Jan 09

BBC3 Suicide Comedy Row

Blake Harrison leads in BBC3's suicide comedy 'Way to Go'

‘Irresponsible’: Blake Harrison leads in BBC3’s suicide comedy ‘Way to Go’

An MP has criticised the BBC for planning to air a situation comedy which treats assisted suicide as a “matter of fun”, reports the Sunday Express.

‘Way To Go’ has three young men building a machine that can kill people. They offer their services for money to those who wish to end their lives.  The show is written by US-based writer Bob Kushell and stars Blake Harrison, Marc Wootton and Ben Heathcote.

But Conservative MP Mark Pritchard has slammed the sitcom, planned to go out on BBC 3 this month. He said: “This is a sensitive and complex issue that should be handled with compassion and understanding.

“It is a sad fact that assisted dying is now regarded a ‘revenue stream’ to some foreign clinics and clearly as a matter of fun by some parts of the BBC.”

In one scene the lever of the machine is pulled to inject a fatal dose. Harrison’s next-door neighbour dies in a matter of seconds.

Later a friend phones from a pub with another client for the assisted suicide machine.

He tells him: “He’s got stomach cancer. How fantastic is that!”

Mark Pritchard MP

Mark Pritchard MP: ‘Sensitive and complex issue’

BBC 3 controller Zai Bennett said: ‘Bob Kushell’s scripts are in turn dark, poignant, absurd, moving and brilliant, but mostly they are very, very funny. I’m thrilled that Way To Go is coming to BBC 3.’

Comedy producer Jon Plowman, responsible for shows such as The Office and Little Britain, said: ‘Way To Go is a show about a current and difficult issue but it treats its serious subject in the same way that Arsenic And Old Lace dealt with old lady poisoners or Kind Hearts And Coronets dealt with aristocratic murders.’

Government figures show that three-quarters of suicides in the UK are by men with those aged 30-39 at highest risk of suicide, followed by men aged 40-49.

However, teenage suicide is a serious and growing problem.  Suicide is the second most common cause of death in people aged 15-24, behind accidental death.

Concerns have repeatedly been raised about websites promoting suicide and self-harm not least as reported in both the Daily Telegraph and the Independent.  The latter reported on new research carried out by the charity ‘Beat Bullying’ which, it said, ‘revealed that websites encouraging suicide and self-harm topped a list of teenagers’ greatest worries about the internet. The findings have raised fears that growing numbers of young people are becoming vulnerable to the messages being put out by such sites.’

Tallulah Wilson committed suicide in a copy of

Tallulah Wilson committed suicide on the railway in a copy of that of fellow-fifteen-year-old Rosie Whitaker.

The death of Tallulah Wilson, who committed suicide last year aged just 15, prompted calls for such websites to be banned.

The Telegraph reported: ‘Tallulah had also dedicated her Twitter account to Rosie Whitaker, also 15, who apparently threw herself in front of a train at Beckenham Junction station in south-east London in June after becoming “heavily influenced” by suicide websites.’

In Bridgend, a spate of teenage suicides prompted Phillip Walters, the coroner, to investigate social media websites which were heavily implicated in the deaths.  The coroner said: ‘I shall be looking at these networking sites myself to see if there is a link between them and the growing number of youngsters committing suicide.’  Bridgend MP Madeleine Moon described the deaths as ‘tragic’.

Stephen Green, National Director of Christian Voice, said today:

‘Amidst a growing cult of suicide among young people, BBC3 thinks it is appropriate to screen a comedy making light of suicide, in which the protagonists are those from exactly the most vulnerable demographic.  The comparison with 1940s film comedies is false.  There are not legions of old ladies about to be prompted to become serial killers.  But there are hundreds if not thousands of vulnerable teenagers.

‘Making suicide funny makes it acceptable.  BBC3 is reinforcing the message of the suicide websites.  ‘Irresponsible’ hardly conveys the enormity of it.  If their programme results in just one suicide of a troubled young person, BBC3 controller Zai Bennett and new Director General Tony Hall will have blood on their hands.’


