Swearing on UK TV (and watershed times)

Luminance Leon

Standard Member
Hi all,

I did a quick search and found a couple of specific threads about swearing on Dave and maybe a few others, but I wanted to create a more wider ranging thread on the whole subject.

Just watching Channel 5: "Can't Pay? We'll Take It Away!" @ ~11:40, and one of the enforcement officers says "...it's pissing down [with rain]...".

Not a couple of days ago, on the very same Channel 5: "The Wright Stuff" one of the guests, Jenny Eclair, said "...bore the tits off...", and was quickly corrected by the host Matthew Wright, that she should use the words "boobs".

I've come across "ass" in the Simpsons and Futurama, but I think the swear is lost in the translation from the Americanism. It's clear they mean "arse", but the alternate name for donkey is accepted in this country - ignoring context - "bite my shiny metal ass"
These two shows have also used "piss/ed" from time to time.

Does anyone know what the time cut-off is for these things (watershed)? I thought it was 21:00, but I seem to hear more profanities earlier and earlier, 20:00 and now before lunchtime!

Ordinarily, I suppose weekday daytime TV wouldn't need to be censored (because kids are at school, or young ones are watching CBBC and not reality TV trash). But it's an Easter break at the moment, and kids of all ages are off school.


Now, I don't care one way or the other with regard to what words are used, but if I had young kids I, most likely would be pretty pissed mysefl!
 
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quarry2006

Well-known Member
"There's no such thing as bad language, just bad use of good language." Billy Connolly

I think I'm more shocked at the fact that Jerry Springer and Jeremy Kyle are on during the day than the level of swearing before the watershed. But parents should always monitor what their kids are watching and never just treat the glass teat in the corner as a surrogate child-minder.

As for my kids, they don't break up for Easter until next week (what is it with this Christian holiday that it's on a different date every year?) but when they do I can guarantee that they won't be spending all day sat in front of the goggle-box.
 

Luminance Leon

Standard Member
Oh I agree with you. There are plenty more wholesome ways to spend ones time that sat in front of a TV set!

It just seemed to me that profanities are becoming less of an issue on TV than they used to be, or at least the time of day that they appear has become earlier.

The quality, or lack of, programming is another issue altogether. The argument against Springer/Kyle type shows didn't seem to bring up media attention, yet a butter substitute cartoon advert, where the parents are referred to as "wrestling" did. Hmm. Mind that advert is still running, and now there's a sequel.
 

John7

Well-known Member
Piss and arse are widely used in the media at all times of day now - those words wouldn't have been acceptable a few years ago
 

Luminance Leon

Standard Member
Oh, a few weeks ago, also I noticed on Channel 85, RT that when interviewing a guy in another country the connection went skew-wiff, and the on-location interviewee blurted out "...oh, sh*t, it's not working, damnit" or something along those lines. It was nice and early on TV, and there was no apology for the profanity, but there was for technical difficulty - likely because it was a re-broadcast from a later at night piece, such as channels like RT do.

Arse is still a profanity as far as I can see, but ass isn't, despite it being used within the same context, with the same meaning in UK. A slight mispronunciation and we have one of the other.
 
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Garrett

Moderator
Please do not substitute *s in words you preserve are going to be edited with the swearword filter. This is classed as circumventing the swearword filter.

Swear words corrected without * so I leave it up to guess peeps what was original word.
 

Luminance Leon

Standard Member
@Garrett, thanks. I have edited a couple of others. I take it underlining to emphasise the offending word is acceptable. If not, I'll adjust that too should need be.

On a side note, funny how the filter of this site doesn't deem some of the words as swearing...now we might be getting somewhere with this seeming, paradigm shift.
 

Garrett

Moderator
@Garrett, thanks. I have edited a couple of others. I take it underlining to emphasise the offending word is acceptable. If not, I'll adjust that too should need be.

On a side note, funny how the filter of this site doesn't deem some of the words as swearing...now we might be getting somewhere with this seeming, paradigm shift.
:Dtits is not offending that's why the swear word not changed it to breast or as Mathew Wright might say boobs..

If unsure spell it right, if you use * or alternates it makes as though you trying to get away with it.;)
 

quarry2006

Well-known Member
Oh I agree with you. There are plenty more wholesome ways to spend ones time that sat in front of a TV set!

It just seemed to me that profanities are becoming less of an issue on TV than they used to be, or at least the time of day that they appear has become earlier.

The quality, or lack of, programming is another issue altogether. The argument against Springer/Kyle type shows didn't seem to bring up media attention, yet a butter substitute cartoon advert, where the parents are referred to as "wrestling" did. Hmm. Mind that advert is still running, and now there's a sequel.

I can't believe people complained about that butter advert. Oh, actually, yes I can. This is England, after all, where any allusion to sex is a strict no-no.
 

MarkusThatch

Distinguished Member
What never fails to amuse me with US shows is that it's fine to show sickeningly horrifying violence, but don't you mention sex or drop the F bomb!
 

gap

Distinguished Member
What never fails to amuse me with US shows is that it's fine to show sickeningly horrifying violence, but don't you mention sex or drop the F bomb!

It really is quite bizarre. Hannibal (which I think is fabulous btw) is unbelievably graphic, grim and downright depressing. The fact that it is on a major network during prime time baffles me.
 

redwing

Well-known Member
I was watching Diners drive ins and dives on the food channel at 3pm one day and they visited a English themes Fish and Chip shop and the guy talking had a T shirt on with the word Boll...ks wrote clearly across the front. I know its not a well known word out there but youd think someone wouldve spotted it .

