View Full Version : The 'c'-word: One Of Television's Last Taboos

02-03-2004, 10:25 PM
Tue Feb 03 2004 20:16:49 ET

John Lydon broke one of the last taboos of television by using the "c"-word live on air during I'm A Celebrity .. Get Me Out Here

His outburst on the ITV show last night is bound to infuriate media watchdogs and attract the attention of the television regulator Ofcom, the guardian of broadcasting standards.

Research by the Broadcasting Standards Commission has shown that a huge majority of people still regard the c-word as the most severe and offensive swear word.

Controversy and outrage have followed quickly every time it has been broadcast since it was first aired on British television by Channel 4 eight years ago, during the Irvine Welsh drama The Granton Star Times.

The channel dared to air the profanity again in 1999 when two characters in Sex in the City uttered the word, while in 2002 the model and actress Caprice let the c-word slip during an interview on the ITV show This Morning.

And last year, the BBC caused controversy by airing the obscenity in the prime-time drama Witchcraze.

Lydon himself is no stranger to causing a furore by swearing on television.

In 1976, the former Sex Pistols singer - then known as Johnny Rotten - let rip with a tirade of expletives during a now notorious interview with television presenter Bill Grundy.

Grundy, who had been struggling to contain the punks, said: "Go on. You've got another five seconds. Say something outrageous." The Sex Pistols duly obliged.

The first television swear word was broadcast on the BBC in 1965. Kenneth Tynan's exact words were: "I doubt if there are any rational people to whom the word 'f***' would be particularly diabolical, revolting or totally forbidden."

The BBC tightened up its rules about swearing after the comedian Ali G used a series of four-letter words on the Sara Cox Radio One breakfast show two years ago.

High Life Man
02-03-2004, 11:11 PM

The C-word obviously isn't taboo at the Army or DDLR.COM!


02-04-2004, 12:03 AM
"Cunt" is a great word.

"Snatch" is good too, though.

Va Beach VH Fan
02-04-2004, 09:00 PM
I'm a little confused, is that centered in just the UK ??

Sure as hell ain't so in the USA if you think about it, on network TV anyways....

If you recall George Carlin's seven dirty words you can't say on TV (which he started in the late 60's but pretty much still hold true today);


You can say piss no problem nowadays...

You might get away with saying tits on latenight shows....

But the rest of them are still off limits to this day....