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Political Correctness

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Do you think the BBC should stop broadcasting "Any Old Iron"

No keep on playing it
It is not suitable for the modern audiance and should not be broadcast anymore
No votes
Total votes : 22

Political Correctness

Postby missluzy » Sat Feb 25, 2006 10:15 pm

BBC7 has been getting itself into difficulties lately. It seems that as it broadcasts archive/vintage material, some people think that some of this material is not appropriate for the 21st century.

The latest programme to fall foul of the self appointed mind police is the “Any Old Iron” episode of Steptoe and Son.

There seems to be some concerns regarding the portrayal of “Timothy Stanhope” a man who it must be assumed is gay (I hate that euphemism) and Albert’s reaction to him.

I can’t help but feel that in some cases people are looking to be offended when a case doesn’t really exist. I also feel that rather than turn the open minded against the gay community, the humour actually highlights the absurdity of the prejudice that some people have.

I also feel that the people involved with the Steptoe series fully understood and empathised with the issues facing this particular community and if anything helped bring around a change in attitude that has resulted in people now calling for the episode to be banned. A kind of perverse recognition.

It also shouldn’t be forgotten that Albert (the character being accused of homophobic behaviour) was played by Wilfred Brambell. Evidence would suggest that Wilfred was gay himself.

Finally I also think that all humour works at the expense of one person or groups of people. That doesn’t mean that because the joke on this occasion happens to be on you that you are actually despised or loathed by the people making the joke.

60 years ago we fought against people who were trying to control the way other people thought or behaved and burned books they disapproved of. Now it seems we are bending over backwards to ensure those objectives are met.
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I couldn’t agree with you more.

Postby Teddy_CTB » Sun Feb 26, 2006 10:22 am

I couldn’t agree with you more.

I also read your posting on the Radio 7 website. In that message you also mentioned that people should not just try to defend a programme because of its historical context. The common argument seems to be that by broadcasting a programme from another era we learn the error of our ways.

I fully agree with your point that these programmes were originally made to show us the error of our ways, in a context that was appropriate for the time in which they were made.

Surley the only test has to be if something is funny or genuinely thought provoking. It would seem given the debate over this episode people have certainly been considering the issues raised. Well done Ray and Alan.

I am sure we have all been in a situation where something has been said with the intention of making us laugh, but we have either found it too insensitive or offensive to laugh and the comment is greeted by an embarrassed silence. If as we become more enlightened people some of these shows from the 60’s and 70’s make us feel this way, we will no longer laugh. I would show my own personal disgust by turning off the radio and no longer listening to the programme in question. I am sure the BBC will be quick to pick up on lots of people doing the same.

I will never insist my own set of values are forced upon other people by campaigning for other people to lose their right to listen to programmes that they have previously enjoyed and loved.
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Postby Archie » Fri Apr 14, 2006 4:34 pm

It always disturbs me when people try to ban comedy, if you look into the background of such people you invariably find that they themselves have backgrounds in Marxist extremist groups - the Loony Left. In the old Soviet union dissidents used comedy as a weapon against the Commmunist regime :)

I find Steptoe an excellent escape from the modern day tyranny of political correctness, Any Old Iron is one of my favourite episodes, Albert also described actors as "Poofs" in -A Star is Born.

I also have video's/ DVD's of Love thy Neighbour - where the coloured bloke usually came out on top, Are you Being Served-"I'm free" , Rising damp, On The Buses,Monty Python,and Nearest and Dearest- (with the gay hairdressers who were locals in the pub).
All excellent comedies which contained lines that some people with a sense of humour bypass might percieve as being anti gay , few of these classic's would see the light of day on terrestial television.

Hmm then again there was Dafyd - the only gay in the village-on the excellent Little Britain :)
Last edited by Archie on Sat May 13, 2006 6:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Graham_S nli » Tue May 09, 2006 4:16 pm

Going further into censorship and different era's....

There was news not long back that the comedy "Only fools and horses" had episodes censored when complaints were made about terms common in the 80's such as "paki shop" were cut or changed when they are now shown on BBC....

I was also recently watching the 2 digitally remastered double disc set DVD's of "The Goodies" episodes from the 70's and some would have no chance of making it now on the BBC due to the fact they use the "n" and "s" words quite liberally ( and it was considered a kids show! ) in one episode called "South Africa".

Even some episodes of Steptoe and Son had some racist stuff ( the 1973 Christmas Special springs to mind ) in it... It was far more acceptable in that age and should be seen as comptemporary to that era....

Harold when questioned in "Loathe Story" if he was homosexual by the phychiatrist, immediately retorted "I'm no brown hatter"....

These would never get near an edited comedy programme today....

How long before someone starts complaining about "Around the Horne's" Julian and Sandy characters?

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Postby bob » Tue May 09, 2006 4:41 pm

In my view allowing the characters in a sitcom to act and talk like real people, adds depth and humour to the program.

In most cases it wasn’t the comments themselves that were the joke, but the characters reaction to them. This enabled us to occasionally recognise the absurdity of our own prejudices.

As long as a comment isn’t deliberately put in to cause offence, and the comments are entirely in context with the character then they should be included.

Politically correct comments may make some people feel better when they watch television, but they don’t laugh as much.
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Postby Graham_S nli » Tue Aug 22, 2006 5:09 pm

Although an old subject it was reported today in the London edition of METRO that the Boomerang children's channel has edited out smoking sequences from Tom & Jerry cartoons and others such as The Flintstones and Scooby Doo due to a complaint from ONE viewer....

