A sketch performed by Rowan Atkinson during British charity telethon Comic Relief prompted more than 2,200 complaints to the BBC and will be investigated by regulator Ofcom. The sketch in question saw Atkinson play a fictional version of the Archbishop of Canterbury who compared boy band One Direction to Jesus’s disciples and said praying “doesn’t work.” After the skit raised an uproar, the BBC removed it from its iPlayer and apologized saying it was “intended to amuse and entertain” but feedback had shown it was “problematic for a number of different reasons.” Ofcom is said to be investigating on the grounds of offensive language and generally accepted standards, The Guardian reported.
Film Education, a charity supported by the British film industry, has had its funding pulled and will close on April 26 with all staff to be let go. As a result, the UK’s National Schools Film Week will cease. The event was a free, annual program that brought kids to cinemas throughout the country – last year’s program included We Need To Talk About Kevin, The Awakening and Wild Bill. Founded in 1985, Film Education has been active in curriculum-based teaching resources, teacher training and cinema-based events across the UK. Its closure, the charity said, is a result of the decision by its primary funder, Cinema First, to end its financial support. Cinema First, a cross-industry body made up of exhibitors and distributors, recently supported a bid led by publicly financed orgs Filmclub and First Light to secure responsibility for the British Film Institute’s new 5-19 film education scheme 2013-2017. (more…)