BBC slammed for 'sick' Jimmy Savile joke in Jason Manford comedy 'Scarborough'

Katie Archer
Contributor
(BBC)

The BBC’s new sitcom Scarborough has come under fire already - for featuring a tasteless joke about Jimmy Savile.

Scarborough is the latest sitcom from Benidorm creator Derren Litten, but many viewers failed to see the funny side of a joke about the disgraced late broadcaster who lived in the seaside town.

It was featured in a scene during the opening episode where the BBC One show main character Mike, played by comedian Jason Manford, is talking to his best mate Bigsy (Steve Edge) about his disastrous love life.

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Bigsy says: “Jimmy Savile had the right idea about women. He used to call them brain damaged.”

Mike responds: “Wow, of all the people you could quote on relationship advice, you’re giving me Jimmy Savile!”

Bigsy adds: “Yeah. But it was a crackin’ theme tune though wasn’t it... Jim’ll Fix It?”

It prompted a flurry of complaints on Twitter as people protested that the subject of Savile should still be off limits for jokes.

The presenter’s crimes came to light after his death in 2011, and the BBC were under scrutiny for some of their staff having been aware of the assaults he committed while working there.

But according to the Daily Star, Litten defended his writing in Friday night’s launch episode, saying: “If we don’t laugh we cry. Not mentioning Savile’s name elevates him to the status of the bogey man.

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“He has no power to haunt our nightmares, he’s not going to appear in the mirror if we speak his name, he is ­­a dead pervert and good riddance to him.”

A BBC spokesperson added: “The reference made by Bigsy demonstrates how out of touch he is with reality and Mike makes it clear to him that the remark is inappropriate.”