Video: Hear Tim Minchin ‘Woody Allen Jesus’ song axed from Jonathan Ross Show
08:36 23 December 2011
PA Wire/Press Association Images
London-based comedian and musician Tim Minchin has reacted furiously to one of his songs apparently being cut from the Jonathan Ross Show for fear of upsetting Christians.
Minchin - who is behind West End hit Matilda – has attacked ITV for pulling the specially-written track.
In an angry blog posting, he points the finger at the network’s director of programmes Peter Fincham, suggesting he was nervous about a backlash.
ITV has said the axing of the song was simply because it did not work “editorially”.
Satirist Minchin said he took on the commission at a particularly busy period because of the exposure of such a high-profile show, spending three “stressed” days on it.
He said “compliance” staff and lawyers had given the go-ahead to his lyrics long before the recording of the programme, which features Tom Cruise as a guest.
But he said the humorous song - which drew parallels between Woody Allen and Jesus - was pulled when Mr Fincham watched the show.
In his blog Minchin - who had to rush from filming straight to his own show at London’s Hammersmith Apollo after last week’s recording - said: “Peter Fincham demanded that I be cut from the show.
“He did this because he’s scared of the ranty, s***-stirring, right-wing press, and of the small minority of Brits who believe they have a right to go through life protected from anything that challenges them in any way.”
Michin added he was disappointed and continued: “It’s 2011. The appropriate reaction to people who think Jesus is a supernatural being is mild embarrassment, sighing tolerance and patient education. And anger when they’re being bigots.
“Oh, and satire. There’s always satire.”
An ITV source said the decision was less about religious sensitivity and more that “tonally, it wasn’t right for the show”.
An ITV spokesman said: “We often make changes to programmes before transmission and on this occasion we felt that the song didn’t quite work editorially.”
Minchin has now posted the pulled footage on his own website to allow fans to hear the track, saying: “I hope you enjoy my silly, harmless, accurate song of praise, Woody Allen Jesus.”
The Ross programme is to be screened tonight on ITV1 at 9pm.