Author Topic: History of the F-Bomb in UK TV comedy  (Read 3343 times)

the ouch cube

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Re: History of the F-Bomb in UK TV comedy
« Reply #60 on: June 08, 2018, 07:35:51 PM »
Edmund saying "oh fuck off, Baldrick" in Witchsmeller Persuivant (broadcast date 13.7.1983), albeit disguised with someone coughing rather than a bleep - though that may or may not have been added for the VHS release.

Bad News (24.1.83) beats it to the punch, and uncensored.

Re: History of the F-Bomb in UK TV comedy
« Reply #61 on: June 08, 2018, 08:32:54 PM »
Wonder when Life of Brian was first televised uncensored?

Re: History of the F-Bomb in UK TV comedy
« Reply #62 on: June 08, 2018, 09:02:10 PM »
Wonder when Life of Brian was first televised uncensored?

I think it was in the early 90s.

Re: History of the F-Bomb in UK TV comedy
« Reply #63 on: June 08, 2018, 09:39:02 PM »
Edmund saying "oh fuck off, Baldrick" in Witchsmeller Persuivant (broadcast date 13.7.1983), albeit disguised with someone coughing rather than a bleep - though that may or may not have been added for the VHS release.

That did have the cough on the original broadcast.

Re: History of the F-Bomb in UK TV comedy
« Reply #64 on: June 09, 2018, 10:15:55 AM »
I think it was in the early 90s.
1991 as part of Channel 4's 'Banned season':
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Channel_4_Banned_season

Re: History of the F-Bomb in UK TV comedy
« Reply #65 on: June 09, 2018, 02:22:22 PM »
I can't remember where I read/heard this and the internet doesn't seem to mention it so I'm wondering if it has any factual basis but: re: Kenneth Tynan saying fuck - there was a sketch on BBC3 which featured Roy Hudd saying "fuck". After the sketch there was a panel discussion on the use of the word featuring Tynan repeating the word, making him the second person to say the word on tv. But, because most viewers were watching the other channels and only turned over when they stopped broadcasting, they missed Hudd saying it but heard Tynan. Add to those circumstances there isn't a recording in the archive and Tynan was a self-publicist so he gets the kudos/notoriety.

This may be misremembering/wishful thinking on my part but I'd prefer to believe it was Roy Hudd.

Re: History of the F-Bomb in UK TV comedy
« Reply #66 on: June 09, 2018, 06:38:49 PM »
It had never occurred to me that the double use of 'fucking' in Bad News Tour (1983) must be the first scripted fuck in a British TV comedy, but I always just assumed that when the show went out, it must have been bleeped, but subsequent repeats and releases were not. I have no evidence for this, but surely all fucks were bleeped on TV in 1983?


The first was actually in an earlier Comic Strip Presents: 'War', as I recall, the second ever one, which went out in early January 1983. I watched it as a boy and it was definitely unbleeped, and a bit of a surprise to hear at the time!
« Last Edit: June 09, 2018, 06:58:08 PM by Lefty the dingaling Lynx »

Isnt Anything

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Re: History of the F-Bomb in UK TV comedy
« Reply #67 on: June 14, 2018, 06:03:23 AM »
Who Dares Wins did it a few times, mid 80s.

Comic Strip. Got to be. And they got away with it mostly cos they were like movies.

Yeah one of them two i reckon. And probably a bunch of other early Channel 4 shows too.


There was definitely a scripted Fuck Bomb in Who Dares Wins Series 1 which was 1983 but may have been after Bad News. There is a terrace chant (probably written by Phillip Pope) where the cast sing Here We Go and in the second verse sing "Fuckin' Hell, Fuckin' Hell, for a change".

yup and there was also the very funny 'who the fuck are you ?' song which i THINK was in the very first '.... wins a week in Benidorm' pilot episode. if not it was still very early on. i was a fairly sweary 18 year old at the time but my jaw still dropped a bit at how they thought theyd get away with such blatant and repeated use of it in a non-dramatic context.



I have no evidence for this, but surely all fucks were bleeped on TV in 1983?

Oh bless, of course they werent.


Obviously Channel 4 was a new minority interest channel, but if the fucks went unbleeped it seems amazing that there wasn't uproar in the press

But there was !  Loads of it !!

'Never mind Channel Four, more like Channel SWORE' is one headline that sticks in the mind.

there was particular offence taken at the swearing in Brookside being an hour before the watershed.

us youngsters just wondered what the fuss was about



Dave Allen got in hot water for saying 'a fucking clock' in one of his routines in 1990. It even got brought up in parliament, so it must have still been relatively uncommon.

was it really ? im surprised, cos by then it really wasnt that uncommon on late might shows. i do remember a minor fuss about it but i think that was simply because it was a mass entertainment BBC1 show.

For example when HIGNFY first went out from 1990 it was on BBC2 and the 'fuck's generally went out unbleeped, but after it moved to BBC1 they were bleeped for many years - maybe they still are on the 9pm showing, i dunno as i only watch the 11pmish extended repeat. I know that at one time when i still bothered to watch both versions that that was less bleeped than the earlier version. probably cos there is i believe a semi-official second watershed at 10pm for 'the strongest language'.

btw, the narrative that the 'what do they fucking give you ?' story ended Dave Allens career really annoys me because it was billed in advance as being his final show before retiring, hence the retirement clock story.

