Channel 4 has defended its British Comedy Awards show after it was slammed in media reports on account of bad language and rowdy atmosphere.
The broadcaster said that the show, watched by 1.3 million people, was accompanied by a warning that it was of an adult nature.
"The British Comedy Awards is an established live event and is well known for its edgy humour. The programme was preceded with a warning that the humour was of an adult nature and contained very strong language," a spokesman said.
The Daily Mail reported the most controversial aspects of the night, including comedian Paul Whitehouse yelling “Yid army” at Spurs fans, a controversial term related to anti-semitism, and Lee Mack embarrassing Jonathan Ross on stage by bringing up the Andrew Sachs prank call scandal he was involved in.
The Daily Express reported that Ofcom had received a number of complaints about the show, which was broadcast on Thursday evening.
Among quips on the night was one by Paul Whitehouse, who brought a fake sign language interpreter on stage with him when he collected an award in a nod to the interpreter who attended Nelson Mandela’s memorial service. It later transpired that the man was fake when the British Deaf Association said he was simply “making childish hand gestures” for hours.
Viewers offered mixed reports on Twitter.
The British Comedy Awards was horrendous last night, a complete embarrassment.— Miss Trunchbull (@AleynaAAkin) December 13, 2013
Started to tweet about the 'British Comedy Awards' and typed 'Bitchish Comedy Awards',which was probably more accurate. Shambolic.— canuckuk (@canuckuk) December 13, 2013
British Comedy Awards were super tonight. Johnny Vegas is an absolute legend. Whole event is so inspiring.— Rory Dorling (@RoryDorling) December 13, 2013