Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

Ruling on elephant man impression

Ross Noble did an impression of "elephant man" John Merrick in an edition of Have I Got News For You

Ross Noble's impression of "elephant man" John Merrick in an edition of Have I Got News For You has been ruled to be "at the margins of acceptability" by the BBC Trust.

But the Trust's editorial standards committee said the comic was making a reference to the screen portrayal of the disfigured Merrick by actor John Hurt, rather than mocking people with disabilities.

The committee said the show did not breach editorial guidelines by screening the footage.

Noble did his impersonation as he bantered with panellist Paul Merton and made a gag that actors in a fast food advert had trained at the John Merrick Academy of Drama, as he jokingly performed the famous line "I am not an animal" from the The Elephant Man in a slurred voice.

The committee did not uphold a complaint about the show, screened in June, but added that it "considered that the impersonation of John Merrick's speech and physical disability, in particular, was at the margins of acceptability".

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Your Horoscopes by Russell Grant

Virgo:

Read the fine print on a contract. If you're not happy with the proposed terms of a deal, renegotiate. Don't be afraid to drive a hard bargain. You may not realise it, but you have a great deal of power. People are willing to pay good money for someone with your intelligence and experience. If you undersell yourself, you will set a dangerous precedent. Someone will ask you to do something that goes against your conscience. Obey your principles, even if it means making an enemy.More