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BBC censors Chewin’ The Fat to avoid offending woke viewers

The BBC has removed sketches from old episodes of Chewin’ The Fat to avoid offending modern audiences.

The hit Scottish comedy series has been re-edited for repeat showings to take out any material deemed too controversial.

Chewin’ The Fat launched the careers of Ford Kiernan and Greg Hemphill who went on to write sitcom Still Game.

Their co-star Karen Dunbar, 50, discovered the show she appeared in had fallen foul of the censors while filming a new documentary on comedy in today’s woke world.

Scottish comedy Chewin’ The Fat has been re-edited for viewers for repeat showing on BBC

She was shown how decisions were made on what to cut from the show before a repeat was broadcast last year.

Speaking on the Cultural Coven podcast, she said: ‘As part of the documentary we went down to the BBC in London where they edit the repeats.

‘The week we went down Chewin’ The Fat was going to be repeated at the weekend so they brought up sketches and they were asking me if I thought it was going to be kept or cancelled.

‘The BBC review every repeat that goes out and will take out the bits that aren’t acceptable today.

Sketches were from performers and writers Ford Kiernan, Greg Hemphill and Karen Dunbar

Sketches were from performers and writers Ford Kiernan, Greg Hemphill and Karen Dunbar

BBC’s woke warnings

The BBC have attached an ‘offensive language’ warning on iPlayer episodes of classic prison sitcom Porridge.

 

The BBC have attached an ‘offensive language’ warning on iPlayer episodes of classic prison sitcom Porridge.

The programme revolves around protagonist Norman Stanley Fletcher, played by Ronnie Barker, serving time at the fictional HM Prison Slade in Cumberland with cellmate Lennie Godber, played by Richard Beckinsale. 

 

It has also slapped warnings on episodes of Blackadder and The Fresh Prince of Bel Air because of jokes which viewers may find offensive. 

Blackadder, first aired in 1983, uses a slur in its second episode which the BBC decided warrants the warning.

 

The Fresh Prince of Bel Air’s Reunion episode, filmed last year, also contains a warning at the start of the show.

The message says: ‘Contains discriminatory language which some viewers may find offensive.’

 

The Royle Family has also been given a warning for discriminatory language in an episode including Jim Royle using a ‘nancy boy’ slur.

The third episode of the second series, which first aired on sees Ricky Tomlinson’s character Jim watching Changing Rooms, during which he calls Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen a ‘nancy boy’.

‘The result of that was Chewin’ The Fat went out on the Saturday but it went out with bits taken out of it that would have been in the original 20 years before it.’

Some of the material which was deemed unacceptable will be revealed in the documentary #CancelKarenDunbar which is set to air later this year.

Chewin’ The Fat started out as a radio show and later ran for four series on television between 1999 and 2002.

It featured characters such as Dunbar’s randy Auld Betty, the chain-smoking family who use voice boxes and an infamous scene involving an female ice-cream van worker lifting her skirt up to two young boys.

The show has been regularly repeated on the BBC Scotland channel since it launched in 2019.

Last year, Kiernan, 60, said he didn’t think Chewin’ The Fat would be made today because it would be deemed too offensive.

He said: ‘A lot of the stuff on Chewin’ The Fat stuff you couldn’t get away with now.

‘The likes of Karen pulling her skirt up I don’t think you could do.

;We did get letters at the time and somebody wrote in and said “As funny as the nation thought that sketch was, would that sketch work if it was two wee lassies at the van and it was a man?”

‘Me and Greg went “No it wouldn’t be as funny’.

‘So the point was made “Don’t write any more sketches like that” so we didn’t.

‘Another thing is dirty Auld Betty.

;You couldn’t have her on the telly now.’

In 2020 the BBC removed episodes of Little Britain and Fawlty Towers from streaming services over fears of causing offence.

A BBC spokesperson said: ‘The BBC regularly reviews older content to ensure it meets current audience expectations. This is part of our process when repeating archive content including comedy.’ 

Last year censors slapped an offensiveness warning on classic ‘Allo ‘Allo episodes in case viewers are upset by characters taking the mickey out of French and German accents.

The BBC comedy, which ran from 1982 to 1992, coined a multitude of catchphrases that proved popular for decades.

‘Good Moaning’, uttered completely straight by French policeman Officer Crabtree, is still widely offered as a greeting nearly 30 years after Cafe René closed its doors for the last time.

The BBC have also attached an ‘offensive language’ warning on iPlayer episodes of classic prison sitcom Porridge.

The programme revolves around protagonist Norman Stanley Fletcher, played by Ronnie Barker, serving time at the fictional HM Prison Slade in Cumberland with cellmate Lennie Godber, played by Richard Beckinsale.

Fans of the 1970s comedy have hit out after one episode featured a warning, advising viewers that the programme ‘reflects the broadcast standards, language and attitudes of its time’, adding: ‘Some viewers may find this content offensive’.

At the time a BBC Spokesperson told MailOnline: ‘Attitudes and language change over time and our approach, just like other streaming services, is to tell viewers when a show includes something that maybe offensive, inappropriate or outdated and because some people aren’t offended, it doesn’t mean that others aren’t.’

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