Is Nicole Scherzinger offensive? Ofcom certainly think so according to a new report on an X Factor live show from last year. Cast your mind back to November 2012 when the former Pussycat Doll introduced her act as "James 'effing' Arthur" ahead of his shock sing off against then-favourite Ella Henderson. The eventual winner was described by his mentor as "One of the greatest artists and talents to grace the stage," before being announced with the offending slang word.
The broadcast prompted 52 complaints to the telecoms regulator who have since ruled that the comment classes as "offensive language" and was unsuitable for the 8-9pm pre-watershed audience. The logic behind the decision is that 'effing' has been used in the past as a substitute for a swear word and "as a result it was capable of causing a certain amount of offence".
ITV have maintained Scherzinger's choice of vocabulary is not offensive within the context of the show and decided not to make an apology at the time of broadcast. The incident was not The X Factor's only run-in with Ofcom during last year's ninth series, following investigations into the excessive promotion of the Corinthia Hotel where the finalists stayed and the decision to feature former judge Tulisa's perfume The Female Boss.