Archive for January, 2013

Graham Norton’s “Sycophantic” Show – Complaint to OFCOM

Monday, January 7th, 2013

SOCIETY SYNDROME HAVE FORMALLY COMPLAINED TO OFCOM ABOUT GRAHAM NORTON’S NEW YEAR’S EVE SHOW, WHICH THEY ALLEGE BREACHED GUIDELINES. DETAILS OF THE COMPLAINT ARE BELOW

Graham Norton’s Show, broadcast on New Years’ Eve, which achieved a record audience, included a number of leading celebrities – which was great. Unfortunately, the biggest name, Tom Cruise, was treated in a sickly, sycophantic, fawning, gushing way by the host – he’s an actor, not a messianic figure!

Worse still, the film he was promoting with co-star Rosamund Pike has been labelled “an unfortunate accident all round” by Tim Robey in the Daily Telegraph, Philip French in The Observer wrote “Tom Cruise fails to measure up as Lee Child’s action hero”.
No objective or balanced assessment was made by Norton, who inferred the movie was great! He asked no questions of significance to Cruise, just lauded him as a superstar. Cruise, himself, said nothing of note during the show, despite the audience being whooped up to a frenzy.

Our criticism is that firstly this breaches BBC Guidelines on Advertising and Promotion. Secondly, and more importantly, it is demeaning for viewers to see a major host kowtowing to a celebrity guest, failing to ask anything other than the most banal questions.

Finally, at the end of the show, a charming non-celebrity went into the infamous “Red Chair” and began to tell an interesting anecdote about what happened during her travels in Canada. Before we could discover, she was unceremoniously tipped off – treated with contempt because she is NOT a superstar! What sort of an impression does that give to impressionable young adults? Suck up to the stars, treat your peers like dirt!

This was the worst example of exaggerated celebrity culture we have seen, sadly, it will have seeped into viewers’ consciousness.

Next time, put Tom Cruise in the Red Chair – we’ll pull the lever! Or abolish it altogether – it is demeaning.

We never did get to hear the end of the interesting anecdote.

For your assistance, relevant points from BBC Guidance on Promotion and Advertising are below.

Kind regards
Michael Desmond
(07931 526697)

BBC Guidelines on Advertising & Promotion:
•Promotional activity must not undermine the values of the BBC brand

•The nature of the presenter’s on-air role will affect what is appropriate

•Any presenter who appears on-air in a journalistic capacity will have considerable restrictions on what, if any, promotional activities they may undertake

•There will be fewer restrictions on entertainment presenters or lifestyle presenters providing their integrity and the integrity of the programme they present is not undermined

ANY QUERIES? Info@societysyndrome.co.uk – or contact Michael Desmond on 07931 526697 www.societysyndrome.co.uk