The Chaser’s alternative wedding coverage pulled by the ABC

The ABC has been forced to cancel Friday night’s alternative coverage of the Royal Wedding by The Chaser on ABC2 after a ruling from the office of the Royal Family.

According to the announcement from the ABC, conditions of its use of live footage of the wedding were tightened up over the Easter break, including a ban on the use of the material for the purposes of satire or comedy.  

The ABC’s original plan was to feature The Chaser’s commentary on ABC2 while rebroadcasting the BBC’s coverage on ABC1

Instead, the approved commentary will go ahead on ABC1, while ABC2 will switched to a royal wedding themed night including:

  • 7-7.30pm Spicks and Specks Britannia Special
  • 7.30-8.30pm Royle Family Xmas special 2008
  • 8.30-10.30pm The Chaser’s War on Everything

According to the ABC:

“ABC TV has reluctantly cancelled its widely promoted program The Chaser’s Royal Wedding Commentary because restrictions imposed over Easter, make it impossible to deliver its planned ABC2 live coverage of the event. ABC TV had initially been advised by the BBC and subsequently by the news agency Associated Press Television News (APTN) there were no coverage restrictions that would prevent The Chaser‟s wedding commentary.

“However, the conditions of use issued by APTN over the Easter break state that footage cannot be used ‘in any drama, comedy, satirical or similar entertainment program or content.’

“The APTN advisory said the restrictions on the coverage of the wedding ceremony from Westminster Abbey had been agreed between Clarence House, the private office of the Prince of Wales and the BBC.”

Kim Dalton, director of ABC TV, said: “We‟re surprised and disappointed at this very late stage to be informed that any satirical or comedic treatment of the marriage of Australia’s future Head of State has been banned. As late as this morning the BBC issued a new contract imposing additional restrictions on the use of its material.

Royal Chaser plate“ABC TV had always planned to take the BBC‟s full coverage with commentary on ABC1. However like other broadcasters we thought Australians would appreciate an alternative take on this major event.”

Dalton suggested that Nine and Ten’s plans might also be affected. He said: “The Nine Network has Dame Edna giving her commentary and the Ten Network has the 7PM Project taking a light-hearted approach to the Royal Wedding. Our obvious choice, for a light-hearted commentary is The Chaser team. Clearly, the BBC and Clarence House have decided The Chaser aren’t acceptable.”

However, Nine and Ten both told Mumbrella that the ABC’s probelms had not changed their plans.

A spokesman for Ten said: “We’re proceeding with our wedding programming as planned. While certainly light hearted our coverage will be respectful. Respected British journo Lucy McDonald will be joining Fitzy and Wippa in commentary duties.”

And Nine’s Mark Calvert, director of news  and current affairs, said in a statement: “There’s nothing in the restrictions which will alter our coverage. Dame Edna will be with us before and after the ceremony. But during the actual nuptials, she’ll be dashing to the Abbey to take her seat as a guest of the happy couple. Dame Edna is Australian royalty, so we’re honoured that she’s agreed to juggle her commitment to the Windsors with her love of Channel Nine.”

The axing of the Chaser wedding is the second time the ABC has taken The Chaser off the air. The Chaser’s War On Everything was suspended for two episodes in 2009 after its infamous dying kids sketch.

In the ABC’s statement, The Chaser‟s Chris Taylor said: “We’ve been taken off air before but never by the Queen herself. It’s an honour.”

And The Chaser’s Julian Morrow added: “The Chaser team accepts that the ABC has been put in an impossible position by people acting on behalf of the Royal Family. For a monarchy to be issuing decrees about how the media should cover them seems quite out of keeping with modern democratic times …. but I suppose that’s exactly what the monarchy is.

“It’s traditional for the condemned to appeal to the Monarch for a stay of execution, so that’s what we’re going to do. Unfortunately, it’s also traditional for people who appeal for clemency to be executed.”

The Chaser also published a letter to the Queen aimed at persuading her to change her mind:



  1. Roger Sho
    27 Apr 11
    5:01 pm

  2. Weak

  3. Ash
    27 Apr 11
    5:03 pm

  4. Ripped off – this was going to be the only thing worth watching on Friday!

  5. glen
    27 Apr 11
    5:10 pm

  6. soooooo, do it Roy & HG State of Origin style with a radio broadcast alternative commentary, yes??? The ABC has such resources available.

