Frankie Boyle set to front documentary about the Royal Family

Frankie Boyle is set to front a Channel 4 documentary about the Royal Family after backlash over ‘disgracefully foul’ joke about the Queen

Frankie Boyle is set to present a documentary about the Royal Family after previously coming under fire for a ‘foul’ joke about the Queen.

The controversial comedian, 50, has been lined up by Channel 4 bosses to front Frankie Boyle: Monarchy, where he will explore the future of the monarchy.

The public service broadcaster claims that Boyle will ‘turns his wry eye to the state of the British monarchy and its future’, as he questions its place in the modern world.

Royally offensive! Frankie Boyle is set to present a documentary about the Royals

It adds: ‘He wonders, “Will the monarchy soon be put out of its misery as it slips gently away under the soft pillow of our collective apathy? Do the Royal Family have any place in the modern world?”

The BBC was once forced to cut a line from its Comic Relief coverage in 2013 after the Scot, commenting on the Queen having been admitted to hospital, said: ‘I wished she’d died.’

In 2008 a ‘grossly offensive joke’ about the Queen broadcast on BBC2’s satirical panel show Mock the Week was cleared by the corporation’s governing body.

The highly personal remark about the monarch was made by Frankie and aired at the time of the Andrew Sachs scandal.

New job! The controversial comedian, 50, has been lined up by Channel 4 bosses to front Frankie Boyle: Monarchy, where he will explore the future of the monarchy

Boyle joked that you would not hear the Queen say during her Christmas broadcast: ‘I’m now so old that my p**** is haunted.’

The episode had first been shown in 2007 but was repeated in October 2008 during the furore over messages left by Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand on Mr Sach’s answerphone.

A complainant said the joke was grossly offensive and added: ‘It would have been objectionable at the best of times but coming as it did in the midst of the Ross and Brand controversy it was quite unforgivable.’

An initial complaint to the BBC’s management had been rejected saying that, while the joke ‘was near the knuckle’, it was in keeping with the show.

The viewer then took his complaint to the BBC Trust which also rejected the complaint, despite admitting the joke had ‘sexist and ageist overtones’.

Richard Tait, BBC trustee and chairman of the editorial standards committee, said the joke ‘was well after the watershed, well signposted and within audience expectations for the show’.

He said: ‘The committee did feel this joke was in bad taste – it had both sexist and ageist overtones.’

However, a gag on a different episode of Mock the Week about Olympic swimmer Rebecca Adlington was deemed to have broken rules. In August last year, Boyle said Adlington looks ‘like someone who’s looking at themselves in the back of a spoon’.

He also made a sexual innuendo about the gold medalists’ love life, saying Adlington’s boyfriend looked like a male model and continuing: ‘So from that I have deduced that Rebecca Adlington is very dirty – I mean if you just take into account how long she can hold her breath…’

One viewer told the BBC he was ‘appalled’.

The show’s producer later responded to the complaint, saying the ribbing might have gone ‘a tad too far’ and apologised.

The trust said that 75 complaints were received about the item, originally aired in the week that Team GB returned from the Olympic Games.

It found that, while Adlington was a public figure, she had not courted media attention.

The judgment said: ‘The joke about her appearance and the sexual innuendo were humiliating and there was no demonstration of a clear editorial purpose for the inclusion of these comments.’

The committee also noted that the commissioning editor had made her views known about preferring not to include the joke.

It said it was concerned she appeared to have been unable to obtain the edits she would have preferred.

Mr Tait said: ‘The committee felt that the comments about Rebecca Adlington were humiliating, and this was exacerbated by the fact that she had not sought celebrity status or courted media attention.’

The BBC said earlier this month that Boyle had quit Mock The Week after seven series, due to ‘other television commitments’.

A spokesman for the show said Boyle had been ‘a brilliant member of the team’ and the door was always open for him to return.

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