Belfast Telegraph

Minchin hits out as ITV axes song

Tim Minchin has blasted ITV bosses after he claimed a specially-written track was pulled from the Jonathan Ross Show for fear of upsetting Christians.

Tim - who is behind West End hit Matilda - has written a furious blog pointing the finger at the network's director of programmes Peter Fincham, suggesting he was nervous about a backlash.

But ITV said the axing of the song was simply because it did not work "editorially".

Satirist Tim said he took on the commission at a particularly busy period because of the exposure of such a high profile show, spending three "stressed" days on it.

He said "compliance" staff and lawyers had given the go-ahead to his lyrics long before the recording of the programme, which features Tom Cruise as a guest.

But he said the humorous song - which drew parallels between Woody Allen and Jesus - was pulled when Mr Fincham watched the show.

In his blog Minchin - who had to rush from filming straight to his own show at London's Hammersmith Apollo after last week's recording - said: "Peter Fincham demanded that I be cut from the show.

"He did this because he's scared of the ranty, s***-stirring, right-wing press, and of the small minority of Brits who believe they have a right to go through life protected from anything that challenges them in any way." He went on: "I have to admit I'm really f****** disappointed".

However an ITV source said the decision was less about religious sensitivity and more that "tonally, it wasn't right for the show".

An ITV spokesman said: "We often make changes to programmes before transmission and on this occasion we felt that the song didn't quite work editorially."

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