Regulator Censures ITV for 'Britain's Got Talent' Striptease

Simon Cowell

The network "clearly crossed the line” by airing a burlesque performance on a companion show for the Simon Cowell series at a time when kids were likely to watch, Ofcom said.

LONDON – British TV regulator Ofcom on Monday censured ITV for airing a striptease on a companion show of Simon Cowell's Britain's Got Talent at a time when children were likely to watch.

The burlesque performance on ITV2's Britain’s Got More Talent “clearly crossed the line” and failed to protect kids, breaking the U.K. broadcasting code, it said.

The show featured 90 seconds of a female candidate performing a striptease to Jungle Book song The Bare Necessities, "removing her dress and shaking her naked bottom at the audience."  The regulator said the show included five scenes that gave "particular focus" to her bottom.

The episode in question aired in April at 8:35 p.m., before the so-called 9 p.m. "watershed" for more risque content. It was re-aired three times in pre-watershed slots, Ofcom said.

ITV in a submission to Ofcom had said that its decision to also show "the teasing removal of her gloves" tipped off audiences that the candidate would take off more clothes. It also highlighted that the performer's body was pixelated. However, the regulator ruled that this was “of limited effectiveness and did not sufficiently obscure the performer’s naked buttocks."

Overall, Ofcom ruled that ITV did not take "adequate steps" to limit the nudity. "The frequency and detail of these images in context of a striptease in a burlesque act meant that on balance they were not suitable for children," it said.

Twitter: @georgszalai