Songs banned by the BBC for the strangest of reasons


For  The BBC  songs have been considered unbroadcastable for countless reasons.Here’s some banned by.

Sources By Jeremy Allenders (BBC) and (BF) and other BBC staff Though offen have frequently breached rules on religious grounds, and because of drug references, profanity and attacks on the monarchy.


Written by singer Ray Davies, Lola is about a relationship between a man and a “woman” who turns out to be a transvestite.

 But it wasn’t this gender confusion that worried the BBC. The song was banned for including the words “coca-cola” which was against their policy on product placement.Davies had to interrupt the band’s American tour to fly back to London to re-record the lyric as “cherry-cola” for the single release.

Shirley Bassey – Burn My Candle

This was Welsh singer Shirley Bassey’s debut song when she was just 19 years old. However the word “sex” in the lyrics was considered too salacious and the song was banned by the BBC.This initial set back didn’t do Shirley any harm: she’s went to sell more that 135 million records over seven decades.

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My Generation – The Who

Reason for banning: Possibly offensive to stutterers

Like The Smiths’ How Soon Is Now? in the 80s and Pulp’s Common People in the 90s, My Generation is a song that captures the youthful zeitgeist of its time and has become indelibly linked with the era that made it famous. The Who‘s turbocharged hit was the sound of mid-60s rebellion, and it was so dangerous the BBC decided to ban it.

The Sex Pistols – Anarchy In The UK

George Michael – I Want Your Sex

This was George Michael’s first solo single after splitting from school pal Andrew Ridgeley, the other half of pop duo Wham. At the time it was one of the few songs to include the word ‘sex’ in the title and the BBC restricted play of the song and video for being overtly sexually suggestive.

Space Oddity – David Bowie

Reason for banning: Astronauts on dangerous mission

Longtime David Bowie producer and “principled hippy” Tony Visconti passed over the chance to produce Space Oddity because at the time he said it was a “cheap shot”, recorded in order to get some publicity when the Apollo 11 mission was in the news in 1969  – the BBC refused to play it until Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins had landed safely back down to earth.

Blondie – Atomic

This was one of 67 songs deemed unsuitable for broadcast by the BBC during the first Gulf War.Boom-Bang-a-Bang by Lulu, Bang Bang by BA Robertson and Cher’s Bang Bang (My Baby Shot me Down) were among the explosive sounding songs on the list.Maria Muldaur’s 1974 hit, Midnight at the Oasis, was also considered potentially offensive, along with I’ll Fly for You by Spandau Ballet and Everybody Wants to Rule the World by Tears for Fears.

The Beatles – ‘Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds’

Supposedly inspired by a nursery school painting from John Lennon’s son Julian, the Beeb’s reaction to The Beatles’ ode to lysergic acid diethylamide was yet another example  of the corporation’s lack to understanding when it came to contemporary youth culture.


Ian Dury and The Blockheads – Spasticus Autisticus

Ian Dury wrote this song as a protest against the International Year of Disabled Persons. As a polio sufferer he found this label patronising.

The BBC denied the song airplay, citing that the lyrics: “I wibble when I piddle ‘cos my middle is a riddle” were offensive.


Songs of a sexual nature, such as Relax by Frankie Goes to Hollywood, have benefitted in no uncertain measure to their censure, shooting up to No.1, but what about the times where a song has been cast aside and the reason is just plain weird? Here are eight songs that didn’t pass muster for what now seems like the most arbitrary of reasons.



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