Jo Brand’s joke about throwing battery acid over politicians rather than milkshakes “went way beyond what was appropriate” for a Radio 4 comedy show, the BBC has ruled.
The broadcaster previously defended the comedian’s comments when Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage - who was targeted by a milkshake-wielding protester several weeks earlier - accused her of inciting violence and encouraged police to take action.
Two months later, the corporation has now backtracked as its Executive Complaints Unit [ECU] explains: "Whilst the ECU recognised that the wider message from this episode is an argument for more civility in political discourse, not less, and Ms Brand's contribution is not intended to be taken as face value, the ECU felt that it went beyond what was appropriate for the show.
"So it was partially upheld against generally accepted standards of BBC output.
“The ECU also noted that in the right context and with the right treatment, there is no subject matter which should be beyond the scope of comedy."
The BBC also revealed that it had received 444 complaints about Brand’s controversial remark via media regulator Ofcom.
During her appearance on Heresy in June, Brand said: "I'm thinking, why bother with a milkshake when you could get some battery acid?
"I'm not going to do it, it's purely a fantasy. But I think milkshakes are pathetic."
She later half-heartedly apologised for the "somewhat crass and an ill-judged joke.”
Amid the initial backlash, the BBC said: “Heresy is a long-running comedy programme where, as the title implies and as our listeners know, panellists often say things which are deliberately provocative but are not intended to be taken seriously.
"Comedy will always push boundaries.”
However, it did remove the statement when the episode was uploaded to its catch-up services.