The head of ITV, Michael Grade, has attacked the ‘indiscriminate’ attitude to swearing on TV.

According to reports in The Sun, ITV executive chairman Grade has promised to tackle bad language by talking to the heads of other channels.

Grade, 65, said: “The prevalence of bad language such as the F-word is a little bit unrestrained. Not enough consideration is given to a very large section of the audience who don’t want to hear such words. It seems indiscriminate now.”

Recent popular programmes have been criticised for broadcasting swear words only minutes after the watershed.

Jamie Oliver’s Channel 4 show Ministry of Food used 23 F-words in 50 minutes, BBC1’s Traffic Cops had it 20 times and ITV1’s Natural Born Sellers 19 times.

The former BBC chairman also called Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand’s prank phone calls ‘pretty horrible and indefensible in any terms’.

The TV chief did not call for an all-out swearing ban, but said that measures to regulate the use of bad language had become blurred.

He told the Broadcasting Press Guild in London: “I’m not sure what the rules are these days.”