Entertainment & Arts

Phillip Schofield criticises Ofcom bondage inquiry

This Morning hosts Christine Bleakley and Phillip Schofield Image copyright ITV
Image caption Bleakley and Schofield discussed "nine of the most talked-about products on the market"

This Morning host Phillip Schofield has spoken out after media watchdog Ofcom launched an investigation into a recent "bondage for beginners" feature, inspired by Fifty Shades of Grey.

Ofcom received more than 120 complaints over the daytime TV report, which featured an interview with a "sex expert" and a range of sex toys.

Schofield said This Morning had always "pushed the boundaries".

He said Ofcom "must be sick to death" of complaints over "any minor outrage".

"In the old days, people would pick up the phone and complain or they'd write a letter," said Schofield, who presented the segment on 3 February with Christine Bleakley.

"But now they go to Ofcom and they must be sick to death of all of this. Any minor outrage that anyone's got, they go to Ofcom. They must be inundated with minor complaints."

Ofcom said last week it had "opened an investigation into whether an item about 'bondage for beginners' was suitable for broadcast before the watershed".

Inspired by the release of the Fifty Shades of Grey film, it saw sex toys including an eye mask, a leash and collar and a "feather spanker" discussed with "sex expert" Annabelle Knight.

Product demonstrations with scantily clad models also featured in the piece.

'Innocent stuff'

"As far as I'm concerned, This Morning has always pushed the boundaries," said Schofield.

"Richard and Judy did it when they launched Viagra for the first time, the first time we did a testicular examination, the first time we did an examination to hopefully safeguard yourself against breast cancer, people were outraged, up in arms.

"This was shocking, shocking television. Since the first day This Morning did that, we've saved countless lives."

He added: "Obviously I'm not saying the bondage is going to save anyone's life, but what we did was reflect on what everyone else was doing or talking about at the time.

"Everyone went to see the movie and if you look at the stuff we had on there, it was very innocent stuff and also spectacularly, when the item had finished, the things we had were all sold out in moments.

"So behind those closed, outraged doors of middle England, what they were secretly doing was going to buy this stuff online."

"This Morning is a lifestyle programme that covers a diverse range of human interest topics," said a spokesperson for the show when the Ofcom investigation was announced.

"The programme has dealt with advice on sexual matters many times in the past, and a suitable announcement was given at the start."

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