A cartoon which was banned from the BBC for its depiction of the Pope as an immature brat is set to cause new controversy after it was today confirmed it will be released on DVD in Britain.
Popetown, which features the voices of comedienne Ruby Wax as the pontiff and model Jerry Hall as a fame-hungry nun, was commissioned for digital channel BBC3 but deemed too offensive for broadcast last year.
The 10-part animation, commissioned in 2002, also features corrupt cardinals, plotlines about bestiality and an elderly Pope bouncing around the Vatican on a pogo stick.
Catholic groups campaigned against the screening of the programme, which also stars Little Britain’s Matt Lucas and Mckenzie Crook, of The Office.
Opponents said attempts to belittle the leader of the Catholic Church would be unacceptable to vast numbers of the viewing public.
Joseph Devine, the Bishop of Motherwell, said: “Many Catholics view this as an irreverent, gratuitous and publicly funded attack on their faith.
“It is impossible to imagine a similar irreverent approach being taken to Islam or Judaism.”
Television bosses relented last September and admitted they had always believed the project would tread the boundaries of taste.
BBC3 Controller Stuart Murphy said at the time: “Once we saw the finished series it became clear that the programme fell on the wrong side of that line.”
Director Phil Ox confirmed that the DVD will be released next month and branded lobbyists who forced the show off air “evil“.
He added: “I am glad that this DVD is finally out there.
“I should just remind everybody that viewing this show can destroy your soul.”