Why two TV shows featuring Gordon Ramsay broke Ofcom rules on offensive language

Dec 5th '22

Office of Communications (Ofcom) has announced that two TV programmes, featuring Gordon Ramsay , broke broadcasting rules, because they included offensive language but were shown before the 9pm watershed.


An episode of Gordon Ramsay’s 24 Hours to Hell and Back, broadcast before the watershed at 12.10 on Channel 4 on 10 August, included instances of the most offensive language, including the F word.


An episode of Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares USA, broadcast at 4pm on E4 Extra on 7 July, included 39 instances of offensive language, with 17 uses of the F word, before the watershed and without any warnings ahead of the programme or apologies after it had been shown.


Both of these incidents were in breach of the Broadcasting Code.


For more information on these decisions and others, see the latest edition of the Broadcast Bulletin.


  • Why research attitudes to offensive language

Ofcom carries out research into people’s attitudes towards offensive language on TV and radio.


This research gives Ofcom an understanding of how people feel about language they might come across in programmes they watch or listen to. It can support broadcasters in planning their content and helps them when Ofcom need to make decisions about potentially offensive language in programmes.


An important aspect of the research is that it means decisions are not based on Ofcom own views on offensive language, and instead are based on what people tell Ofcom about how they feel.


Find out more about the research, with an explanation of why it matters to Ofcom work on broadcasting standards.


  • What is the watershed?

There are strict rules about what can be shown on TV before the 9pm watershed – this is the time at which broadcasters can show TV programmes that might be unsuitable for children. There are similarly strict rules about can be broadcast on radio at times when children are particularly likely to be listening, such as the school run and breakfast time, but might include other times.


To find out more about the watershed and what it means for broadcasters and viewers, take a look at this explainer.


Source: Ofcom


About us

LS Consultancy are experts in Marketing and Compliance, and work with a range of firms to assist with improving their advertising, documents, processes and systems to help mitigate risk.


We provide a cost-effective and timely bespoke copy advice and copy development services to make sure all your advertising and campaigns are compliant, clear and suitable for their purpose.


Our range of innovative solutions can be tailored to suit your unique requirements, no matter whether you’re currently working from home, or are continuing to go into the office. Our services can be deployed individually or combined to form a broader solution to release your energies and focus on your clients.


Contact us today for a chat or send us an email to find out how we can support you in meeting your current and future challenges with confidence.


Explore our full range today.


Contact us


Call Us Today on 020 8087 2377 or send us an email.


FREE downloadable content for Marketing, Compliance, Sales teams, small and medium-sized enterprises. Click here.


You can see our Google reviews here.


We’re looking for guest writers with business know-how and experience to create outstanding articles to feature on our website. Sound like you? Then find out more…


Contact us