Writing Exemplification – April 2010 1

Level: Higher

Genre: Discursive

Is It Time TV Loudmouths Are Put On Standby?

Earlier this year thousands of complaints were made to the BBC by an outraged public.   The incident hit headlines in newspapers all over Britain causing reputations and jobs to be lost, sparking a whole new debate in the media fuelled by infuriated listeners.   The cause of this public outcry?   Two foolish radio broadcasters made an obscene phone call to a veteran comedy actor.   All this controversy was caused over a few sentences but in many people’s opinion the content of these sentences was completely unacceptable.   In a world where freedom of speech is embraced, can broadcasters really say what they want or are the boundaries of good taste being stretched too far in the name of comedy?

Fifty years ago when the people of Britain watched the TV or listened to the radio they were watching or listening to the BBC.   Now, many generations later, there is a never-ending list of channels and the beleaguered BBC are desperately trying to stand out from the crowd and appeal to younger viewers.   At the forefront of the BBC revolution is television presenter and broadcaster Jonathon Ross – the ace up the BBC’s sleeve.   His no-subjects-left-untouched approach to comedy is rewarded with a ludicrous ten thousand pound payment for each show.   Ross recently teamed up with fellow “cheeky chappy” Russell Brand in The Russell Brand show on Radio Two where the pre-recorded phone call that caused the debacle was broadcast.   The phone call, to the actor Andrew Sachs, contained provocative comments about his granddaughter blurted out   by Brand and Ross – this was intended to be funny.   Far from it; in fact it broke the law.   Thirty-eight thousand complaints were clocked up by the BBC, covering such topics as “ the programme should never have been broadcast” to “Ross is overpaid”, but for me the real issue is that Ross and Brand broke the...