'Controversial' Chewin The Fat sketches removed by BBC bosses to avoid offending modern audiences

By Stuart Macdonald

The BBC has removed sketches from old episodes of Chewin’ the Fat to avoid offending modern audiences.

The hit Scots comedy series has been re-edited for repeat showings and any material now deemed too controversial has been taken out.

Chewin’ the Fat launched the careers of Ford Kiernan and Greg Hemphill, who went on to write sitcom Still Game.

While filming a documentary on comedy in the “woke“ world, co-star Karen Dunbar found some episodes she appeared in had been censored.

And she was shown how decisions were made on what to cut from the show.

Karen told the Cultural Coven podcast: “As part of the documentary, we went to the BBC in London, where they edit the repeats.

Chewin The Fat was criticised for featuring characters using electronic voice boxes normally used by throat cancer patients (BBC)

"Chewin’ the Fat was going to be repeated that weekend so they brought up various sketches and asked if I thought they were going to be kept or taken out.

“The BBC review every repeat that goes out and will take out the bits that aren’t acceptable today.

“The result was Chewin’ the Fat went out but with bits taken out that would have been in the original 20 years before.”

Some of the material deemed unacceptable will be revealed in Karen Dunbar: The Comedy of Offence, set to air later this year.

Chewin’ the Fat started out as a radio show and then had four series on TV between 1999 and 2002.

It featured characters such as Karen’s randy Auld Betty, the chain-smoking family who use voice boxes and a scene involving a female ice cream van worker who lifts her skirt up to two young boys.

The sketches have been regularly repeated on the BBC Scotland channel since it launched in 2019.

A BBC spokesperson said: “The BBC regularly reviews older content to ensure it meets current audience expectations.”

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