| British radio stations to get new guidance on avoiding sexually explicit songsOfcom move over lyrics that are inappropriate for children follows warning to TV broadcasters over pre-watershed (9pm) videosBen Dowell
Monday 31 October 2011 12.18 GMT Radio 1 was criticised for airing an expletive-strewn concert by the Black Eyed Peas in May.
Photograph: Cheryl Ravelo/ReutersThe BBC and commercial radio broadcasters will have to take more care with sexually explicit lyrics, particularly in songs by rap artists, as part of a continuing crackdown by Ofcom on content that is inappropriate for children.
UK radio broadcasters are to be issued with new guidance by the media regulator to address the problem of broadcasting sexually explicit lyrics at times when children are listening.
Following a meeting last week between representatives from the commercial sector as well as the BBC's editorial policy unit, Ofcom has promised to issue new and detailed guidance by the end of the year.
Of particular concern to Ofcom are offensive lyrics aired at times in the morning and early evenings when children are often in cars with the radio on as they are being taken to and from school.
This follows the issuing of stricter guidance to TV broadcasters last month on airing such material before the 9pm watershed.
Current rules enshrined in the Ofcom broadcasting code prohibit the broadcast of inappropriate or offensive material when children may be listening. But Ofcom says the rules are flouted too often, particularly in the playing of rap music, and that it has run out of patience.
Among recent examples of breaches of these rules was the airing by Scottish community radio station Brick FM of the song More Punany by reggae artist Dr Evil at 3pm. It contained the lyrics "last night I had a crazy threesome" and "I like to see the girls in the sexy bikini ni ni/Want to take my chilli and push it between ni ni", as well as "I like pun-na-na-na-ni even if it's a virgin".
The broadcaster claimed that "punany" referred to a sandwich – a panini, a claim that was roundly dismissed by the regulator, which said it was slang for a woman's genitalia.
In May Radio 1 broadcast an expletive-strewn concert by the Black Eyed Peas at the station's Big Weekend event in Carlisle. During the broadcast the lead singer shouted "What the f**k's going down" and introduced the band's second song with the words "This song's for all the fucking crazy people".
An Ofcom spokeswoman said: "Ofcom takes its role in protecting children from offensive language on the radio very seriously. We are concerned that there have been a number of recent cases where offensive language was broadcast, some at times when children were particularly likely to have been listening. That is why we held a meeting with the radio industry this week to discuss the issues. We intend to publish guidance by the end of the year to clarify the rules in the broadcasting code."
A BBC spokesman added: "The BBC, along with all radio broadcasters, sent a representative to discuss the matter and, while we have had no complaints upheld for bad language for more than three years, we will work with Ofcom to ensure we continue to deal with language in a responsible way."http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/oct/31/radio-stations-sexually-explicit-songs?newsfeed=true