The Jeremy Kyle Show has been cleared by Ofcom after broadcasting an uncensored swear word because producers had not “understood” the guest’s Scottish accent.
The media watchdog said that since ITV had taken “extensive steps prior to broadcast to remove inappropriate material from this programme”, apologised for its use and immediately removed it from future broadcast, the matter was resolved.
Producers said they had not understood the swear word despite 12 people reviewing the footage (ITV)
The offensive word was broadcast during a “heated exchange between two programme contributors, who were speaking very quickly” in a segment called, “When I prove I didn’t cheat, will you let me see our daughter?” on January 18.
ITV admitted that the word had been broadcast simply because it had not been “understood” prior to broadcast.
According to Ofcom, the episode was reviewed by 11 different members of the production team as well as a Scottish team member who has experience with regional accents and none picked up on the use of “Ya c***” by a female guest to her ex-partner.
ITV did not receive any complaints despite over a million viewers, although Ofcom received two (ITV)
The channel apologised but said that “it would not have been readily audible, or at least not readily understandable as such (other than to a small number of Scottish viewers), due to the speaker’s accent and the casual rather than emphatic manner in which the comment was made”.
ITV received no viewer complaints and said it was alerted by colleagues at STV to the issue on the day of broadcast and the word was cut from the episode on catch-up services.
Ofcom – which received two complaints – ruled that the word was “an example of the most offensive language” before the watershed but decided not to censure the show as the word was “not clearly audible” and ITV had taken steps to limit offence.