Tuesday 1 April 2014

Rev series axed by BBC after legal battle.

I am furious at the latest act of stupidity coming from the House of Bishops. The decision to take the BBC to court has made the whole church look ridiculous.

There is widespread condemnation after news that the BBC has cancelled the current series of Rev following a legal battle with the Church of England. The corporation has given no reason for the decision, save for a brief statement saying that ‘following legal representations made to the BBC, the current series of Rev will be taken off the air until further notice. A statement by the Chairman of the board of governors will be made later tomorrow. The BBC wishes to unreservedly apologise for any offence that may have been caused by the airing of last night’s episode of ‘Rev.’”

It is thought that it comes down to the fact that the BBC filmed an illegal act in a consecrated building owned by the Church or England, against  the express permission of the ecclesiastical authorities. According to inside sources, the Church of England ombudsman threatened to take proceedings against the corporation after a preview of the episode revealed the portrayal of a member of the clergy performing an illegal act. The BBC had initially agreed to alter the ending of the episode to comply with current legislation, but then suddenly changed its position at the last minute, less than an hour before the programme was actually aired.

Whilst the show approved by the BBC and the CofE displayed the main character obeying canon law, refusing to solemnise a Gay Wedding, (whilst being sympathetic to the couple) the programme that was actually shown last night, showed Rev. Adam Smallbone (played by Tom Hollander) actually performing an illegal act, in a consecrated church, which breached the BBC charter and the corporations own guidelines regarding religious programming.

The Rev. Richard Coles has blogged that he is appalled by the BBC decision to cancel the series and has threatened to resign from the Radio 4 panel of the ‘Moral Maze’ over the handling of the matter.

The whole affair is a disgrace, and highlights the ridiculous mess that the government and Church of England has got itself into over the Gay marriage debate. The BBC should stick to its guns and not to cave in under pressure placed on its satirical programming, and the Church of England Bishops should butt out, and realise that they are on the losing side of history. The 38 degrees petition against the BBC decision to cancel the show is growing fast, and has had almost 14,000 hits in the last 6 hours – please make sure you sign up now!
‘No’ to arcane legislation restricting the BBCs right to show the breaking of canon law. ‘Yes’ to Rev. – the programme that finally dares to show the real issues faced by real priests today

PS Happy April Fools Day 2014


  1. sorry to all those taken in by this April Fools day joke - hope you can forgive me!

  2. It's not only those who were taken in by it to whom you should apologise, also those who could see through it for what it was. Given the current climate and the level of feeling around such an important issue this hoax was entirely inappropriate, very unsympathetic and incredibly offensive.

    1. Apologies again Adam - I hoped I was not only enjoying April Fools Day, but poking fun at the Church of England for its ridiculous position in not letting us marry folk who love each other. Do find it in your heart to forgive - and keep up the struggle for equality

    2. Apologies of course accepted, and of course forgivness. I hope one day we can laugh at the way the church and bishops have behaved, and that they can be liberated from their part with forgivness and grace. But I fear that day is far off - equality for all. God Bless.