Saturday 25 May 2013

All is profanity

I speculated a while back about the first person to say 'fuck' on the radio - see here.

It was the critic Kenneth Tynan who first said the f-word on television, in 1965 (See here). The second person to do so was, I have just found out, the distinguished journalist, writer and broadcaster Peregrine (now Sir Peregrine) Worsthorne, former editor of the Sunday Telegraph. I have no idea of the context, but if it was during Songs of Praise I'd like to shake him by the hand and buy him a drink

Things went quiet until the fondly-remembered encounter between ITV presenter Bill Grundy and a scowling group of punk jackanapes including Johnny Rotten and Siouxsie Sioux, on 1st December 1976. This prime-time interview caused a great deal of outrage and a prompted a memorable headline in the following day's Daily Mirror

Image © Mirror Group Newspapers

This amused me at the time (and still does) because those wonderfully pompous definite articles suggest some kind of platonic filth and definitive fury, out there for the channelling, biding their time, as in The Power and the Glory or The Sorrow and the Pity or The Agony and the Ecstasy (and finally, but I could go on) The Bad and the Beautiful. And spare a thought for Bill Grundy (1923-1993), whose career was wrecked by two minutes of muttered profanity by the gormless Steve Jones.

Still no closer to establishing who first wireless utterance of 'fuck'. Any suggestions?

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