In the laissez-faire world of British TV, where the use of the word “fuck” and its many derivatives is commonplace in reality shows like “Wife Swap” and “Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares,” it takes a lot to generate a moral backlash.
But the BBC has done just that with plans to televise Broadway-bound musical “Jerry Springer — The Opera.”
The award-winning legiter — which was slated to air Jan. 8 on BBC2 — satirizes the U.S. talkshow and uses language that even Tony Soprano might find a little earthy.
The British press — which often seem to relish castigating the Beeb for any apparent moral lapse — reckons the stage show contains some 3,168 uses of the “F” word, while the “C” word gets 297 mentions. And BBC2 intended to broadcast each and every one of ’em.
The production, which stars David Soul as the beaming Springer, also stands accused of blasphemy. It features a row between Satan and Jesus, who is depicted wearing a diaper and owns up to being “a big gay.”
But it’s all grist to the ratings mill for BBC2, now under the management of clean-cut family man Roly Keating.
Audience figures at his channel, once feted for bringing quizshow “The Weakest Link” to viewers, have taken a dive of late. But not for much longer, it seems, provided Keating kept his nerve and didn’t pull the plug at the last minute.