Belfast Telegraph

Katie son joke 'not bid to offend'

The head of Channel 4 has written to Katie Price declaring that the broadcaster "never set out to offend" after she complained about jokes made by comedian Frankie Boyle regarding her disabled son Harvey.

The channel's Chief Executive David Abraham sent an open letter to the former glamour model in which he defended the organisation's stance on disability portrayal and perceptions of disability.

Earlier this week the media regulator Ofcom ruled that Channel 4 had breached broadcasting guidelines as a result of Boyle's jokes. The watchdog received hundreds of complaints about the comments aired on the controversial series Tramadol Nights.

Boyle said that Price married cage-fighter Alex Reid because she needed someone strong enough to protect her from her son's sexual advances.

Following the ruling Price wrote to Mr Abraham telling him he must accept responsibility for the breach and for the offence caused by Boyle.

Mr Abraham replied: "I appreciate the very personal perspective to your letter and I would like to reassure you that we never set out to offend or cause distress to your son."

He added: "As we made clear in our submission to Ofcom, our detailed internal commissioning process meant that we were satisfied that you and not your son, were the object of the satire."

Harvey, who is large and strong for his age, suffers from physical and mental conditions and needs constant care.

Price complained that the comments, broadcast in December last year, were "discriminatory, offensive, demeaning and humiliating".

Channel 4 defended the comments, adding that its job was to champion and pioneer "distinctive voices in British comedy and bring them to a wider audience". It said that viewers were given strong warnings about the show, which started at 10pm, an hour after the watershed.


From Belfast Telegraph