed, although there was some debate among participants.

Words such as ‘cock’, ‘pussy’ and ‘minge’ were seen as significantly stronger; a number of participants described them as more graphic, vulgar, or rude. Overall, this group of words were deemed generally unacceptable before the watershed.

A participant in the survey said “Pussycat is fine but “Stop being such a pussy” puts the word in a different and more offensive context”.  

Participants agreed, however, that the word ‘pussy’ was potentially much more offensive when used as a slang term for vagina.  The words ‘beef curtains’ and ‘bloodclaat’ were recognised by less than half of those who completed the online survey.

However, among those familiar with these words, both were considered generally unacceptable for broadcast before the watershed. Participants classed a small number of terms such as ‘fuck’, ‘motherfucker’ and ‘cunt’ as the strongest and most offensive
terms in this category of non-discriminatory language. They were seen to express very strong emotions, or to be rude and aggressive insults. The cultural norms around these words meant they were less acceptable to use in front of children.

They were considered unacceptable before the watershed by the vast majority of participants. Responses to the word ‘cunt’ were particularly strong. A significant number of participants were uncomfortable with its use even after the watershed. Women were more likely to say it was completely unacceptable, based on its strong vulgar cultural associations. Some women and a few men said they were personally offended and would prefer ‘cunt’ not to be used on TV or radio at all.

 

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Sexual slurs, and more graphic sexual references like ‘cocksucker’, ‘whore’, ‘rapey’, and ‘jizz’, provoked stronger responses from participants. They were considered less acceptable because of their vulgarity, and because they were more likely to be used as insults directed at individuals. Similarly, words such as ‘slut’, ‘skank’ and ‘slag’ were seen as derogatory and vulgar, while words like ‘wanker’ and ‘dildo’ were seen as rude.

 

Discriminatory language
Participants’ in the survey suggested that their views on the acceptability of this type of offensive language on TV and radio differed from their response to the non-discriminatory offensive language and gestures discussed above. In general, discriminatory language was seen as potentially more problematic than more general offensive language.

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Religious insults
The majority of the words in this category were unfamiliar to a considerable number of the participants who took part in this survey. However, these words were generally problematic for those participants who recognised them. Views on acceptability also depended on perceived religious sensitivity. Many participants, even if they did not know the full meaning of the words, were wary of religious terminology because they were worried that people of faith might be offended.

These words were considered generally unacceptable before the watershed but broadly acceptable after it, based on the desire to protect religious
minorities.

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Sexual orientation and gender identity
Most of these derogatory terms, relating to either sexual or gender identity, were seen as very problematic by all participants who recognised them. As a category, they were viewed as insulting, derogatory and discriminatory. As with some racist terms, many participants could not envisage how the stronger words could be used in a non-discriminatory
way.

The word ‘gay’ was debated because it has multiple meanings and is used in multiple ways. Participants considered that it was acceptable when used as a simple identifier for homosexual people. Participants also discussed the use of ‘gay’ to mean ‘not cool’ or ‘not very good’. This caused some concern as it was considered potentially derogatory. While LGBT participants found this use of ‘gay’ less acceptable than participants generally, they did not consider it strongly offensive.

Words like ‘bummer’, ‘fairy’ and ‘pansy’ were medium in terms of acceptability. Participants thought of these words as rather dated and not often used now in a derogatory sense. However, they were still seen as potentially problematic when
intended to insult gay people. Many pointed out that some of these words are now used in the gay community in a humorous way. This meant that they were not always used as insults, thereby complicating decisions about acceptability and making context particularly important.

Words such as ‘dyke’, ‘poof’ and ‘rugmuncher’ were seen as strong and problematic. Participants objected to these types of words on the basis of being intentionally hurtful towards LGBT people. The terms were seen as generally unacceptable except in specific circumstances. For instance, as mentioned in the debated words section, some of these sexual orientation words like (such as ‘poof’, ‘queer’, and ‘dyke’) were seen as having been ‘reclaimed’ by the people they were originally intended to insult as expressions of their identity. In these circumstances the words were not considered
offensive.

Terms such as ‘batty boy’, ‘chick with a dick’, and ‘faggot’ were seen as among the strongest language, and much more likely to be used as insults. Many participants argued these were mostly unacceptable in society in general as they are particularly discriminatory and derogatory. As a result, they were seen as potentially problematic when broadcast on TV and radio, with their acceptability highly dependent on the context. In part, participants wanted to avoid children coming across these words, but there were also powerful concerns about protecting gay and transgender people from being offended or insulted.

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Mental health and physical disability
For participants, the most offensive words were those such as ‘spastic’, ‘mong’ and ‘retard’. In their opinion, these were the most derogatory, and were often used in ways likely to be hurtful towards people with disabilities. As with other strong forms of discriminatory language, participants emphasised that broadcasters should be very careful when using them. They should ensure that there are good reasons for doing so, and that any potential harm and offence are appropriately mitigated.

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Race and ethnicity
Participants in the Ofcom survey had strong views about these words. Racist terms were the most unacceptable category overall because participants considered these words were usually used in a way that was derogatory and discriminatory to others. Participants thought they should normally be broadcast only in limited circumstances and in context, for example in news, drama, or documentary programmes to explore or expose prejudice.

However, participants did make some significant distinctions regarding the acceptability of words within this category. Terms such as ‘Jock’ or ‘Nazi’ were felt to be historical insults whose meaning and use had changed and softened over the years. Indeed, some Scottish participants did not find ‘Jock’ offensive and others expected ‘Nazi’ to be used mainly in educational contexts.

Although there was limited concern about the use of ‘Hun’ as a derogatory reference to German people, the word was seen as less acceptable by those familiar with its use as a sectarian insult. In general, though, these words were of limited concern.  Terms such as ‘pikey’ or ‘kraut’ were debated because some participants saw them as insulting and derogatory to specific groups – and therefore less acceptable – while others viewed them as having developed into more general insults.

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Loophole for iPlayer closes today

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iPlayer loophole closes today

From today, anyone watching BBC programmes only on iPlayer will be required to buy a TV licence to view the content.

Previously a licence was only needed to watch live broadcasts, so catch-up content was technically exempt from the £145.50 annual fee.

But due to a change in the law, a licence will be needed to download or watch BBC programmes on demand.

Those who already have a TV licence will not be affected.

The change comes after the government said it wanted to modernise the current system, so those watching catch-up TV do not get “a free ride”.

The new rules apply to all devices used to access iPlayer – including laptops, smartphones, tablets, TV streaming devices and games consoles, as well as through third-party services such as Sky, Virgin or BT.  However, a TV licence will still not be needed for watching other on demand services, such as ITV Player, All4, My5 or Netflix.