Jeremy Irons’ on-air use of the word “f****d” on Chris Evans’ breakfast show has prompted a red-faced Radio 2 to implement a new policy of warning guests by email that they must not swear.
The move was taken following an Ofcom investigation into a live interview with Irons on March 18 this year in which he used the offensive word in a live interview.
The station said that it has now reinforced its policy to limit offensive language in live interviews by sending a “warning email to the party through whom it is booking a guest, to emphasise the importance of not using offensive language”.
During the segment with the actor listeners were given the opportunity to call in. In response to a caller’s question, Irons told an anecdote about young actors in which he remarked, “And I say to him, ‘You have a wonderful voice, have you ever listened to it?’ And the actor is f****d”.
Evans immediately said, “You can’t say that”, and “I’ve got to apologise on your behalf – in fact could you apologise?” Jeremy Irons also apologised, suggesting that the atmosphere in the studio was “too relaxed”, to which Evans replied: “Maybe a little too relaxed”.
In its mitigation to Ofcom, Radio 2 said that in “a live studio environment such slip-ups can unfortunately happen, but we believe appropriate measures were in place to try and guard against that eventuality, and steps taken in the immediate aftermath to mitigate the offence”.
The BBC also pointed to the apologies immediately broadcast by both Chris Evans and Irons for the use of inappropriate language. The broadcaster stated that “Jeremy Irons, clearly mortified by his mistake, did so without hesitation”.
Ofcom rule that in light of the on-air apology from Irons and Evans and the commitment to tightening up its procedures with the email warnings, the incident had been “resolved” and the regulator would be taking no further action.
Irons was joined in the studio by One Show host Alex Jones, Evans and Paloma Faith to plug the film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice on the show.
Ben has worked as a professional journalist specialising in TV and the arts for nearly twenty years. After a two year stint on local newspapers in the mid 1990s, he spent more than 5 years as the broadcast reporter at the Stage newspaper. Following that he enjoyed staff reporting positions at the Sunday Mirror and the Sunday Times breaking stories and writing features before settling as a full time freelance writing for an array of newspapers and magazines - but mainly for the Guardian, Evening Standard, Broadcast, Independent and the New Statesman where he wrote a column.