  7. Deson
    27 Apr 11
    5:11 pm

  8. That’s IT!
    Bring on the republic. . .

  9. Phillip Molly Malone
    27 Apr 11
    5:29 pm

  10. If the ABC were smart they would drop the Wedding and keep the chaser taking the piss of it!

  11. Blades
    27 Apr 11
    5:33 pm

  12. We are nt amused. Off with their heads!

  13. Adam Paull
    27 Apr 11
    5:40 pm

  14. Glen’s right – and if there are no radio stations free then an alternate internet audio only feed could do the trick… who knows – the Chaser boys could go global!

  15. Lauren May
    27 Apr 11
    5:52 pm

  16. Can they do a live stream feed to the internet instead? This is so very depressing, dare I say, unAustralian? VOTE REPUBLIC!

  17. Melissa
    27 Apr 11
    6:02 pm

  18. Oh no! I was looking forward to watching this :(

  19. Lou
    27 Apr 11
    6:04 pm

  20. The only commentary I was looking forward to,

    ps loved Julian filling in on the morning show on radio national

  21. jen
    27 Apr 11
    7:03 pm

  22. No more royal wedding for me.

  23. Red
    27 Apr 11
    7:21 pm

  24. Now what to do on Friday?

  25. Patrick
    27 Apr 11
    7:38 pm

  26. Appaling. Just another reason to get rid of those anti-fun facists.

  27. Madzia
    27 Apr 11
    7:52 pm

  28. CENSORSHIP, pure and simple. And who said that Australia is a democracy?

  29. Tamara Denshire
    27 Apr 11
    8:26 pm

  30. Julia Gillard needs to intervene. Whether you like the Chaser or not, freedom of the press is vitally important to democracy. The British royals have no right to interfere with our freedoms. What are they going to try next? Ban all media from reporting any negative story about the Royals – No Fergie stories? No Prince Phillip stories? No Harry stories?

  31. anon@
    27 Apr 11
    8:53 pm

  32. I for one welcome our new royal… Oh, right, never mind….

  33. Tim2
    27 Apr 11
    9:55 pm

  34. The Chaser was my only reason to live through the wedding.

  35. HAL 9000
    27 Apr 11
    10:32 pm

  36. I think channel 10 is fairly safe. Claiming fitzy and watzit as comedy is a bit of a stretch.

  37. Tim
    28 Apr 11
    9:12 am

  38. I say good. These guys lost me the day they ripped on sick and dying kids. Personally I’d be happy if they’d all just go away, forever. They stopped being funny many, many years ago. As for what do do on Friday? Just do what you always do and hit the boozer, surely.

  39. jo
    28 Apr 11
    9:21 am

  40. Chaser? So yesterday. You’re seriously lacking fun in you’re life if you were looking forward to this. It won’t be missed by anyone living in 2011 that’s for sure.

  41. Ash
    28 Apr 11
    9:37 am

  42. This has got digital radio or JJJ written all over it. They should just do it like @glen mentioned… Roy and HG style….

  43. zumabeach
    28 Apr 11
    11:27 am

  44. The Chaser men’s – why does everyone insist on calling them boys? – time has come and gone. They are much too pleased with themselves for their own good. Cheap shots at easy targets is all they have ever been about – and that’s boring. What were they going to do this time? More Prince Phil and corgi jokes? Snore … Dame Edna is supposedly doing some wedding commentary along the way but she at least has a style that goes way over the heads of these never-beens. And Lou … Julian Morrow had no idea on Radio National breakfast. That’s strange as he should have fitted right in – it’s a fun free zone, just like mundane Morrow’s so called comedy.

  45. Thomas Dodson
    28 Apr 11
    1:19 pm

  46. get over yourself, ZumaBeach. Read the comments here… there are many people who still enjoy the Chaser- Yes We Canberra was hilarious, and this was going to be the only enkoyable part about the entire vomitfest that is this royal wedding.

    The 7mate advertising “There shall be ABSOLUTELY NO WEDDING FOOTAGE” is gold… only family guy and simpsons- the last bastion of not having to bludgeon myself to death this friday night…

  47. michael
    28 Apr 11
    2:19 pm

  48. Bet David Flint rang the palace……..

  49. Lead the way, Brucey
    28 Apr 11
    4:10 pm

  50. Chaser Boys being dumped from broadcasting the royal wedding?

    It’ll never happen…. or will it?