The worst one ive ever seen was live on Goals On Sunday on sky . They had a goalkeeper on I cant remember his name used to play for West Ham anyway they asked him what a previous manager was like he said when you was good he was great but he could also be a (then a paused as he was about to say the C word) but instead this Utter moron decided to Spell the word out . C U and so on . I was sitting there I though I cant believe hes just spelled the word c... out.
I dont even mind swearing but just the fact he thought he has disguised it by spelling out a 4 letter word was amazing on a sunday morning live on tv.
 

quarry2006

Well-known Member
There used to be a Mr ****** in Mork And Mindy. In America, it's not an offensive word but when the show used to be shown on this side of the pond, the word was never blanked out.
 

Mark_a

Well-known Member
The worst one ive ever seen was live on Goals On Sunday on sky. They had a goalkeeper on I cant remember his name
Stephen Bywater, Derby County goalie at the time. The show's co-presenter, Clare Tomlinson, got put on two months 'gardening leave' for not repremanding him at the time and later for refusing to apologize over the incident. Never did return to Goals On Sunday and now does Sky Sports News presenting, usually late at night. Ridiculous of Sky to be so prissy. Well done Clare for sticking to your guns, I say.

Regards

Mark
 

LondonTiger

Novice Member
To be fair I nearly fainted last Saturday on BBC1 when all I could hear was Claire Balding saying "Cox this and Cox that"
 

moranicdays

Active Member
I was watching Diners drive ins and dives on the food channel at 3pm one day and they visited a English themes Fish and Chip shop and the guy talking had a T shirt on with the word Boll...ks wrote clearly across the front. I know its not a well known word out there but youd think someone wouldve spotted it .

The worst one ive ever seen was live on Goals On Sunday on sky . They had a goalkeeper on I cant remember his name used to play for West Ham anyway they asked him what a previous manager was like he said when you was good he was great but he could also be a (then a paused as he was about to say the C word) but instead this Utter moron decided to Spell the word out . C U and so on . I was sitting there I though I cant believe hes just spelled the word c... out.
I dont even mind swearing but just the fact he thought he has disguised it by spelling out a 4 letter word was amazing on a sunday morning live on tv.

I'm sure the sex pistols went to court years ago about using the boll....kts on a album and won as it's part of the English language
 

Luminance Leon

Standard Member
...
The worst one ive ever seen was live on Goals On Sunday on sky . They had a goalkeeper on I cant remember his name used to play for West Ham anyway they asked him what a previous manager was like he said when you was good he was great but he could also be a (then a paused as he was about to say the C word) but instead this Utter moron decided to Spell the word out . C U and so on . I was sitting there I though I cant believe hes just spelled the word c... out.
I dont even mind swearing but just the fact he thought he has disguised it by spelling out a 4 letter word was amazing on a sunday morning live on tv.

Still, I don't think Mr Rooney would have been able to spell it! :D

I just saw a clip on Youtube of Mork & Mindy, that was quite amusing...innocent enough I suppose.
 

KungFuPro

Well-known Member
You just reminded me of an episode of The Simpsons with U2 that used the term merchant bankers, I remember the papers kicking up a fuss at the time and repeats having to be edited.

What never fails to amuse me with US shows is that it's fine to show sickeningly horrifying violence, but don't you mention sex or drop the F bomb!

Same with movies, I recently watched the first 3 Die Hard movies and was browsing iMDB afterwards, it was funny to read people wanting versions without swearing so their kids could watch them.
I had forgotten how violent they were, part 2 has an icicle eye-gouging scene that would please the most die-hard Fulci fan:D.
 

Duncan G

Well-known Member
Any one remember Men in Black 3? This was rated PG and I was surprised at the four letter words used in the film.
 

quarry2006

Well-known Member
Nope. In truth, I remember very little about the film. I saw it at the pictures with my two kids, neither of whom came out of the cinema effing and jeffing.

I think this is little more than a storm in the proverbial teacup, to be honest.
 

Greg Hook

Moderator & Reviewer
You are only allowed mild language in a PG, so definitely no effing. A 12A can have F words, not sure how many though.

Also, I don't see any profanities in the first post of this thread!
 

Garrett

Moderator
Also, I don't see any profanities in the first post of this thread!
They have been edited hence you don't see them in accordance with the forums swearword filter.
 

mike7

Distinguished Member
Coincidentally I'm just listening to a Radio 4 programme about the making of Four Weddings and a Funeral. The F word features 14 times at the beginning of the film. This was not acceptable to American distributors so the scene was re-shot for them substituting the word bu**er. Apparently the Americans thought this meant 'old codger' or curmudgeon. There are a number of "swear" words that Americans misinterpret and find their way into scripts through that misunderstanding. I doubt if any UK producer would feel confident in making a film called 'Free Willy'. The humour was lost on our American friends and they could see no reason to change it. Two nations divided by a single language?
 

Greg Hook

Moderator & Reviewer
The word ****** (aka merchant banker) clearly doesn't have the same meaning in the US. There is a guy called Thomas ****** who is quite prominent on the credits of Buffy and also a show on right now.
 

captainarchive

Distinguished Member
I remember watching an interview with Will Smith during the period he was making his brand of bubble gum pop and he mentioned how he'd dropped the phrase 'big willy style' when promoting his album over here. He understood what that meant over here and didn't what his younger british fans using the term.
 

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