Belfast Telegraph

Benidorm escapes TV watchdog censure over cleft lip remark

The ITV show sparked 131 complaints that a description of a character with a cleft lip was offensive and discriminatory.

Benidorm has escaped censure by TV watchdog Ofcom after it broadcast a cleft lip joke.

The ITV show sparked 131 complaints that a description of a character with a cleft lip was offensive and discriminatory.

Viewers saw actress Sherrie Hewson’s character refer to singer Danny Tetley, who played himself in the episode, as having “a voice like a 13-year-old girl and a face like a dropped pie”.

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Ofcom said that it would not be investigating.

“We carefully assessed a number of complaints that a character’s comments in this programme were offensive and discriminatory,” a spokesman said.

“We acknowledged that this could offend some viewers, but we found that the tone was in line with what viewers were likely to expect, and the scene was carefully contextualised.”

The Cleft Lip And Palate Association (Clapa) published an open letter after the May 3 episode, branding the comment “ignorant and highly offensive”.

Presenter Carol Vorderman, who is patron of the association, endorsed the letter, tweeting her followers: “I’m one of those complaining”.

Ofcom said it would respond to the Cleft Lip And Palate Association directly.

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