Thursday, January 03, 2008

What a ******* Liberty!

Nadine Dorries had made a welcome return to blogging after a Christmas break, but I'm afraid I couldn't agree less with the subject of her first post. She takes Catherine Tate to task for the swearing in her Christmas Show which was transmitted at 10.30pm on BBC1 on Christmas Day. She says she has written to OFCOM. As the grandmother in Catherine Tate's Show might say: "What a ******* liberty!" I have to admit that I found the programme very funny, especially that sketch. It was transmitted well after the watershed and was preceded by a warning that the programme "contains extreme language right from the start". Anyone who had ever watched Catherine Tate before, would have known exactly what they were going to get. There were hundreds of other channels to choose from - or there was, perish the thought, the 'off' button. It took Nadine 15 minutes to choose the latter and she was perfectly entitled to do so. I too was perfectly entitled to watch a show - on Christmas Day - that I was looking forward to enjoying. And I did.

UPDATE: Nadine responds HERE and Dizzy gives a running commentary HERE. And yes Nadine, I do think Catherine Tate is funnier than Ricky Gervais.


Anonymous said...

I watched about 10 mins on iPlayer a couple of days ago to make my own mind up about the show. I felt depressed after watching it - a feeling compounded by the fact that this is produced by the BBC who are capable of producing world-class entertainment that lifts the spirits. I don't find the caricature of a grandmother saying "f*****g" funny, even when the canned laughter tells me I should.

And, yes, the fact it was aired on Christmas day does matter to a lot of people.

Oh, and the Irish stereotyping was dated, offensive and obvious.

Anonymous said...

Iain, I agree. I thought it was an amusing show too. I guess if you don't 'get it' then you don't 'get it'?!

No need for people to be so prudish and puritanical... If they don't like what they're watching then they can use their remote control. What's all the fuss about anyway?

Paddy Briggs said...

Very good programme indeed. Made some shrewd comments on modern Britain without being overtly political. Ms Tate is a fine actress and a brilliant mimic and the sketches were uncomfortably true to life! It followed the utterly dire "To the Manor Born" which was plotless, humourless and poorly acted - even by the principals who should have avoided this farrago like the plague. Ms Tate showed how comedy has changed in the 25 years since "Manor Born" - for the better IMHO!

John Woodman said...

It was offensive and unamusing at any time, and not the sort of programme to be shown on the main public service channel on Christmas Day. There are plenty of alternative channels where it could have been shown for people who think vulgarity becomes amusing if it's repeated frequently.

Anonymous said...

Catherine Tate was fabulous- best bit: George Michael! Anyway, i want something MUCH funnier to be repeated on BBC1- 'It's A Royal Knockout!' Nothing better than watching 'our so-called betters' humiliating themselves on the box!

Perry Neeham said...

It has to be said that Catherine Tate is the least funny comedienne since Teresa Gorman. But surely La Dorries should have complained to the Office of Bad Language, i.e. Offuck rather than Ofcom.

Unsworth said...

I just find La Tate extremely boring. Isn't there something else she could do? Supermarkets round here are pretty short of checkout ladies.

As for the stunning Nadine, I've never really understood your infatuation with her, Iain. She's not the sharpest tool in the box, is she? Charming though she may be. If it takes her fifteen minutes to find the off-button after receiving a fair warning that's a pretty good indicator of her pace of intellect. Perhaps she was pissed at the time, though.

Do we really need people with this level of intelligence in Parliament?

eddie said...

Well Ian, even though I don't like your politics I've read and enjoyed your diary for a long time and have a lot of respect for you. But finding Catherine Tate funny? I'm sorry, that's even worse than you being a Hammers' fan in the respect ratings.

The first time I saw her, I found her mildly amusing, but every show repeats the same sketches with minor variations and they don't get better for repetition.

Anonymous said...

In fairness the BBC had already aired "Dr Who"; "Strictly Come Dancing Special" and "To the Manor Born" prior to "The Catherine Tate Show" which was shown well after the watershed and there was an alternative fare on BBC 2 in the form of "James May - My Sister's Top Toys"(incidentally don't be put off by the title - catch the repeat if you can - another classic from one of the "Top Gear" team)or the slightly raunchy in parts "Love Actually" being re-shown on ITV 1(ignoring any other channels terrestial or digital) so whilst the language etc in "The Catherine Tate Show" may not have appealed to Nadine there were alternatives or as you say just switch it off. It's shades of Mary Whitehouse "I just saw an absolutely disgusting programme on the BBC which was absolute filth from the first 5 minutes and I watched it until the end"

Personally I dislike Catherine Tate's humour but equally I dislike "Eastenders" but other people don't and that's their choice and mine NOT to watch either

Anonymous said...