Isnt Anything

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Re: History of the F-Bomb in UK TV comedy
« Reply #68 on: June 14, 2018, 06:16:08 AM »
First google result for

channel four channel swore

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/9636642/How-Channel-Swore-changed-TV.html

a bit -

Quote
How Channel ‘Swore’ changed TV

As Channel 4 celebrates its 30th birthday, Sir Jeremy Isaacs, the station’s founding chief executive, weighs up its legacy.

By Sir Jeremy Isaacs
7:00AM GMT 02 Nov 2012

The tabloids had a field day when we launched Channel 4: “Channel Bore”, “Channel Snore”, “Channel Swore”, “Channel Four-Letter Word” … The rude word count that first week was on the high side, at 173. A rent-a-quote MP called for us to be closed down. A reporter arrived at my Chiswick front door at 8am. “Will you resign?” “No.” He asked for a lift back into town.

Early on, in those rowdy first weeks, I was summoned to address the Conservative back-bench media committee in the House of Commons. John Gorst MP asked me how I defended a show in which someone was interviewed sitting on the lavatory. “What sort of taste is that, Mr Isaacs?” I recognised the programme he meant, and told him my son had fallen off the sofa laughing at it. “Surely that’s all right, isn’t it,” I said, “if you believe in individual freedom.” The point taken, I left the lion’s den in one piece.

All the adventurous things we did, rarities we showed, risks we ran, were underpinned by solidly reliable rating-winners from day one: Countdown for older viewers, in the afternoons; and Brookside, the Liverpool soap, for younger viewers in the early evening. Brookside’s language at 8pm caused offence at first; we tempered it. Brookside held an audience for 20 years.


Jockice

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Re: History of the F-Bomb in UK TV comedy
« Reply #69 on: June 14, 2018, 06:57:30 AM »
I can't remember where I read/heard this and the internet doesn't seem to mention it so I'm wondering if it has any factual basis but: re: Kenneth Tynan saying fuck - there was a sketch on BBC3 which featured Roy Hudd saying "fuck". After the sketch there was a panel discussion on the use of the word featuring Tynan repeating the word, making him the second person to say the word on tv. But, because most viewers were watching the other channels and only turned over when they stopped broadcasting, they missed Hudd saying it but heard Tynan. Add to those circumstances there isn't a recording in the archive and Tynan was a self-publicist so he gets the kudos/notoriety.

This may be misremembering/wishful thinking on my part but I'd prefer to believe it was Roy Hudd.

I thought it was Emu.

Phoenix Lazarus

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Re: History of the F-Bomb in UK TV comedy
« Reply #70 on: June 14, 2018, 07:17:26 PM »
I thought it was Emu.

He was just the first to perform fellatio on someone on national TV.

Re: History of the F-Bomb in UK TV comedy
« Reply #71 on: June 14, 2018, 08:49:38 PM »
Maybe it was just me being an overly innocent 15 year old, but John Lydon growling "Fucking cunts" live on ITV's I'm A Celebrity in 2004 was probably the last time any televisual swearing astonished me - probably the first time I'd heard the latter word said on telly.

Re: History of the F-Bomb in UK TV comedy
« Reply #72 on: June 14, 2018, 11:17:00 PM »
Maybe it was just me being an overly innocent 15 year old, but John Lydon growling "Fucking cunts" live on ITV's I'm A Celebrity in 2004 was probably the last time any televisual swearing astonished me - probably the first time I'd heard the latter word said on telly.
'Cunt' had been about for a good while before that. Far from the earliest, but I remember Stephen Fry inviting Lorraine Kelly to 'have a stab at a 'cunt'' on Graham Norton's show on C4 about 1999.
And it was used in front of Phillip Schofield on' This Morning' at about 10am, by an actress appearing in The Vagina Monologues, with no complaints, not long afterwards.

Isnt Anything

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Re: History of the F-Bomb in UK TV comedy
« Reply #73 on: June 15, 2018, 12:47:07 AM »
Yeah again its a word that channel 4 would have used in the 1980s, although far less than 'fuck', but yeah that Johnny Rotten Celeb moment was quite something going out as it did in prime time to the most easily-offended audience.

to be honest both the f and c words could probably have been heard during late night movies even earlier than channel 4 but thats not the subject of this thread.

I do find the Schofield thing amazing though. that there were no complaints, i mean.

Re: History of the F-Bomb in UK TV comedy
« Reply #74 on: June 15, 2018, 08:40:37 AM »
'Cunt' had been about for a good while before that.

Yes, he's 62 now.

Brundle-Fly

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Re: History of the F-Bomb in UK TV comedy
« Reply #75 on: June 15, 2018, 09:37:14 AM »
Maybe it was just me being an overly innocent 15 year old, but John Lydon growling "Fucking cunts" live on ITV's I'm A Celebrity in 2004 was probably the last time any televisual swearing astonished me - probably the first time I'd heard the latter word said on telly.

