Royle Family BBC

The Royle Family: BBC hits back over criticism of ‘woke’ label on controversial episode

An extra warning on an episode using the term 'nancy boy'

BBC series The Royle Family carries a warning about ‘discriminatory’ language when viewers watch one particular episode on iPlayer.

And after several publications and a number of viewers criticised the label on the popular sitcom and branded it ‘woke’, the BBC has hit back.

The BBC has added an extra warning to an episode of The Royle Family (Credit: BBC)

Which episode of The Royle Family carries the discriminatory warning?

The tag is on episode three, series two, in which Jim (Ricky Tomlinson’s character) makes a comment about TV’s Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen.

While watching the telly with his wife Barbara (Sue Townsend), Jim calls the former Changing Rooms presenter a “nancy boy”.

Read more: Meghan Markle may need to rein in ‘woke’ speeches for sake of Prince Harry, says royal expert

There was already a warning about adult humour in place.

However, the episode also has an extra tag warning viewers that it “contains discriminatory language which some viewers may find offensive”.

Some viewers slammed the decision, branding it ‘woke’ (Credit: BBC)

What did The Royle Family fans say?

On Twitter, a number of viewers aired their frustration with the discriminatory language warning.

One fumed: “Ffs this country and some people are pathetic.”

Another tweeted simply: “Woke Britain.”

A third branded it: “Woke, politically correct [bleep].”

The episode contained a remark about Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen (Credit: Sue Andrews / /

How did the BBC respond?

The BBC, however, has stuck by its decision to put an additional warning over the episode.

A spokesperson for the Beeb argued that the warning isn’t about any one particular “scene or phrase”.

This isn’t about one scene or phrase. Some older programmes… contain language that some find offensive.

They said in a statement: “This isn’t about one scene or phrase. Some older programmes – on occasion – contain language that some find offensive, inappropriate or which has fallen out of use.

“We make that clear for viewers.”

Ricky Tomlinson played Jim Royle in the popular sitcom (Credit: Brett D. Cove /

Which other programmes have warnings in place?

It follows similar warnings about shows like Fawlty Towers, Allo Allo! and Dad’s Army.

Last year, BBC Studios-owned streaming service UKTV took down a 1975 episode of Fawlty Towers – titled The Germans – due to ‘racial slurs’.

Read more: GMB: Piers Morgan clashes with guest in fiery JK Rowling debate

Star John Cleese criticised the move on Twitter, where he wrote: “I would have hoped that someone at the BBC would understand that there are two ways of making fun of human behaviour.

“One is to attack it directly. The other is to have someone who is patently a figure of fun, speak up on behalf of that behaviour.”

UKTV later reinstated the episode with a warning added for viewers.

Leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix and let us know what you think of this story.

Related Topics