BBC Bats Back at Controversy Over Andy Murray's Swearing on Live TV

Andy Murray

The public broadcaster says just 10 viewers complained about the tennis star's swearing at himself after going two sets down in his quarterfinal match.

LONDON – As British tennis star Andy Murray went two sets down to Fernando Verdasco in his quarterfinal tennis match at Wimbledon he stomped to his seat and unleashed a volley of abuse at himself, including some choice swear words.

The shout at himself went out live on public broadcaster BBC's coverage of the event at around teatime in the U.K. forcing commentator Andrew Castle to hurriedly apologize to viewers.

The Daily Mail, Britain's middle-market tabloid, devoted a page to Murray's "volley of obscenities" Thursday, reporting that viewers "reacted with anger" over the incident.

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But the BBC, when contacted by The Guardian's media diary, said that only 10 viewers had complained about the tennis player's blue moment where he shouted at himself, "F---ing wanker! What are you doing?"

"Perhaps the Mail might try to find a new racket the next time it tries to stir up controversy," The Guardian diary writer quipped.

The Daily Mail famously played a part in the Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand controversy that saw both resign from the BBC shortly after an on-air obscene phone call prank.

The paper famously wrote of listeners' disgust and the level of complaints the late-night radio-show call sparked immediately, but the prank went on to generate more than 27,000 after the article appeared.

Ross was the highest-paid BBC star at the time.