C4 under fire over repeat of Frankie Boyle joke

CELEBRITY Katie Price yesterday condemned Channel 4 for ignoring her complaints and repeating comedian Frankie Boyle's show containing a controversial joke he made about her disabled son.

Broadcasting watchdog Ofcom has launched an investigation after Price accused the Glaswegian comic of being a "bully" in the wake of his comments about her son, Harvey, who suffers from septo-optic dysplasia and autism.

In a statement, Price accused the broadcaster of "embracing and exploiting discrimination" by airing the material again on Friday night.

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She said: "By repeating Frankie Boyle's show, Channel 4 are embracing and exploiting discrimination. They are saying it is ok to ridicule people - even children - for disability in a way they would not dare over race or sexual orientation.

Her comments came as charity Mencap became the latest voice to take Boyle to task over the joke. Esther Foreman, its campaigns manager, labelled the material "disgusting", adding it propagated "ignorant views" about disability.

She said: "It is disgusting that Frankie Boyle has chosen to target a child with a disability with these so-called jokes. Ignorant views like this help to fuel the verbal and physical abuse that people with a disability, and their families, are regularly subjected to. Comedy like this takes us back to the dark ages."

Head of Comedy, C4, Shane Allen said: "We are aware that Frankie Boyle's comedy can be very challenging which is why we have gone to careful lengths in scrutinising the material editorially, in scheduling the series appropriately and by giving clear and strong warnings into each of the programmes.

"We think that it is important that a space on terrestrial TV exists for comedy that takes risks and pushes boundaries and we stand by our original decision to broadcast the programme."