Watchdog Easy Over Swearing Sharon

ITV1 has escaped criticism from media watchdog Ofcom because Sharon Osbourne’s swearing at the Brit Awards was no worse than anything viewers might reasonably have expected.

More than 128 people complained about the February 20 live screening from Earls Court, which showed Osbourne call guest presenter Vic Reeves a "pisshead" and a "bastard." She co-hosted the event with husband Ozzy.

But Ofcom said the comments were made "after the watershed and in a programme with a particular reputation for controversy." The language in question came a little after 9:30 p.m.

"We believe that regular viewers would have been aware of the likelihood of this kind of material," the Ofcom verdict said.

"Further, Ofcom research indicates that the examples of language quoted are generally considered quite mild."

The watchdog also said the portrayal of the use of alcohol during the ceremony, another cause of complaints, was "limited and incidental" and the programme "did not condone or glamorise alcohol misuse."