Ofcom rejects Big Fat Quiz complaints

Broadcasting watchdog declines even to investigate after 180 viewers shocked by rude jokes


Ofcom has exonerated Channel 4’s Big Fat Quiz, after 180 viewers complained that the comic review of 2012 did not meet “generally accepted standards”.


The broadcasting watchdog decided that the complaints did not merit investigation.

The 2012 Big Fat Quiz, which was seen by more than 3 million viewers on 30 December, featured James Corden, Jack Whitehall and Jonathan Ross, among others, making jokes about the news events of the year alongside host Jimmy Carr.

Initially five viewers complained, a number that rose to 180 after the Daily Mail wrote a series of articles attacking the “vile sexual slurs” in the show.

The programme featured gags about the sex lives of the Queen, Barack Obama, Susan Boyle, and the champion race horse Frankel.

Coverage in the Mail included a list of Channel 4 executives who had not responded to the complaints, along with their salaries, and a long list of the most offensive material, “included [so] people can make up their own minds as to whether it was suitable for broadcast”.


At the time, Channel 4 said in a statement: “‘Big Fat Quiz Of The Year is a well-established comedic and satirical review of the year’s events with well-known guests and was broadcast after the watershed with appropriate warnings.”