Jason Manford Catherine Tyldesley Scarborough BBC

Scarborough writer Derren Litten defends Jimmy Savile joke after uproar

Many viewers were disgusted by it

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Viewers tuned in to watch the BBC’s latest new comedy, Scarborough, which stars comedian Jason Manford and former Corrie actress Catherine Tyldesley with high expectation.

However, many people were shocked and horrified by a ‘joke’ to do with Jimmy Savile on the show.

Some viewers took to social media to slam the BBC for allowing the “disgusting” joke.

In one scene, Jason Manford’s character, Mike, is talking about his relationship issues with his friend, Bigsy, a character played by Steve Edge.

Jason Manford Scarborough BBC
Jason Manford in Scarborough – Credit: BBC

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In the scene, Bigsy told Mike: “Jimmy Savile had the right idea [about women because] “he used to call them brain-damaged”.

Mike responded: “Wow, of all the people you could quote on relationship advice, you’re giving me Jimmy Savile! Even for you, that’s off the grid.”

Bigsy then referenced Jimmy Savile’s old show Jim’ll Fix It and claims that it had a “cracking theme tune”.

One shocked viewer wrote on Twitter: “I just put on Scarborough to see what it was about because people have said it’s supposed to be good and someone on it said ‘Jimmy Savile had the right idea’… I am so disgusted.

“You do NOT joke about that? It’s not funny it’s disgusting.”

Catherine Tyldesley in Scarborough – Credit: BBC

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Another said: “Too soon for Jimmy Saville jokes BBC1 ‘Scarborough’ got off to a good start – but this is not clever & not funny.

“Think of the victims – those kids in hospital for a start- maybe they were watching. #shameonyou.”

A third viewer added: “Well that was about as funny as the colonoscopy I had recently. At least I had gas and air with that.

“Have we really reached the stage when writers think it’s now fine to use Jimmy Saville as a joke? Given what he did, I don’t think that day should ever arrive.”

The show’s writer, Derren Litten, has since defended his show on Twitter, saying: “Re “that” joke… If we don’t laugh we cry. Not mentioning Saville’s name elevates him to the status of the bogey man.

“He has no power to haunt our nightmares, he’s not going to appear in the mirror if we speak his name, he is a dead pervert and good riddance to him.”

Entertainment Daily has reached out to the BBC for comment on this story.

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