Ofcom rejects Sir Trevor McDonald 'racism' complaints

Sir Trevor McDonald has escaped censure from broadcast regulator Ofcom after he called the recently-deceased comedian Bernard Manning a “fat, white bastard”.

More than 100 TV viewers complained about the item, broadcast in June on McDonald’s late-night ITV1 satirical show, News Knight.

Introducing a sequence entitled “Saudis Do The Funniest Things”, McDonald said: “Personally, I never thought of Bernard Manning as a racist comic… just a fat, white bastard”.

Ofcom received 112 complaints that the comment was inappropriate and/or racist.

In its adjudication, the regulator said McDonald’s remarks drew on Manning’s own style of humour and “it was clear from the outset … that on occasions there would be some material [in the show] that risked offending some viewers”.

Ofcom ruled: “We do not believe this specific expression went beyond the likely expectations of an audience for a satirical news-based comedy programme broadcast well after the watershed.”

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