I don't think I've ever seen that outburst since, not in any clip show or even on YouTube. I know I've got the whole of that IACGMOOH! serries on tape somewhere. Might try and find it. Horrible feeling I lent it to a fellow Lydon enthusiast about ten years ago who I'm not in contact with anymore.

AsparagusTrevor

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Re: History of the F-Bomb in UK TV comedy
« Reply #76 on: June 15, 2018, 09:45:22 AM »
And it was used in front of Phillip Schofield on' This Morning' at about 10am, by an actress appearing in The Vagina Monologues, with no complaints, not long afterwards.
Yeah it was Caprice (mentioning the name of one of the Vagina Monologue acts) and nobody seemed to twig she'd said anything wrong, or at least nobody reacted to it. I think Schofield dropped a quick apology after the break but there didn't seem to be much controversy following it.

Re: History of the F-Bomb in UK TV comedy
« Reply #77 on: June 15, 2018, 11:53:15 PM »
Robert Altman's MASH has f-bombs so it would be interesting to know when that was first shown uncensored.

Ken Loach play The Price of Coal, 1977, is sweary but no f-words AFAIK.

I think Samuel Beckett used the f-word in plays but again I don't know how the Beeb treated that.

The first two times I heard cunt on TV were a World In Action on Scottish gangsters and a documentary about Tourettes.

Bad Ambassador

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Re: History of the F-Bomb in UK TV comedy
« Reply #78 on: June 16, 2018, 01:11:40 AM »
The first use of 'cunt' in a scripted programme was in the last episode of Mosley, which aired 5-March 1998. The speaker was Alan Ford.
https://youtu.be/OtYrbtSbS4c

Shaky

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Re: History of the F-Bomb in UK TV comedy
« Reply #79 on: June 16, 2018, 10:36:09 AM »
The first use of 'cunt' in a scripted programme was in the last episode of Mosley, which aired 5-March 1998. The speaker was Alan Ford.
https://youtu.be/OtYrbtSbS4c


As usual with Youtube, a nice clip with pretty revolting comments beneath.

Jockice

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Re: History of the F-Bomb in UK TV comedy
« Reply #80 on: June 16, 2018, 02:22:45 PM »
I don't think I've ever seen that outburst since, not in any clip show or even on YouTube. I know I've got the whole of that IACGMOOH! serries on tape somewhere. Might try and find it. Horrible feeling I lent it to a fellow Lydon enthusiast about ten years ago who I'm not in contact with anymore.

I don't watch I'm A Celeb but I was flicking channels one night and happened to hit ITV at the exact moment he said that. What are the chances, eh?

And didn't a Fry and Lawrie sketch in the 90s have a character called Mr Cuntfrey or suchlike?

Re: History of the F-Bomb in UK TV comedy
« Reply #81 on: June 16, 2018, 09:31:20 PM »
Ted Cunterblast.

Isnt Anything

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Re: History of the F-Bomb in UK TV comedy
« Reply #82 on: June 16, 2018, 10:32:25 PM »
The first use of 'cunt' in a scripted programme was in the last episode of Mosley, which aired 5-March 1998. The speaker was Alan Ford.
https://youtu.be/OtYrbtSbS4c

Really ?!  THAT late ?!  i am VERY surprised.

Re: History of the F-Bomb in UK TV comedy
« Reply #83 on: June 16, 2018, 11:53:45 PM »
Yeah it was Caprice (mentioning the name of one of the Vagina Monologue acts) and nobody seemed to twig she'd said anything wrong, or at least nobody reacted to it. I think Schofield dropped a quick apology after the break but there didn't seem to be much controversy following it.
Oh, not Schofield but John Leslie, who had his own problems.
A grand total of two complaints, evidently from cunts. And, madly, upheld by cunts... https://www.theguardian.com/media/2002/mar/11/broadcasting2

Bingo Fury

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Re: History of the F-Bomb in UK TV comedy
« Reply #84 on: June 17, 2018, 01:18:05 PM »
The first use of 'cunt' in a scripted programme was in the last episode of Mosley, which aired 5-March 1998. The speaker was Alan Ford.
https://youtu.be/OtYrbtSbS4c

No, I've seen a clip from a Play For Today-type play from the late 60s, possibly very early 70s, in which a distressed woman confides, "He called me a cunt". I remember it as being in black and white, but memory could be cheating.

The first time I ever heard "fuck" on a scripted TV show was the play about Jimmy Boyle, "A Sense Of Freedom". Boyle is being transported by train from London to Glasgow and Fulton Mackay and some other guy are on the platform waiting for him, in the drizzle. "I bet it's not raining in London," says the other guy. "I bet it's not raining in fucking Greenock," Mackay replies. And that was 1979.

Re: History of the F-Bomb in UK TV comedy
« Reply #85 on: June 17, 2018, 09:50:10 PM »
There was a "motherfucker" in a BBC2 play broadcast in 1969 that received no complaints at all, or at the most extremely few - a clip of it was used in a documentary a few years ago showing how quickly times had evolved since Tynangate four years earlier.