Graham Norton reprimanded for wearing AIDS Day ribbon on air

Dec. 10, 2013 at 2:06 PM
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LONDON, Dec. 10 (UPI) -- The BBC says it reprimanded Graham Norton after the Irish comedian and guests of his talk show wore World AIDS Day ribbons, violating network regulations.

"The Graham Norton Show" host and his guests Jeremy Clarkson, Jo Brand, Colin Farrell and Sharon Osbourne wore the ribbons at the Nov. 29 taping in honor of World AIDS Day, which was Dec. 1.

BBC entertainment controller Mark Linsey said he understands Norton "cares passionately about" World Aids Day, but he was "in breach of BBC guidelines," which stipulate "the BBC must remain independent and distanced from government initiatives, campaigners, charities and their agendas, no matter how apparently worthy the cause or how much their message appears to be accepted or uncontroversial."

Wearing poppies in support of the Royal British Legion is the only exception to the rule.

The BBC said it has been assured Norton will not do this again.

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