Pop queen Madonna’s foul-mouthed outburst on pre-watershed live TV earned a rebuke for Channel 4 today.
The singer used the word ‘‘mother******’’ as she announced the winner of Turner Prize art award in December.
The broadcaster was found to be in breach of the Independent Television Commission’s programme code despite its efforts to try and bleep out the bad language.
Strong expletives are generally not permitted before 9pm and Madonna was speaking shortly before that cut-off point.
Producers had put special precautions in place because of the star’s reputation for shocking and she had been cautioned about how she should behave.
Channel 4 said she appeared to be taking the event very seriously, but despite several requests would not allow the station to see her speech.
Efforts to mask the singer’s outburst kicked in too late, but two apologies were broadcast in case viewers were offended.
Five viewers complained about the broadcast made from London’s Tate Britain gallery.
The ITC ruled: ‘‘The Channel was clearly sufficiently concerned to have put a mechanism in place, in case a problem arose, but the failure properly to cover up Madonna’s outburst represented a breach of the Programme Code.’’
Channel 4 said its ‘‘trust in Madonna had been abused’’.