  51. Nigel
    28 Apr 11
    4:15 pm

  52. The football is on 7.

  53. Bucks
    28 Apr 11
    4:36 pm

  54. Such a damn shame, like many people (excluding some on here obviously) I was really looking forward to this.

    Not sure we can stretch the argument to being about democracy etc though. They have been denied the rights to do this by the rights holders just like any rights holders could choose to do, (Channel 7 for AFL footy, Nine for the Rugby league, Channel Ten for…well after this year they wont have the rights for anything).

    But agree with other comments that this could be gotten around by simulcast on Radio or Internet. Now if THAT was banned, then THAT would be a denial of democracy, and that is not the case.

  55. Amy
    28 Apr 11
    4:43 pm

  56. Maybe if The Chaser had a demonstrated history of showing some kindness towards their subjects they would not find themselves in this position.

    It’s a wedding after all and who on earth would want a group of self-righteous pranksters who make jokes about dying children and try to ridicule hard working people trying to do their job (like the APEC Security team) having anything to do with their wedding day.

    Whether it was intentional or not, the tone of The Chasers proposed program was always threatening and therefore fairly perceived as potentially damaging. I think they are getting what they deserve.

    They have hurt and upset a lot of people in the past and probably need this as a check up to remind them that the best and funniest jokes are never at the expense of someone else (especially when they are busy trying to celebrate what is meant to be one of the the happiest days of their life).

    Maybe The Chasers will start to show a little bit of heart in future.

  57. AdGrunt
    28 Apr 11
    5:32 pm

  58. There’s a Royal Wedding happening?


  59. Ho Hum
    28 Apr 11
    8:22 pm

  60. What else is on tv at that time? Any live sporting events? (Anywhere in the world?) Perhaps re name the show to:
    ‘Various live sports and current affairs from around the world’

    Do spontaneous commentary on various live sporting events with breaking news as it happens and also have audio updates from the wedding…? Perhaps with puppets..?

    Also get the public to call in if they have pets named Will or Kate and get a tally up on the screen…

    Perhaps the Chaser crew could ‘bomb’ some royal wedding parties live. Wind up some royalists and create some fun.

    There is loads that they can do in this TV slot!!!!

    I would watch it(.)

    It would be fun to write for their show…

  61. Tom
    28 Apr 11
    10:14 pm

  62. The best comment is No. 2.

    I agree 100%.

    In fact, if Studio 360 will provide the microphones, and we can get the Chaser boys in to do it, I’ll fund the webstream….

    28 Apr 11
    10:24 pm

  64. We will watch the BBC feed on silent, and you hijack a radio station. Don’t lie down and let them rob us of our rights. This is an important democratic issue.

  65. DCH
    28 Apr 11
    11:31 pm

  66. Surely we can *all* write to our head of state begging a reprieve?

    Bring on the Republic.

  67. Chris
    28 Apr 11
    11:33 pm

  68. Well whatever you think of them, Juliam Morrow’s comment
    “For a monarchy to be issuing decrees about how the media should cover them seems quite out of keeping with modern democratic times …. but I suppose that’s exactly what the monarchy is.”
    was pretty clever.

  69. Phill Ohren
    29 Apr 11
    11:20 am

  70. My personal opp: These 2 idiots have no place at in Royal affairs. END.

  71. Barmy Army
    29 Apr 11
    1:12 pm

  72. Your just bitter you lost the little urn aren’t you?!

  73. Anonymous
    29 Apr 11
    2:03 pm

  74. bring on the republic!

  75. whatever
    29 Apr 11
    5:46 pm

  76. Who’s getting married again?

  77. jean cave
    30 Apr 11
    6:33 am

  78. The Brits aren’t allowed to do a Chaser type programme either.
    So you cant really make a special case for Australia. Eheu!

  79. Mr Corbett
    30 Apr 11
    11:44 am

  80. Personally I’m glad they didn’t do it. I cannot imagine that it would be in anyway amusing or risque. Let’s be honest, they’re not exactly Chris Morris are they…
    I would rather watch the ridiculous wedding than their very poor imitation of the master…but without the humour, subversion or the ferocity.

  81. Satto
    2 May 11
    9:04 pm

  82. I will be upfront; I am a Pom.

    Is it just me or do Aussies not understand Satire..?

    (Yes I know! – The Pom’s pulled it, however so many chaser haters – I bet they are the 7, 9 and 10 lovers, who listen to talk back radio. In the US they would be known as, erm, republicans…

  83. Barmy Army
    3 May 11
    2:42 pm

  84. I’ll be honest…I’m a POM too!

    Barmy Army! ….wahey!