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.