The BBC is not just another broadcaster, like it or not, it is imposed on us by the state and funded on pain of a prison sentence. It therefore has no right to set out deliberately to cause offence.

I have no doubt that BBC execs met and discussed said programme in advance of transmission, knew it would offend many (especially the older generation and viewers in Ulster). But they wanted to be edgy, because that is how TV people like to think of themselves, so they went ahead with this programme regardless - a big FU to many of their viewers!

The BBC is all over the place these days and, in the absence of any apparent overall quality directives and strong management, is patently being exploited as a taxpayer funded 'cash cow' by its staff, contractors and the so called 'talent'.

Coincidentally, this very minute, I have received my TV licence bill for £135.50. I see that the first term & condition made under the heading of 'Conditions of your licence' is 'You must pay your licence'!!

Anonymous said...

I agree with you totally, but worries me is I thought she was part of a party that believed in freedom of choice and that includes what I want to watch on TV. And Conservatives moan about Brown's nanny state !

Perhaps she ought to live in the real world. There are thousands of Joanny Taylors in the world, why should they not be portraid on TV.

Live in the real world!

Philipa said...

I think we would all be better off by choosing the 'off' button, children especially. Complaining about a clearly labelled prog is stupid, I think complaints better placed at the examples and messages of advertising that has advertises selfish amoral behaviour and makes it seem an acceptable part of our culture, and so it becomes.

Anonymous said...

Catherine Tate is dull

Anonymous said...

Don't agree Iain. The BBC should be able to do much better than formulaic "666" tripe. 6 funny costumes and 6 catchphrases repeated over 6 weeks is no substitute for comedy

Anonymous said...

I got the impression that most people who complained, did so because it was broadcast on Christmas Day.

I didn't watch it personally, because I don't find it funny listening to people swear continuously, but have no problem if that makes you laugh.

I just think it should have been shown on some other day, not one that's considered "special" to many people.

Anonymous said...

Having just read Nadine's blog I have to agree with her. I say this as a Taite fan, however, she is right.

Anonymous said...

We thought the show was peurile and pathetically desperate to shock us, something it failed to do in this household

Anonymous said...

I still cannot understand her reason for blogging at all after switching off "comments" weeks ago!

How is she intending to understand people's reactions to her views?

Anonymous said...

I disagree Iain,
If this is the best that the BBC can show on Christmas Day then the sooner I am not forced to pay for the BBC the better.
We do not all have hundreds of channels to chose from, some of us only have 4 channels.
If the BBC are supposed to be the best, then 4 channels are too many.
I did not watch the programme, the trailers were enough to put me off.

Newmania said...

Mrs N is a good Council Estate Bermondsey girl and she finds that character hysterical because it is so like the oldsters she knew in her young days. Does a great impression actually

Nicholas Soames was using some rather fruity language about Hunt protesters according to the Mirror. Does Nadine mind this ?

( I see that provocative f----cker Paddy Briggs is back again... Right about to the Manor Born though , awful)

Anonymous said...

Catherine Tate does not appeal to my sense of humour.

But she clearly has her fans and why should they be denied the chance to watch her show? It was Christmas for them too, y'know.

It was on late, the proper warnings were given, I see no problem apart from a bunch of puritans with their knickers in a twist.

Paul Linford said...

Well, I have a fairly puerile sense of humour and I thought it was funny too, though not as funny as the one in which her "grandson" introduces her to Charlotte Church as his new girlfriend and she goes: "It's nice to meet you in the flesh because you always look as pissed as arseholes in the paper...."

Craig Ranapia said...

I generally find Catherine Tate as amusing as a caustic soda enema, but thats not really the point.

Ms Dorries and I obviously have different concepts of what constitutes "acceptable standards" of behaviour. When I'm entertaining, my guests tend to be the center of my attention not the television schedule - especially in an age where easy to operate recording devices have never been cheaper.

Now, if Ms. Tate is going to be effing and blinding her way through the next series of Doctor Who - which presumably will continue to go out around 7pm on Saturday evening - I'll get my indignation gland pumping.

Curbishly said...

apart from a bunch of puritans with their knickers in a twist.

Would you be so liberal minded if Tate's language had been aimed at Blacks, Asians or Gays?

Personally I find her unfunny and boring and of all the days to pick Christmas day wasn't the most intelligent.

I agree with the comments about the BBC and the licence fee and think it's about time this monolith was reduced to manageable proportions.

Anonymous said...

Paddy Briggs said - "Ms Tate showed how comedy has changed in the 25 years since "Manor Born" - for the better IMHO!"

Every year, for as long as I can remember, the BBC has been repeating Dad's Army. And I will bet that it is still on in 25 years time. A sublime and utterly brilliant comedy series that offended nobody - despite the fact that it made fun of the old boys in the Home Guard, many of whom were still with us when it was first broadcast.

