Graham Norton In Trouble w/ BBC After Wearing AIDS Ribbon On Air
We can only assume BBC's attempts to ban talk show host Graham Norton from wearing a red ribbon on World AIDS Day falls under the network's attempts to be non-political, but clearly Norton (correctly) believes that AIDS goes way beyond politics.
That's presumably why Norton gave BBC the figurative finger and wore his red AIDS ribbon during the Nov. 29 episode of the The Graham Norton Show in direct defiance of BBC's orders.
The 50-year-old ignored BBC orders not to wear the ribbon on his show on 29 November this year – sparking the wrath of BBC chiefs, who outlawed him from wearing the ribbon to highlight World AIDS Day on 1 December.
Despite the fact that all of his guests on The Graham Norton Show – Jeremy Clarkson, Jo Brand, Colin Farrell and Sharon Osbourne – were all allowed to, and did, wear the red ribbons – the Irish comic was told not to.
The gay comic, a passionate supporters of AIDS charities – including the Elton John Aids foundation – flouted the ban despite being repeatedly told not to wear the ribbon on the popular show.
BBC chiefs, however, rapped the funnyman, saying he had breached BBC guidelines and his production company So Television – now owned by ITV – was criticised for letting him wear the ribbon.
BBC is publicly remaining steadfast in their stance that Norton shouldn't have worn the ribbon.
The BBC controller of entertainment commissioning, Mark Linsey, says:
"World AIDS Day is an issue which Graham cares passionately about and he did wear a World AIDS Day insignia on his programme.
"However, this is in breach of BBC guidelines.
"The production company has been contacted and reminded that he cannot do this and Graham has accepted he was wrong to do so.
"The BBC has been assured it will not occur again."
We sincerely doubt that Norton has "accepted he was wrong" to do anything. He's not exactly known for holding his tongue, so it's probably not wise to put words in his mouth.
As for whether it will occur again...we guess we'll see what happens on World AIDS Day 2014.
What do you think of Graham's decision to defy network orders and BBC's subsequent comments?