Jack Whitehall's NTA role 'safe' after Big Fat Quiz row says producer
Tim Clark3 January 2013
TV bosses have publically denied claims made in the Daily Mail that Jack Whitehall may be forced to quit his role as presenter of the National Television Awards.
The tabloid newspaper claimed in an interview with NTA producer George Mitchell that the comedian may be put ‘under pressure’ to resign from the prestigious role after his performance on The Big Fat Quiz of the Year.
Mitchell had told the Mail that we was looking to hold a ‘summit conference’ over the controversy, however the NTA’s creator and executive producer Kim Turberville has told The Independent that: "Contrary to spurious reports earlier today, I would like to confirm that there has been no crisis summit over Jack Whitehall’s invitation to present an award at this year’s National Television Awards."
"We are very much looking forward to welcoming him on January 23 for our live show.”
Whitehall, who appeared on the show alongside James Corden, Jimmy Carr, Jonathan Ross, Russell Howard, Gabby Logan and Richard Aoyade, has been caught up in a campaign by the Daily Mail to whip up public anger over lewd jokes on the show.
Ofcom has so far received around 160 complaints over the show, which featured jokes about the Queen, Usain Bolt, Susan Boyle and Barack Obama.
The producer of the NTA’s, George Mitchell, is set to hold a ‘summit conference’ over whether Jack Whitehall should still be allowed to present the awards.
Whitehall made one joke about the Diamond Jubilee celebrations when he commented: “I have a theory. She [the Queen] didn't sit down for the entirety of that thing, and people were talking about that. It was the day after the night of her anniversary and Prince Philip woke up with a urinary infection ... I'm just saying what everyone's thinking, people.”
Read more: The Independent: Television Awards refute claims Jack Whitehall is under pressure to stand down amid Big Quiz row
Mitchell told the Daily Mail that the controversy could ‘run and run’ and would offer Whitehall the opportunity to withdraw. However other bosses did not agree.
The latest revelations follow on from the Daily Mail’s repeated attempt to drum up popular furore over the TV show, without as much success as it had hoped.
An Independent Voices survey conducted yesterday asked if the Big Quiz of the Year had taken the joke too far. Of the approximately 6,000 respondents 94 per cent voted “no”.
According to website Chortle, the newspaper had managed to encourage an ‘insignificant portion of the paper’s 4.25million readers’ to complain over the show so far.
The Mail had also printed an example of 'online anger' generated on the newspaper's message boards over the show, however it failed to show the positive comments for the show on those same boards, some of which have been re-published by The Media Blog.
According to the blog the Big Fat Quiz had recieved just 5% of the complaints Ofcom received about X Factor 'conspiracy theories' last year.
You can read our guide to the Daily Mail's approach to writing about comedy here.