Graham Norton broke BBC rules by wearing AIDS ribbon

The chat show host flouted the broadcaster's guidelines in order to draw attention to World Aids Day

It has been revealed that Graham Norton broke the BBC’s rules by wearing an AIDS ribbon on his late night chat show at the end of last month.

Norton was told by station bosses “repeatedly” that he was not allowed to wear the World Aids Day red ribbon on The Graham Norton Show – broadcast on November 29 – but decided to anyway, reports The Guardian. BBC bosses have now criticised the host and and his production company So Television for breaching their guidelines.

Mark Linsey, BBC controller of entertainment commissioning, has said of the incident: “World Aids Day is an issue which Graham cares passionately about and he did wear a World Aids Day insignia on his programme. However, this is in breach of BBC guidelines. The production company has been contacted and reminded that he cannot do this and Graham has accepted he was wrong to do so. The BBC has been assured it will not occur again.”

Colin Farrell, Sharon Osbourne, Jeremy Clarkson and Jo Brand were Norton’s guests on the show ahead of the December 1 World Aids Day event and they were allowed to wear the awareness ribbons. A BBC source is quoted by the Guardian as saying: “The whole thing is totally disgraceful – Graham is a well known supporter of Aids charities and there is no way in the world he was not going to wear the ribbon. It means so much to him and is very close to his heart and for the BBC to have a go at him is as unbelievable as it is disgusting. His guests were all allowed to wear ribbons – even Jeremy Clarkson – so if Graham didn’t wear one, can you imagine how he would feel?”