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BBC defends Jimmy Savile jokes in Scarborough

The new comedy came under fire after viewers found some of the controversial jokes “disgusting”

Published: Monday, 9th September 2019 at 11:29 am

The BBC has defended Scarborough after a series of jokes about paedophile Jimmy Savile sparked outrage on social media.


In the first episode of the new show, which stars Strictly Come Dancing celeb Catherine Tyldesley, character ‘Bigsy’ (Steve Edge) told Mike Manford (played by Jason Manford) that Jimmy Savile had “the right idea” about women – because “he used to call them all brain-damaged”.

He later joked that Jim’ll Fix It had “a cracking theme tune”.

In the show, Manford replied: “Wow, of all the people you could quote on relationship advice, you’re giving me Jimmy Savile! Even for you, that’s off the grid.”

While viewers took to Twitter to deem the irreverent humour “disgusting” and “shameful”, the BBC defended the programme.

In a statement to, a spokesperson said: “The reference made by Bigsy demonstrates how out of touch he is with reality and Mike makes it clear to him that the remark is inappropriate.”

Scarborough writer Derren Litten also weighed in on the controversy, tweeting: “If we don’t laugh, we cry. Not mentioning Saville’s name elevates him to the status of the bogey man.

“He has no power to haunt our nightmares, he’s not going to appear in the mirror if we speak his name, he is a dead pervert and good riddance to him.”


Scarborough continues Friday at 9.30pm on BBC 1


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