BBC Raw’s Ciaran Varley sparks fury

BBC Raw’s Ciaran Varley sparks fury

BBC Raw is an online platform launched by the broadcaster in February to develop new talent and engage younger viewers in current affairs.

But it now stands accused of being “too provocative” after host Ciaran Varley, 28, above, had a dig at Christians, the Queen and Prime Minister David Cameron.

According to this report, he branded Christians as hypocrites in one episode, and pointed out that Jesus had “two dads” and “turned out alright”.

The same episode poked fun at the Bible with an image of a dinosaur in white robes and a halo, above a tagline about God’s supposed views on sex.

Other episodes show Varley – a comedian who also works for CBBC – claiming that the Queen does not have the right to discuss austerity, because she has “never done a day’s graft in her life” and calling Prime Minister David Cameron a “fucking idiot”.

His comments have come under fire from a number of MPs, including Tory MP Damian Collins, of the Commons Culture, Media and Sport committee, who said:

This is the type of content the BBC should have nothing to do with, let alone commission. I can’t understand how this was allowed to happen.

It brings the BBC into disrepute … the BBC needs to explain why money from [its] budget has been used to benefit [family of staff].”

He was alluding to the fact that Varley is the son of Cheryl Varley, the BBC’s Social Mobility Executive who heads BBC Raw.

Labour MP Helen Goodman added that Ofcom should consider looking:

At whether they have breached the broadcasting code.

A BBC spokesman responded to the furore, saying:

We are urgently working with the people involved in running the scheme to ensure [BBC Raw] fully adheres to the BBC’s rigorous editorial standards.

This is a pilot scheme where young people from a range of backgrounds can post their short, personal – and sometimes provocative – films about issues they care about on YouTube.

You can get a fkavor of BBC Raw here.

19 responses to “BBC Raw’s Ciaran Varley sparks fury”

  1. Newspaniard says:

    Someone got past the Bloody BBC Censors…Boo, bloody Hoo.

    By the way, I can’t believe that there is nepotism in the BBC. No way. Never happen.

  2. jay says:

    As with NPR in the US, when a media operation is entangled with government, politicians frequently stick their fingers in.

  3. Broga says:

    At last some honest comments and the BBC censor kicks in. I find much of Thought for the Day more offensive than anything that Ciaran Varley says. The BBC just doesn’t want to hear the opinions of people outside their own uptight circle.

    Can anyone seriously disagree with the comment that the Queen has never done a day’s graft in her life? Unless you regard as work being transported in luxury, giving that prissy grimace that passes for a smile and a little wave as she passes surrounded by a horde of fawning sycophants.

  4. barriejohn says:

    Broga: The BBC would never broadcast “provocative” material on Thought for the Day!

  5. barriejohn says:

    Aplogies if someone has already linked to the following on this site, but it amply illustrates (as did the first episode) the inability of the religiots to adhere to the sort of behaviour that they demand of others:

    One rule for us and another for everyone else, as usual.

  6. Broga says:

    @barriejohn: Ah yes, Ann Atkins. I was surprised to read that Ann was a former actress. Sounds a bit risqué. It must be condemned somewhere in the bible. Her husband is a vicar. He seems to keep his head well down. I suppose Ann is the star of the family.

  7. Angela_K says:

    As with so many of these faux outrages there is usually a concerted campaign by the religious to get the likes of the Daily Mail and Christian MPs involved.

    I agree with Broga, “Thought for the day” is offensive as are those billboards outside churches making preposterous claims. In fact I find all Theatres of mumbo jumbo-ism offensive.

  8. Broga says:

    @Angela_K: I passed a church this morning with a big sign outside “Jesus reigns,” What he reigns, how he reigns or why he reigns is not explained.

    I later passed an RC Church which has a cross with an emaciated figure of Jesus, his mouth a rictus of agony, a crown of thorns dripping blood, his feet nailed and his skeletal body writhing slightly sideways. I suppose the idea is to convince the “people of faith” of the extent of Jesus suffering which he endured to redeem them.

    I have to accept that if you want to terrify someone, particularly a child, this particular image does the business.

  9. barriejohn says:

    Broga/Angela: I can assure you that the Daily Mail expressed their outrage over this news a couple of days ago, because I had a good chuckle at it!

    I passed Lymington Baptist Church this afternoon and noticed that they had a huge banner outside advertising this morning’s “Messy Church”. Games, crafts, stories, songs, and a “short interactive message” – well, we all know what THAT means. They also have prominent notices advertising the fact that they offer debt advice – all well and good, and the more NGOs we have involved in that sort of counselling the better, I’m sure, but again we know why those in charge push this sort of “social” activity . They want to acquaint everyone with the enormous debt that they owe to “Jesus Christ”. I know because I was there once upon a time.

  10. Broga says:

    @barriejohn: I was browsing through that link you sent and came across this sentence, “The Bible is first and foremost a love letter, from Christ, to us as his people.”

    Figure that one out.

  11. Angela_K says:

    It both amuses and irritates me the how the religious say Jesus died for our sins and that we should grateful and thank their god food/water/life but when natural disasters occur or people die of disease like cancer, it is all part of their god’s plan.

    Sort of back on topic. There was a discussion over at Pink News recently about Jesus being Gay, a somewhat nebulous argument when there is no evidence he actually existed.

  12. Stephen Mynett says:

    Perhaps the next topic of debate should be the nature of the relationship between Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson, although someone has probably already done that for a degree somewhere.

  13. barriejohn says:

    Stephen Mynett: Surely you couldn’t have missed the recent furore over whether a character in the Harry Potter books was gay or not?

    The rest of that entry should also have you rolling on the floor laughing or tearing your hair out in frustration, depending upon your frame of mind at the time of reading!

  14. Stephen Mynett says:

    Thanks Barriejohn, needed a good drink after reading through that. I cannot remember where it was posted, it may have been here, but some crazy American mother tried to rewrite the Harry Potter stories with nice christian themes, I nearly threw up when I read it.

  15. barriejohn says:

    Stephen Mynett: It was here!

    Maybe someone should rewrite the Bible so it makes sense.

  16. Stephen Mynett says:

    Thanks Barriejohn.

    “Maybe someone should rewrite the Bible so it makes sense.”

    That made me think of the line from the Queen to Alice: “Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

  17. barriejohn says:

    It can be done. Don’t be fooled over claims about different translations – they are all produced to support the doctrinal views of the various translators (much like the Biblical books themselves), which is why they are constantly at each others’ throats over them.

  18. Cali Ron says:

    “Maybe someone should rewrite the Bible so it makes sense.” If you removed all the nonsensical, unprovable and contradictory parts of the bible all you would have left is “In the beginning”. Hey, it is a big improvement! Now it makes sense.

    Or how about the Readers Digest condensed version: God created the world. God created men to serve him (be his slaves). Men misbehave. God calls men assholes. God says men must choose to be slaves to him or else. God makes most of humanity burn for an eternity in hell. God and his sycophants spend rest of eternity stumbling around gold streets, tripping over friendly lions while trying to figure what to do for forever.