Channel 4 reality show Big Brother did not breach TV guidelines by broadcasting footage of contestants using offensive terminology, communications watchdog Ofcom has ruled.

Bristol student Emily Parr was ejected from this year's house after being shown using a racially offensive word to describe fellow contestant Charley Uchea, sparking around 450 complaints.

However Ofcom has ruled that Channel 4 did not breach industry guidelines as the network had been explicit about the unacceptable use of the word by Parr and had "appropriate justification" to broadcast the incident.

The channel was also cleared for the broadcast of the word "poof" by contestant Laura Williams, as there was no indication the word had been deliberately homophobic or used in a "denigratory way".

Around 200 people complained about the Welsh nanny's usage of the word and she was evicted by public vote shortly after being reprimanded for using the word for the second time.

Ofcom ruled that "generally accepted standards were applied to this material and adequate context was given".

Broadcasters such as Jonathan Ross - whose Friday night house band are called Four Poofs and a Piano - were urged to exercise caution about using the word.

Auditions for the ninth series of Big Brother will begin later this month.

05/11/2007 15:03:10