BBC receives complaints over Live 8 swearing

The BBC has received hundreds of complaints, after several artists swore during the station’s live broadcast of the Live 8 concerts.

Madonna, US rap star Snoop Dogg and Johnny Borrell, frontman of British band, Razorlight, who were performing at the Hyde Park concert, all used the f-word before the 9pm watershed. Billie-Joe Armstrong, lead singer of US punk rockers Green Day, was also heard to swear in a clip of their performance from the Berlin Live 8 concert.

The BBC said that it had received over 350 complaints regarding the swearing and has apologised for any offence caused. A spokesperson said that performers had been told to watch their language, because it was a live broadcast. However, as time delays were not used, it was impossible to prevent any editing of performers who swore during the broadcast.

The Live 8 event on Saturday was an unprecedented success. Around 205,000 people watched the concert in Hyde Park, London, which featured a number of major artists, including U2, Coldplay, Robbie Williams, Sir Paul McCartney and Pink Floyd, who performed live with founder member Roger Waters for the first time since 1981. Nine other concerts took place in cities across the world at the same time, including Philadelphia, Rome, Moscow, Paris and Berlin.

Viewers were able to watch the concerts on television and via the Internet. It was estimated that 85% of the world’s population would have been able to see Live 8. It has already been reported that the response to the Internet broadcast, which allowed viewers to watch live streams of the various concerts, registered the highest response ever to an online event. AOL-com, which streamed the footage, reportedly said that more than five million people had logged on to the site to watch the footage throughout the day.

The event also broke the record for the amount of text messages received for a single event. 26.4 million texts were received after people were urged to text their name and support the campaign. The names were then featured on scrolls on the screens at the concerts themselves.

The opening track from the Hyde Park concert – Sir Paul McCartney and U2 collaborating on the Beatles’ famous ‘Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’, a song that Sir Paul had never performed live – was available as download shortly after the performance at the concert. All the proceeds made from the download will go to Live 8.


Related UK National News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

31 May 2005
Geldof announces five 'Live 8' shows
Bob Geldof has unveiled plans for five simultaneous concerts to be held as a sequel to the legendary Live Aid concerts held 20 years ago.
10 June 2005
Blur star criticises Live 8 concerts
British singer Damon Albarn has condemned the Live 8 concert, saying that the event gave a “negative portrayal” of Africa. The Blur vocalist and mainman behind cartoon band, Gorillaz, also criticised the line-up for the concert, which will take place at London’s Hyde Park on July 2, because there were not enough black artists on the bill.
13 February 2004
'Live and let live' Howard seeks Tory ceasefire on Europe
The Tory leader Michael Howard has unveiled his "live and let live" strategy on Europe – a policy which, he said, will enable member states to co-operate more closely without sacrificing their national sovereignty.
18 June 2013
Third And Largest Round Of Cuts Made To Army Personnel
The biggest round of job cuts since the start of the defence review in 2010, will see almost 4,500 Army personnel being redundant. It is part of an ongoing government plan to cut the number of full time military personnel from 102,000 to 82,000, while increasing the number of reservists.
01 March 2010
Third 'Avoid' Dementia Sufferers
One in three people are uncomfortable around dementia sufferers, according to new research. The figures released today, coincide with the Government's new dementia awareness campaign, aimed at educating people about the condition, and suggesting simple things that can help those living with the illness.