The Royle Family, which aired from 1998 to 2012 and was set in Manchester, now has episodes being streamed on the broadcasting corporation’s streaming service. But the BBC is concerned some of the language in many episodes of the show could cause offence or be deemed inappropriate. One episode features Ricky Tomlinson’s grumpy Jim Royle character watching DIY show Changing Rooms.
He calls host Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen a “Nancy boy” – with similar derogatory terms also being used in other episodes.
The show now joins other older programmes that have been issued with language warnings such as Fawlty Towers, Allo Allo! and Dad’s Army.
Toby Young, General Secretary of the Free Speech Union, lashed out at the BBC for giving classic programmes a “moral health warning”.
He said: “The BBC has been taken over by the ‘woke’ cult. Its managers are like 17th Century Witchfinder Generals, constantly on the lookout for heretics.
“Any programmes that depart from their narrow ideological dogma are immediately slapped with a moral health warning.
“Someone needs to remind them that Britain is the birthplace of Parliamentary democracy and the licence-payers who pay their wages believe in free speech.”
Robin Aitken, who worked at the BBC for 25 years, told the Sun: “More wokeness.
“Combing archives to ensure shows are politically correct is sinister and laughable.”
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The BBC’s new director-general Tim Davie said he was cracking down on bias and also warned staff over sharing their views on social media.
He added those wanting to be an “opinionated columnist or a partisan campaigner on social media” should not be working at the BBC.
New impartiality guidelines tell all employees that they must “always behave professionally, treating others with respect and courtesy at all times: follow the BBC’s Values”.
The guidelines also say staff have also been warned to “be wary of ‘revealed bias'”.
This could be through the use of likes or re-posting other posts, or “inferred bias” where a post is impartial but loose wording allows readers to infer a bias where there is none.
But Conservative MP Lee Anderson recently blasted the BBC for being a “propaganda machine”.
He said: “The BBC is not fit for purpose. They are nothing more than a left-wing propaganda machine who allow their multi-millionaire stars to interfere with the running of our country.”
A BBC spokesman told Express.co.uk the warning on the Royle Family is to let viewers know many episodes contain “inappropriate” language.
He said: “Some older programmes on occasion contain language that some viewers find offensive, inappropriate or which have now fallen out of use, and for that reason, we do make that clear on BBC iPlayer and elsewhere.”