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Radio X criticised by media regulator over Russell Brand’s sex chat with Elvis impersonator

By | Published on Thursday 31 August 2017

Russell Brand

Media regulator OfCom has ruled that Global’s Radio X was in breach of broadcasting rules when it aired a conversation between Russell Brand and an Elvis impersonator on a Sunday morning show earlier this year, which began with the question from Brand “have you ever had sex as Elvis?”

“I’ve done it without the jumpsuit, but I have kept the cape on”, said Elvis tribute act James Burrell. “That’s good, that’s how to do it”, Brand bantered back. “You can’t have sex with a jumpsuit on”.

“Well the only difficulty with that, is they’re studded, you see”, Burrell continued, “and they get very spiky and so they can cut you in places that you wouldn’t imagine. And if you’re on top of somebody, you know!”

Inspired by that chit chat, another guest on the show then mused: “Do you remember that documentary where, I think Elvis came out of a hotel and he said he’d just met a prostitute and he just goes to his friend, he just goes, ‘You know that prostitute you showed me? She gives tremendous head, tremendous head'”.

So, all good fun for some Sunday morning listening then. But won’t somebody think about the children? “Rule 1.3 states that children must be protected by appropriate scheduling from material that is unsuitable for them”, OfCom stated in its latest Broadcast Bulletin earlier this week.

And, it went on, “Rule 1.5 states that broadcasters must have particular regard to times when children are particularly likely to be listening”. Both rules had been breached by the Sunday morning Elvis sex chat, OfCom concluded.

Global argued that Radio X targeted an “alternative” audience and “maintains a distinction from other mainstream stations”. It also added that Brand was “a well-known comedian and broadcaster with a loyal following who are familiar with his style of humour”. And, probably, are aware of past controversies surrounding his radio output.

But Radio X could have done more, OfCom reckoned, to ensure such content didn’t air during the morning, not least because Brand’s show was pre-recorded.