The BBC needs some severe pruning. The new growth that emerges has got to be better than what we have today.

Anonymous said...

Well said, Iain! This will be the same Nadine Dorries who complains about the nanny state and then wants to be protected by it, when something offends her sensitivities - What a ***** liberty! Happy New Year.

Anonymous said...

I like Bernard Manning, Roy Chubby Brown and Jimmy Jones. All three are serial eff and blind merchants, but they do it, in the main, in clubs and theatres for adults.
I've only ever seen trailers of Catherine Tate and Little Britain and haven't felt obliged to watch their shows. Like most young performers, having to fill space on a long-running series, they have to resort to catch-phrases, toilet humour and canned laughter.
Get well soon, Ken.

Little Black Sambo said...

You'll be allowing swearing on this blog, then?

Paddy Briggs said...

Fully agree about "Dad's Army" - great stuff. As was Hancock. There is always room for good writing and good performances of a gentle nature like these - along with the splendid and harder hitting Little Britain and Katherine Tate.

Louise said...

I didn't realise the swearing gran was what Nadine Dorries was upset about. I was actually wondering what the complaint was about. And for someone who thought Christmas Day was so inviolable she spent a lot of time watching the TV.

Besides there will have been more swearing at the average family Christmas lunch than shown.

Anonymous said...

Totally, agree with you Iain. The Tate show made my Christmas (I spent most of it in bed with 'flu). Agree with the poster who said "Bonkers Dorries" isn't the sharpest tool in the box. And to think people want her in the shadow cabinet...

What a ******* liberty!

Anonymous said...

I'm afraid that Catherine Tate is just playing to the NuLab chav British Society. This is high-lighted no better than the father's tribute to the baby Archie-Lee who was tragically killed by a rottweiler at the end of last year. The father's 'tribute' appears on his Bebo profile
next to a gallery of 'Dirty birds' and with a tagline of 'Girls, find em, feel em, f*ck em n forget em' (it is there, just highlight underneath the picture at the top). We are all doomed.

Anonymous said...

I'm Irish, from Belfast and whilst i think she flogged the joke to death, I wasn't particularly offended by her sketches. She did get the accent quite well, but yer wan wasn't quite brassy enough :)

Alan Douglas said...


I've never watched C Tate, so cannot comment there, but I wonder what the BBC would have done to celebrate The Muslim's Holy day at say Eid, produced an Eid "special" with as many Fs and Bs as this ?

Can't help feeling they would have been "culturally sensitive" for the Muslims, so why do they have to produce a Christmas Special ON CHRISTMAS DAY in this nominally Christian country which was not equally "culturally sensitive" towards Christians ?

I'm not a Christian, or a Muslim, but I do have some slight feeling for the sensibilities of others, which the BBC clearly selectively does NOT.

These lefties will avoid the word Christmas at any cost, offering "seasonal greetings" instead, except when they can do something as crude as this - why was it not called a "Seasonal" special, and broadcast ANY other day ?

Alan Douglas

Anonymous said...

I am a fan of Catherine Tate - I especially love Nan. But even I found the swearing a little excessive - to the point it became boring.

My main gripe was the one with the family from Northern Ireland. The portrayal of the family as violent psychos may have been funny to some 20 years ago - but now it probably only confused many younger viewers. It was simply too dated to work.

And I wonder - if it had been a Muslim family from Bradford or somewhere - would Catherine Tate have dared to show this sketch? I think we all know the answer to that.

Newmania said...

bebopper said...
I like Bernard Manning,

Did you know that Bernard Manning worked as a guard at Berlin`s Spandau prison minding the Nazis
Quite true, its on the BBC triv list. Charlie Chapilin was born on the same day as Hitler ...who instituted a smoking ban also true .
( Jesus that Paddy Briggs is asking for it with his measured remarks and gentle f---cking irony..provocative f---cker)
Iain I am getting a list allergy, I `m covered in boils , you wouldn`t want that to go on would you ?

Anonymous said...

So that's what Nadine looks like without the makeup!

Anonymous said...

I think Nadine Dorries MP should be congratulated for her stance. This Scouser from a tough Council estate is prepared to say what she thinks (unlike most) and is brave for doing so. Long may she continue to do what she does best!

Anonymous said...

I support Nadine's stance on this. There 364 other days for crass and offensive 'entertainment' on TV, surely the Beeb could have given it a rest on Christmas day.

Benny said...

Catherine Tate is a terrible programme but it was on after the watershed.

Any parent who wants to let their child watch TV after 9pm should expect there will be things shown that aren't suitable.

K S Rees said...

I wouldn't mind the Catherine Tate Show being offensive if it just happened to be funny at the same time. Really dislike the show - also dislike her on Doctor Who. Stuck with her for the next season though.

