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No Murdoch Allowed for Charlie Brooker

Comedian and journalist Charlie Brooker has been prohibited from using parliamentary footage in his satirical round-up of the news, Wipe 2011. The footage contained media mogul Robert Murdoch being hit with a custard pie in the face. Murdoch was attacked as he gave evidence at a select committee in July. However, there are laws preventing the use of parliamentary footage in comedy shows.

Instead of using the footage, Brooker has resorted to recruiting reality TV stars to re-enact the incident. The reality TV stars are from the show Made in Chelsea.


Brooker said on BBC Breakfast:

“That was a pain this year. There was a lot of great footage that we weren’t allowed to use.

“There are rules covering footage of any parliamentary proceedings, which you are not allowed to use in any satire, or entertainment. So we can’t show anything from the House of Commons, we can’t show Murdoch being hit by a pie. They can in America...

“We got some of the cast of Made In Chelsea to reconstruct it. I wanted to do it with a nude House of Commons, but there wasn’t the budget, or time, or, actually, I think, will."


Charlie Brooker is not the first person to be hit by the prohibition of parliamentary footage in comedy for television. During the summer, an episode of the American The Daily Show with Jon Stewart was banned in the UK. More4 were forced to drop the episode even though the host praised proceedings in the Commons by comparing the heated Prime Minister’s Questions to the submissive treatment of the US President.

Charlie Brooker’s 2011 Wipe is shown on BBC Four tonight at 10:30pm. The BBC website for the programme is here.

You can also view the trailer below:

Or you can also see the footage not allowed to be used in 2011 Wipe below:

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