BBC hit by race row after offensive language kept in Dad’s Army radio episode
Cast of comedy classic Dad’s Army, which had nine series (Image: BBC)
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The BBC faces a new Dad’s Army scandal after it left racist language in a re-aired radio spin-off.
Listeners could twice hear the word “ch**k”, an offensive term for Asian people.
It was not cut from a repeat of 1974 special Present Arms, featuring cast members of the TV hit.
The episode aired live on the Radio 4 Extra digital station with a warning – and then remained on BBC Sounds, the radio version of iPlayer, with no alert.
The slip-up came days after the Beeb issued a discriminatory language warning with the sitcom’s 1971 film.
The episode was removed by the BBC after The People raised the alarm
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BBC baffles Dad's Army fans with 'discriminatory language' warning before film
A source said: “It’s baffling the BBC have let this get through without an edit. Especially so after the alert before the Dad’s Army movie for words that could be deemed less offensive.”
Last weekend’s showing of the spin-off film contained a warning of gags about Hitler’s Nazis.
It also featured cheeky catchphrases such as Clive Dunn’s Lance Corporal Jones saying: “They don’t like it up ’em.”
In Present Arms, Charlie Cheeseman, played by Jack Watson, says: “So the air raid warden shouted out, ‘Here, missus, you’ve got a ch**k in your bedroom’.”
He then repeats the offensive word.
BBC compliance and editorial standards may have been breached.
In notes, the orders insist: “Premeditated use of racist language will always be signposted whether on TV, radio or online/digital. It is important audiences are not taken by surprise.”
The BBC last night took down the episode after the People raised the alarm.
A spokesman said: “We review archive programmes ahead of broadcast. This episode went out on 4 Extra last month with a warning about the language on air and the online version is no longer available.”
Dad’s Army – which also featured Arthur Lowe, John Le Mesurier and Ian Lavender – ran for 80 episodes over nine series, 1968 to 1977, and remains one of the UK’s most beloved sitcoms.