The BBC says a joke about sex with an elderly woman made by Jonathan Ross on his Radio 2 show was acceptable because there was ‘clearly no intention to offend anyone’.
Ross was chatting with his co-presenter Andy Davies about an elderly Spanish neighbour when he joked that Davies should ‘give her one last night before the grave’.
The comment on Saturday was picked up by some Sunday papers, but the BBC didn’t receive any complaints at the time of the broadcast.
Davies reportedly mentioned an elderly woman who kept kissing him while he was carrying out DIY at his Spanish home. Ross responded: “I think you should just, for charity, give her one last night. One last night before the grave.”
Ross told the News of the World: “It was a spontaneous, light-hearted remark made in response to an anecdote set in Spain, where no one was named or ever likely to hear the broadcast.
“As far as I was concerned, the story may even have been apocryphal or exaggerated for comedic purposes, as is common practice on radio and comedy shows around the country.
“Absolutely no offence to any individual was intended and, if the media wasn’t hell bent on stirring up controversy, I’m sure none would be taken.”
A BBC spokesman said: “This light-hearted exchange contained no offensive language, named no individuals and there was clearly no intention to offend anyone.
“Nothing broadcast by the BBC was linked to a specific individual or would allow the public to link these comments to an individual.”