There are seven swearwords that BBC World Service news can’t utter in the US


The latest issue of Private Eye magazine has an interesting nugget relating to recent comments made by US President, Donald Trump. Trump, you may recall, was said to have called certain nations on the planet “sh*thole countries”, which presented something of a challenge to broadcast news editors.

Whilst Radio 4, reported Private Eye, could report the quote during its breakfast bulletin uncensored, the place where the BBC faced restrictions about reporting the alleged comments of the American President turned out to be in America.

This is because BBC World Service broadcasts in the US are bound by the US Federal Communications Commission (better known as the FCC). And the FCC has strict rules on seven words it considers offensive and/or indecent.

The words, thus, that the BBC news reporting on US airwaves isn’t allowed to utter? Er, we’ll use a few asterisks and replacements if you can meet us half way and use your imagination…



‘Muddyfunster’ (for the sake of clarity, that’s not the actual word. We were being polite. It’s ‘motherf*****’





As such, the words ‘a vulgar slur’ were reportedly used in some of the reports instead…

Private Eye issue 1462 is on sale now.