You have to look at these shows in their historical context as the reasons for the sequences being filmed....

Sgt Bilko ( The Phil Silvers Show ) was sponsored by Camel cigarettes during it's run and on a recent anniversary compilation showed original commercials not broadcast for years ( they put disclaimers but I was extremely grateful to be able to watch such rare footage of such a great show.... ).

Is this why we have such rubbish comedy shows on television these days because the spineless idiots in charge are afraid of offending anyone?
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Postby Archie » Wed Aug 23, 2006 3:36 pm

UKTV are showing the 80's comedy 'Filthy Rich and Catflap' every night this week starring the excellent Rik Mayall & Ade Edmondson.

I was a bit narked because I recently bought the series on DVD, it's a good thing I did because several part's have been edited out, a few sarcastic comments about now dead celebrities are gone as well as part's of the original story.

I couldn't find anything un - PC in the missing section's :(
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Postby Cyberneticdv8r » Mon Feb 12, 2007 8:28 pm

Nobody seems to be complaining about the Little Britain TV show where a guy dressed as a woman throws up eberytime she either see`s or hears mention the word Black Man!

Postby Graham_S nli » Tue Feb 13, 2007 12:46 pm


Welcome to the forum....

You have an extremely valid point about "Little Britain", I assume they can get away with it as it is extremely popular at the moment and anyone complaining would be called a prig and a killjoy....

The old lady tends to throw up on eating food made by blacks or asians, I assume the makers and the BBC feel that by setting it in a humourous situation they can highlight how stupid some predjudiced people are....

On a darker note....

During the recent "Celebrity Big Brother" in Britain, an Indian Bollywood actress called Shilpa Shetty appeared to be a victim of racist bullying by three of the white girl "housemates"....

One was filmed saying they were unhappy with Shipa's food handling preparation and the reason Indian's were thin was due to this fact and being ill from it....

This unfortunately shows that although the masses may consider it rediculously funny an old lady throwing up due to racism, it is still perceived to be in some way true.........
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Postby bob » Tue Feb 13, 2007 12:53 pm

Very good point, well made.

The character in question is entirely racist and homophobic. Although the character never makes any offensive comments, their reaction is entirely down to the race or sexual orientation of the person they are dealing with.

This is far worse that any comment made by Steptoe or other programmes of that era, where any comment is a reflection upon attitudes and circumstances at the time. Albert would never have wanted to vomit on anybody
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Postby Jojo » Wed Dec 19, 2007 11:05 am

That fact that in the episode itself, Richard Hurndall's character [which he reprised for the radio episode] lures Harold to his home on false pretences [as there never was any shop] basically deserves everything he get's.

Fank Gawd for Dolly Miller. :lol:
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Postby PhilGlass » Tue Mar 25, 2008 2:01 am

How rediculous to even suggest that it is unsuitable.

There is nothing wrong with it - it's extremely funny. I think they're looking for excuses!! His character is so well written its so funny both on tv and radio.

TV is so sheltered now - okay, they can swear more and dont have to use rhyming slang to get the bad language in like Steptoe did, but you can't make any other comments - people often say to me that Steptoe was also a racist comedy as it refers to 'wogs' which, incidentally, at the time referred to anyone who wasnt english and stood for 'Ward of Government' and was a word used in Parliament as the correct name for what we would refer to as an immigrant.

It is the small minded who just aren't clever enough to understand a genious script like 'Any Old Iron' who want to spol it for the rest of us. That's why television is now producing the worst quality comedies as it has ever done before.

Lol, I might sound a bit bitter, but I just think people should leave it alone - the individual person has the power to choose not to watch or listen, that's their choice and I respect it, but don't spoil it for everyone else. Radios all come equipped with a personal 'censorship' button - it's called the 'off' button!!
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Postby Karl » Sat Jan 16, 2010 9:45 am

Political correctness is changing the face of british comedy beyond recognition,if things carry on the way they are "'Til death us do part" & "In sickness and in health" will be banned never mind broadcast! the same with "Love thy neighbour" we won't even be able to buy 'em before long.Admittedly some stuff is certainly offensive but the public can surely see what was going on with Alf Garnett-Johnny Speight was actually showing a character up as a PRATT rather than a hero as it were.......................... :lol:
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Postby callous_little_bleeder » Sat Mar 13, 2010 8:10 am

A landslide vote it seems. And I agree.

missluzy wrote:It also shouldn’t be forgotten that Albert (the character being accused of homophobic behaviour) was played by Wilfred Brambell. Evidence would suggest that Wilfred was gay himself.

No one can argue with this quote. It's the ultimate example of 'win'.

Archie wrote:I find Steptoe an excellent escape from the modern day tyranny of political correctness...

Here, here. One of the reasons why I continue to watch the show to this very day is that I can block out all the tiptoeing and return to an era where it was one's right to laugh at what one thinks is funny, and not what the system tells you is funny.

Here's to olde England! 8)

Sure, I don't agree with everything that comes out of Albert's mouth, but his ignorance is what makes the show for me sometimes. It may not be 'politically correct' but it's funnier than everything that came along since. Put together.

Karl wrote:...if things carry on the way they are "'Til death us do part" & "In sickness and in health" will be banned never mind broadcast!

The re-runs on UK Gold a few years back were hacked to pieces. :(

At the end of the day, Any Old Iron is a wonderful and witty episode of Steptoe & Son. I watched it last night, in fact.
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Re: Political Correctness

Postby Uncle Nobby » Sun Jun 07, 2015 3:31 am

There's nothing wrong with the episode.
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