Christian TV regulator avoids The Simpsons
Jonathan Edwards, the record-breaking triple jumper, spoke for the first time this weekend about the Christian principles that will guide him in his new role as a television watchdog, revealing amongst other things that he doesnít watch the Simpsons.
The Olympic and Commonwealth gold medal winner has been appointed as England's representative on Ofcom's Content Board, overseeing standards of decency and fairness in broadcasting.
Speaking to the Observer he revealed; ìI don't watch a massive amount of television.î But he continued ìI do enjoy it and obviously it is the most influential mass mediaî.
One of the most interesting revelations was that he and his family avoid The Simpsons. ìWe have never got into it", he said, revealing however that he the family do watch Fame Academy and Pop Idol together.
The Simpsons has in the last few years been recommended viewing for many with an interest in theology following the publication of the book, ìThe Gospel According to the Simpsonsî by Mark I. Pinsky.
Pinsky demonstrates that The Simpsons can be a foundational source for satirical commentary on the state of contemporary spiritual culture with chapters focusing on topics such as heaven, hell and the devil, the church and the preacher, personal prayer, moral dilemmas, and the Bible.
Edwards added that as a child he was not allowed to watch on a Sunday, but that he had dropped this practice with his own children.
"What I don't like is gratuitous sex and and violence. I think it is bad and lazy TV and I don't know why we have to see it."
Speaking before the Content Board holds its first meeting next month, the athlete also expressed concern about the commercials children can be exposed to without the knowledge of their parents.
"I know it will not come under our powers at Ofcom, which will cover programmes and not adverts, but I am sometimes shocked by the ads shown during The Premiership highlights on a Sunday morning. They are often quite adult and you get no warning.î
Ofcom has been formed from the merger of the Independent Television Commission, the Broadcasting Standards Commission, the Radio Authority, Oftel - the tele-communications regulator - and the Radiocommunications Agency, which allocates the broadcasting spectrum. It will be the most powerful broadcasting regulator that Britain has known.
Edwards's appointment earlier this month surprised many in the industry because of his lack of expertise. Ofcom says it recruited him because of his knowledge of sport and religion, coupled with his fresh, outsider's approach.
The 36-year-old son of a West Country vicar told The Observer; "It came out of the blue. I would say I was vastly unqualified, and I said that in my interview too."