The Brit Awards 2008 was not in breach of the broadcasting code despite 128 complaints about bad language and alcohol at the music awards ceremony, watchdog Ofcom has ruled.
The incident which provoked the most complaints saw host Sharon Osbourne verbally attack comedian Vic Reeves, whom she accused of being drunk at the televised bash.
As Vic struggled to announce the award for Best British Album, Sharon turned to him and yelled: “Get on with it, you p***head. Shut up, you’re p*****, p*** off. P*** off you b******. P*** off!”
At another point in the night, Sheffield band the Arctic Monkeys launched what appeared to be an alcohol-fuelled attack on the Brits school and were cut off mid-speech.
But Ofcom said the show, which was broadcast from 8pm on ITV1 in February, had a ‘particular reputation’ and the swearing would be considered ‘quite mild’.
It said the images where alcohol appeared would have been cautionary rather than glamorised.
It said: “While we understand that this language may have been offensive to some viewers, it was broadcast after the watershed and in a programme with a particular reputation.
“We believe that regular viewers would have been aware of the likelihood of this kind of material.
“Further, Ofcom research indicates that the examples of language quoted are generally considered quite mild.
“As to the portrayal of the use of alcohol in the ceremony, Ofcom considered that this was limited and incidental to the coverage.”