Ofcom today upheld more than 500 complaints made over Frankie Boyle's jokes about Katie Price's disabled son Harvey. The telly watchdog said that the jokes appeared to "target and mock the mental and physical disabilities" of the 8-year-old. Channel 4 however stood behind Frankie, say the jokes were "wholly justified".
"Nothing he says is intended as a slur on any particular community - everyone is fair game in Frankie's eyes," Channel 4 said in a statement. "We do not believe that any viewer would have taken this particular joke literally."
In their ruling, Ofcom accepted that Katie Price and ex-husband Peter André had "consciously exposed their and their children's lives to the media" but added: "The fact that a public figure chooses to expose some aspects of his or her child's life in the media does not provide broadcasters with unlimited licence to broadcast comedy that targets humour at such a child's expense.
"This position applies even more firmly in a case in which the child is as young as eight years old, and has a number of disabilities which are specifically focussed on as the target of that intended humour," the ruling continued.
In their statement, Ofcom added: "Ofcom was of the view that the material in question appeared to directly target and mock the mental and physical disabilities of a known eight year-old child who had not himself chosen to be in the public eye.
"As such, Ofcom found that the comments had considerable potential to be highly offensive to the audience."
Ofcom did not impose any sanctions or fines on the channel.