BBC Radio 1 broke broadcasting guidelines when Lily Allen and Ed Sheeran swore on air at the Big Weekend festival, watchdog Ofcom has said.
Allen swore six times during her performance at the station’s event in Glasgow in May, which went out live between 17:30 and 18:00 BST.
Presenter Scott Mills warned listeners the sets may contain “strong language”.
But Ofcom ruled the offensive language was broadcast when “children were particularly likely to be listening”.
The BBC said there was an immediate apology after the broadcast.
It explained that a “comprehensive risk assessment” had been carried out and that singers were told not to swear in writing, and on signs in their dressing rooms.
It added that as Lily Allen was known to use strong language, “it was reasonably predictable that her set could contain the most offensive language”.
Before Allen came on stage, Mills issued the warning: “Now don’t forget this set may contain some strong language, it is live on Radio 1’s Big Weekend.
“We’re about to see Lily Allen. If you’re easily offended please go to the website and check out some other performance.”
The BBC explained that it had considered cutting away from Allen’s set twice, but a senior producer decided to continue because apologies had been given and it was believed that not that many children would be listening.
It also stated that, in retrospect, Radio 1 should have stopped broadcasting Allen’s set live after the second song that contained offensive language and edited the rest of her performance.
Lily Allen has signed with new management — Maverick’s Scott Rodger and Stack House’s Henry Village, Billboard has learned. The news was first reported in this week’s cover story featuring Rodger, founder of Quest Management (Paul McCartney, Arcade Fire, Lykke Li) and eight other top music managers who’ve formed a new collective dubbed Maverick. Village also manages a roster that includes U.K. dance acts Rudimental, Gorgon City and Redlight.
As previously reported by MusicWeek, Allen parted ways with longtime management firm Rocket in June, shortly after the release of her third studio album Sheezus. Allen herself seemed disappointed with the album’s rollout and overall commercial performance, which charted only two top 10 singles in her home country of the UK (“Hard Out Here” and “Air Balloon”) and missed the Hot 100 entirely (Alright, Still’s “Smile” remains her highest-charting hit as a solo artist in the U.S., reaching No. 49 in 2007.)
As Allen told England’s The Mirror in July, “I put my trust in other people, which I don’t usually do. I usually go with my own gut feeling but maybe I wasn’t feeling as confident as I have in the past because of all the hormones.
“The first thing I came back with was ‘Hard Out Here’,” Allen continued, “and that was important to me, a real statement of intent, even though you couldn’t put it on the radio over here because it had too much swearing. I thought it did really well and then management and the label chose to go with ‘Air Balloon’ and I just think starting with something really aggressive and in your face and then going in a different direction… people need to know what they are getting.”
Though Allen took five years between the making of 2009’s It’s Not Me, It’s Youand Sheezus to have two daughters with husband Sam Cooper, she suggested to The Mirror that her fourth album may not as far off. “Maybe the songs aren’t good enough this time, who knows? I just know I can’t wait to get back into the studio.”