The Australian government has rejected recommendations for tighter controls on swearing on television after a Gordon Ramsay show sparked outrage.

The celebrity chef, who presents shows such as Hell's Kitchen and Kitchen Nightmares, is renowned for his foul mouth and a senate enquiry was been launched after viewers complained about an expletive-laden edition.

Anne McEwen, chairperson of the inquiry, recommended 20 new measures to TV stations in regard to onscreen swearing.

"People were offended by the way Ramsay directed his language towards restaurant staff in an abusive and aggressive manner," she told parliament.

However, a senate committee has rejected calls to ban certain swear words on television, citing a lack of community fervour for the measure.

"In the absence on an overwhelming community consensus that particular words be banned altogether, the committee does not believe it is appropriate to make any recommendations with regard to imposing additional limits," a report obtained by the Associated Press news agency said.

David Coleman, director of regulatory affairs at the Nine Network, which shows Ramsay's programmes, said the chef's swearing was not always used maliciously.

He also told the senate inquiry that while the programme regularly receives around 1.4 million viewers, only 12 written complaints had been received by the network.

"That is one written complaint for about every 117,000 viewers. I think that suggests we are not out of step with community standards," he said.

The senate inquiry came as debate rages in Australia over behavioural problems, with a prominent politician under fire for telling a rival her baby would be born "a demon", the Reuters news agency reports.

And governor-general Michael Jeffery, the Queen's representative in Australia, said there is a "culture of crudeness" in the country.

"Crudeness in our language in high public life. The language you see coming out over the television, the language in political areas in some parts. It's a crudity which I don't think is a good thing," he told the Sydney Morning Herald.


19/06/2008 08:50:47