The Brits’ return to live broadcasting on Wednesday night sparked hundreds of complaints about host Russell Brand’s risque jokes.
ITV1 had received around 300 calls and emails from irate viewers by first thing Wednesday morning, and they are continuing to flood in, while media watchdog Ofcom logged a further 100.
Loudmouth Russell, known for his near-the-knuckle humour, poked fun at the Queen, Tory leader David Cameron and Robbie Williams.
He also shocked the audience with a joke about the recent ‘friendly fire’ tragedy in Iraq, which failed to raise a laugh.
“I think a good international breakthrough would be if the British and American soldiers tell each other where they are standing.
“Alternatively they could use a system I learned at school, where one team takes off their tops and the others don’t. This makes the team distinction clear. It allows you to see fat lads’ boobs, which can really lift the mood in a drab football match – or indeed a war.”
And as part of another bizarre gag, he said: “Can you genuinely say that if someone gives you an envelope with a photo of the Queen’s privates inside, you wouldn’t have a look?”
The showbiz bash was shown live on ITV1 – albeit with a 30-second delay – and swearing was bleeped out before the watershed.
The channel said the complaints were about the host rather than bad language, and despite the furore, it was happy with his performance.
“Russell was an edgy host for an edgy live event. It worked well but obviously we apologise for any offence caused.”