Oh well, each to their own.

A Swansea Blog

Anonymous said...

Iain you have deep inconsistencies in your political philosophy. If you are to say that swearing is OK - and it only effects some people. Then this is the same view that says cannabis is OK because it only effects some people.

Appauding swearing on a show that is watched by kids shows that you don't think about the future generations.

Catherine Tate can crawl down the gutter getting cheap laughs but politicans need to rise above her.

Iain Dale said...

Not a good argument. I chose to watch watch a programme which contained swearing. Swearing is not illegal. Cannabis is.

I did not applaud swearing. And Catherine Tate was on at 10.30. Responsible parents would have sent their kids to bed by then.

I do not apologise for finding Catherine Tate funny. Nor do I apologise for not being a prude.

Anonymous said...

I have always thought that Catherine Tate is very talented but just uses rotten material. She could be really funny with a decent writer.

Anyone is funnier than Ricky Gervais, I thought that he was completely discredited as a stand-up comedian after his performance at the Diana concert.

Philipa said...

If Nadine wore a more prominent cricifix on her picture people might think she was on her way to martyrdom! Nadine - always look on the bright side of life :-)

Unsworth said...

"This Scouser from a tough Council estate is prepared to say what she thinks (unlike most) and is brave for doing so"


So "she's from a tough Council estate"? Like, Wow!

She "says what she thinks". Yes, one can certainly see that.

"And is brave for doing that". For what, opening her very pretty mouth without putting her brain into gear?

Just because someone has come from a 'tough' background, and 'says what they think' doesn't mean they are a) intelligent and/or b) brave. She might equally be thick and cowardly. In any event, if she's so bleeding brave why does she refuse comment on her site and merely snipes from a distance?

Anonymous said...

All the crap going on in this world presently and all you lot can whinge about is a few late night f**ks. Get a life people, please. Sticks and stones, and all that.

Anonymous said...

Both of them are about as funny as a stomach bug in January.

Anonymous said...

Most of the kids are in bed by 10.30pm, thats OK then is it, why do you assume that adults are quite happy to have their living rooms invaded by such foul language, it may be the norm in your household but it certainly is not in mine nor I would think in the majority of peoples.
These so called comics only use language such as this because they are NOT funny and swear solely to get an effect, very very rarely does it add anything to the script/joke.
With the ever growing use of bad language on the television is it any wonder that young people think it is common place.

Craig Ranapia said...

Yes, dickwishart, and in my house children are on the Nighty-Night Express to Bedfordshire well before 10.30pm and have their television viewing strictly limited and vetted.

And could someone please point Nadine to Daniel Radcliffe's turn on Extras? Hilarious watching 'Harry Potter' send himself up as a sleazy egomaniac -- who ends up being well and truly slapped down by Diana Rigg in full dragon mode. But its certainly not 'family viewing', so pardon me if I don't find Ricky Gervais any kind of family values paragon.

Anyway, I know millions of people disagree, but I find Extras and The Office relentlessly smug, patronising and mean-spirited. Still, different strokes for different folks.

Anonymous said...

If you are all for free speech I presume you will support the BBC showing a religous opinion show on world aids day saying it is God's will and its about time we
1)went back to calling Aids, grid for gay related immuno deficiency as it was called and
2) Its self inflicted so inline with Gordos comments about fat people not getting treatment neither should they

Anonymous said...

Catherine Tate isn't funny.

But if you find that kind of swearing genuinely offensive then you are simply a prude.

And I have absolutely no idea what anonymous 9.38 is going on about. If that's a joke, it's crap. If it's not, may God (or some other big cloudy fellow) forgive you.

Craig Ranapia said...

If you are all for free speech I presume you will support the BBC showing a religous opinion show on world aids day saying it is God's will and its about time we
1)went back to calling Aids, grid for gay related immuno deficiency as it was called and
2) Its self inflicted so inline with Gordos comments about fat people not getting treatment neither should they

Well, anonymous, I certainly think its a public service that anyone who would say anything that cruel and flat out ignorant under the guise of 'religious opinion' get as much exposure as possible. Sunlight being the best disinfectant, and all. And some of us have thought for years that the BBC's factual programming is a richer source of fantasy and comedy
than a five foot shelf of Doctor Who DVDs.

But WTF that has to do with a rather vulgar and unamusing alleged commedienne has escaped me.

Roger Thornhill said...

I have never liked Catherine Tate - I find her voice, attitude and approach totally irritating.

Little Britain manages to mock fecklessness, bigotry, ignorance. Catherine Tate seems to be part of it.

Little Britain laughs AT, Catherine Tate laughs WITH.

I have to be prepared to kiss goodbye to Dr Who, that is all I can say.