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Live Earth branded a foul-mouthed flop

Daily Mail | July 9, 2007
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Live Earth has been branded a foul-mouthed flop.

Organisers of the global music concert - punctuated by swearing from presenters and performers - had predicted massive viewing figures.

But BBC's live afternoon television coverage attracted an average British audience of just 900,000.

In the evening, when coverage switched from BBC2 to BBC1, the figure rose to just 2.7million.

And the peak audience, which came when Madonna sang at Wembley, was a dismal 4.5million. Three times as many viewers saw the Princess Diana tribute on the same channel six days before.

Two years ago, Live 8 drew a peak television audience of 9.6million while Live Aid notched 10million in 1985.

The BBC blamed the poor figures on Saturday's good weather and said its Wimbledon tennis coverage had drawn away afternoon viewers.

Critics said however that the public had simply snubbed what they saw as a hypocritical event.

Musicians including Bob Geldof, Roger Daltrey and the Pet Shop Boys pointed out that a concert highlighting climate change had itself generated huge carbon emissions.

Performers were criticised for flying to concerts that were staged simultaneously on seven continents.

The BBC's coverage, which ran for 15 hours from 12.30pm on Saturday to 4am yesterday, also sparked dozens of complaints about bad language.

The swearing started at 1.30pm when Phil Collins, the first act on in London, used the f-word while singing with his band Genesis.

Razorlight singer Johnny Borrell used the same expletive a few minutes later in one of his songs. And Chris Rock swore while introducing fellow comic Ricky Gervais, who soon followed suit.

The bad language prompted a number of angry postings on BBC messageboards.

One viewer wrote: "Why did the BBC transmit this during daytime TV when many children will be watching? Why hasn't an apology been immediately forthcoming?" Another said: "It was disgusting behaviour." Other comments included: "It was pretty bad at that time of day" and "There is a line to be drawn".

A BBC spokesman said: "We asked artists not to swear but sometimes they get carried away. We are very sorry for any offence caused."

The mounds of rubbish left by the 65,000 concert-goers at Wembley further tarnished the event's green credentials.

Organisers claimed most of the waste would be sorted and recycled but the Daily Mail saw little evidence of that taking place. The Alliance for Climate Protection event was organised by Al Gore, the former U.S. vice-president and environmental campaigner.

Other events were held in New Jersey, Tokyo, Hamburg, Sydney, Johannesburg, Shanghai and elsewhere.

 

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