Ofcom to probe Frankie Boyle’s ‘Harvey’ joke

Broadcasting watchdog Ofcom has launched an investigation into comedian Frankie Boyle’s show Tramadol Nights, after a complaint from Katie Price.

The reality TV star accused Frankie of being a “bully” after he made offensive comments about her disabled son Harvey on the Channel 4 programme, and suggested he might try to attack her sexually.

She lodged the complaint with Ofcom after failing to receive an apology from the channel.

“We can confirm that we have received a complaint from Katie Price,” a spokesman for Ofcom said. “Having considered this and other viewers’ concerns, we have now launched an investigation into the show.”

Katie had previously said that she had asked her lawyers to contact the watchdog if Channel 4 did not apologise.

A spokeswoman for the channel added, “Channel 4 has replied directly to Katie Price’s lawyer. Given this has now gone to Ofcom it would be inappropriate for us to comment further.”

In response to Boyle’s jokes the star described eight-year-old Harvey as “a little miracle” on her website.

“If Mr Boyle had a tenth of his courage and decency he would know that to suggest, let alone think funny, that Harvey may sexually attack me is vile and deeply unfair,” she said.

“To bully this unbelievably brave child is despicable, to broadcast it on television is to show a complete and utter lack of judgment.”

A message at the start of the show on Tuesday night warned viewers that the programme contained “very strong language and uncompromising adult content”.

Ofcom is likely to investigate whether the show broke parts of the Broadcasting Code about “generally accepted standards” of material which could be deemed offensive.