British Comedy Guide

Trevor McDonald cleared over Manning joke

Monday 10th September 2007, 9:09am

Sir Trevor McDonald and ITV have been cleared of charges of racism, after Sir Trevor called the late Bernard Manning a "fat, white bastard" on his satirical show News Knight in June.

112 complaints were sent to Ofcom about the joke, which was made in the week the controversial comic died, believing it to be inappropriate. Ofcom have said that Sir Trevor "clearly intended to parody" Manning's style of comedy and said that "any offence that may have been caused was justified in context."

They also said of News Knight, "In the case of this programme, Sir Trevor McDonald obviously, and intentionally, drew on Bernard Manning's own style of humour, which frequently played on the real or apparent prejudices of his audience. The comments were clearly intended to parody Manning's own comedy, where he claimed he was not himself racist, but simply made 'jokes' based on racial stereotypes. It was in such a context that Sir Trevor McDonald could therefore state that he did not consider Manning to be a racist but then went on to say that he was '...a fat white bastard'."

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