The Daily Show with Jon Stewart has a Global Edition that condenses 4 US episodes into one programme. But this week, even the Global Edition didn’t make it on to British TV screens nor catch up TV.
Blogger Chris Spyrou noticed it and brought it to the attention of the TV writer Graham Linehan, who asked Channel 4 about it. A tweet from Channel 4 Insider, the broadcaster’s official presence on Twitter, called it compliance problems.
The full reason, tweeted a short while later, was this: We are prevented by parliamentary rules from broadcasting parliamentary proceedings in a comedic or satrical context.
The user @fiatpanda later uncovered this response to a Freedom of Information request from Channel 4, which stated:
Guidelines specify that no extracts from parliamentary proceedings may be used in comedy shows or other light entertainment, such as political satire. But broadcasters are allowed to include parliamentary items in magazine programmes containing musical or humourous features, provided the reports are kept separate.
The scene in question was David Cameron facing tough parliamentary questions about phone hacking being compared to anaemic questioning that occurs in the US version of parliament.