We received complaints from some viewers unhappy with elements of the Robbie Williams concert broadcast in the build-up to and after the fireworks.
BBC One has a long-standing history of ringing in the New Year with our audience. In recent years we have sought to enhance this special night by showcasing special live performances by some of the most successful artists/entertainers around.
Robbie Williams is no exception to this; he is one of the UK’s most successful solo male artists with an incredibly successful songbook of popular hits and millions tuned in to watch his live performance. Robbie’s on-stage persona is now very well known, intended as tongue-in-cheek and that is very much part of his appeal. However, we do appreciate that it may not be to everyone’s taste.
Although the live concert started nearly two and a half hours after the 9pm watershed, and followed a late evening of adult-skewed programming, namely Mrs Brown’s Boys and The Graham Norton Show , we were mindful of the wider audience who might join BBC One to watch the fireworks. Robbie Williams was aware of this, and we placed particular emphasis on the part of his concert running up to the fireworks.
This was not a BBC event and whilst it was unfortunate that some of the staging, Robbie’s stage antics, and the language upset some viewers, we hoped it was at least clear from watching it that Robbie had been clearly briefed about any use of strong language beforehand by BBC Management.
We hope that for the majority of viewers watching BBC One, the tone of the overall concert remained within general audience expectations for what was billed as a unique late-night Robbie Williams live performance.
It’s a good job other news sources can actually say what was actually going on. The Metro revealed:
Robbie Williams will have royally pissed off the BBC after getting his live audience to swear on TV.
The notoriously naughty singer was live from Central Hall in Westminster on December 31 building up to Big Ben’s momentous chimes with a New Year’s Eve concert and after two songs, he was quick to tell everyone that Beeb bosses had banned him from saying the F word, the C word, and the S word .
But that wasn’t going to stop Robbie, who instead realised that he was never told he couldn’t get his fans to swear for him. What followed a rendition of his hit Come Undone with the crowd singing the words he was not allowed to sing — and fans at home were loving it.