ITV1 has avoided punishment by the UK broadcasting watchdog after Sharon Osbourne swore during the Brit Awards last month.

Ofcom said the award ceremony's "reputation for controversy" meant viewers would expect a degree of bad language.

Almost 130 people complained when co-host Osbourne repeatedly swore at Vic Reeves as he slurred his presentation of an award.

"Get on with it, you piss-head," she said in comments broadcast at 21:35 GMT on February 20th.

"Shut up you're pissed, piss off! Piss off you bastard - piss off."

Announcing its decision not to uphold the complaints, Ofcom said: "While we understand that this language may have been offensive to some viewers, it was broadcast after the watershed and in a programme with a particular reputation.

"We believe that regular viewers would have been aware of the likelihood of this kind of material."

A spokesperson added that the language employed by Osbourne had been "quite mild" and claimed the show's portrayal of alcohol was "limited and incidental to the coverage"

"In Ofcom's view, the programme did not condone or glamorise alcohol misuse," a statement explained.

"The effect of these images was more likely to be cautionary than attractive."

31/03/2008 17:05:55