Countdown conundrum as Nick Hewer rapped for doing his own commercials

Nick Hewer
Nick Hewer
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Countdown has been found to be in breach of broadcasting rules following commercial references made on air.

Media watchdog Ofcom investigated the show after a complaint was made about the promotion of products and services by host Nick Hewer and also by a guest on the Channel 4 show, former Olympic swimmer Mark Foster.

An Ofcom spokesperson said: “We found this programme broke broadcasting rules by promoting and giving undue prominence to products and services.

“Commercial references by the host Nick Hewer, and guest Mark Foster, were promotional and went beyond what could be justified editorially.”

Hewer, who was a public relations man before embarking on a TV career, referenced The Ideal Home Show and commented on the “benefits of attending” the event, while Foster spoke about being an ambassador for P&O Cruises, as well as reportedly referring to various activities and services offered by the cruise line.

Countdown has long been associated with Yorkshire TV, who recorded it in its Leeds studios for more than 30 years. The show is now taped in Manchester.

Meanwhile, This Morning will not be investigated after complaints from viewers over a segment that featured a discussion about the availability of different types of sex toys.

Ofcom said: “We assessed a handful of complaints about the sexual nature of a discussion on this daytime TV programme, but won’t be taking the matter forward for investigation.

“The discussion avoided explicit terminology and was aired at a time when most children would be at school. There was clear signposting to viewers about the nature of the item.

“We also considered this light-hearted conversation would be broadly in keeping with the expectations of the audience.”