Australian TV comedy show on royal wedding axed

Wed Apr 27, 2011 10:48pm EDT
 
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SYDNEY (Reuters Life!) - An Australian TV comedy show on the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton has been axed after the BBC banned usage of its live feed for comedy, satirical or entertainment purposes.

The "Chaser" show, which had planned a live programme with comments on the wedding in the style of news shows to make fun of the royal family, was to appear on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) network.

But the show was cut after the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) said footage of the wedding on Friday could not be used for comedy, satirical or entertainment purposes, as in line with previous royal broadcasts, said a ABC spokesman.

"My personal view is I really think the BBC needs to lighten up a bit and just get a bit of a sense of humor," Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd told local television.

"Look at all the stuff around the place in terms of memorabilia, plates and whatever else, not all of that is deadly serious."

"Chaser" executive producer Julian Morrow said the show would have been light-hearted with the occasional tasteless joke about Prince Philip and the speed of princesses walking down the aisle, and not littered with Princess Diana jokes.

"This is not a private wedding. This is our monarchy and our future and the idea you can't take the piss (mock), I think, sits very uncomfortably with Australians," said "Chaser" writer Dominic Knight.

Australia is a constitutional monarchy with Britain's Queen Elizabeth its head of state, but most Australians favor severing ties with the monarchy and becoming a republic.

Axing of the "Chaser" show sparked outrage among Australians on Facebook and Twitter sites.

"Even more evidence, if any were needed, for an Australian Republic," wrote Elizabeth Allen.

(Reporting by Michael Perry; editing by Elaine Lies)