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  1. John Lillywhite

    Just the BBC, and the rest of the so-called TV Industry continuing to scrape a well scraped Barrel Bottom

  2. Barry Duke

    Curious, is it not, Mr Green, that you neglected to mention the high rates of suicides among the young caused by homophobic bullying, an activity you’ve devoted much of you life to: See:


    1. Stephen

      No-one quoted in the article mentioned any of the various forms bullying can take.

      But certainly, name-calling of any sort is deplorable, and casting aspersions on the sexual persuasion of young people growing up is despicable. To be accused of something you are not, maybe because a boy is not as sporting as others, or a girl holds another girl’s hand, is deeply wounding.

      Of course, all those claiming to reduce homophobic bullying actually increase it by talking the subject up and giving the bullies another weapon. People like Ian McKellen and the rest of the homosexual industry are part of the problem here, not remotely part of the solution.

      1. Bob

        Hey Stephen

        I want to thank you for having the fair-mindedness to publish Mr Duke’s comments. He wants to make comments on the blogs of Christians but he doesn’t show the same courtesy to Christians who want to make comments on his “Freethinker” blog. He has banned me from making comments on his blog because he cannot abide anyone who disagrees with his militant atheism.

        I have been praying for Mr Duke – he needs Jesus in his life to clean him up and give him eternal life.

        1. Paul Cook

          Bob I sometimes look at their web site. I can’t agree with you they ban writing. Did you write something hurtful or rude? i pray not.

          If they ban things then it’s not free is it. I see things from a Christian Ken and Scott and others on there. They seem to tie them up in knots but they don’t ban anyone. Even freethinkers that are rude are criticised.

          1. Bob

            Reply to Paul Cook: I atempted to engage Mr Duke and his companions in discussions on the Christian faith but they are not interested in reasoned discussion, all they want to do is ridicule and subject Christians to vile abuse.

            However, I do not bear them a grudge, on the contrary I am praying for them that God would be pleased to open their eyes.


  3. Paul Cook

    Being hurt, feeling hurt, being alone, feeling alone, being depressed, feeling depressed are not always articles of fun. Perhaps sometimes they can lead vulnerable people to take their lives due to utter despair.

    Bullying people for what they do – and no one has the right to say what is right and what is not – is inhumane and is not part of what we should be.

  4. Neville Ward

    “no one has the right to say what is right and what is not”

    Is it not hypricital to write that; when at the same time you write that “bullying people for what they do — is INHUMANE AND NOT PART OF WHAT WE SHOULD BE”.

    If we have no right (and responsibility) to do say what is right and what is not, then we are no better than animals.
    We have been made in God’s image. He has given us all a concience and he has given us clear guidence of what he regards as right and wrong. If we reject that; then we will have to face his condemnation.
    That is not to say that I condone bulling, but God’s word commands us to “speak the truth in love”.

  5. Barry Duke

    Bob, only one Christian has ever been banned from the FT blog: you. And we explained in depth as to why that decision was taken:

  6. Paul Cook


    how can you be banned if you say you haven’t written anything bad.

    You first said this:
    “He has banned me from making comments on his blog because he cannot abide anyone who disagrees with his militant atheism.”

    If that’s the case then you are free to engage him.
    But in your reply to me you said “all they want to do is ridicule and subject Christians to vile abuse.”
    You should write. Don’t be afraid.
    We all have every right to be treated with respect. Just because someone doesn’t like what we say doesn’t mean we cannot say it.

  7. Barry Duke

    Bob has been the only person ever to have been barred from commenting on the FT site, and that is because he is a serial troll. Whatever the subject was, Bob responded not with informed argument, but by parroting meaningless stock phrases. These enraged readers, disrupted threads, and led to people using extremely foul language against him. Here is a selection of his comments:

    • You MUST repent. If you don’t repent then Hellfire awaits you when you die.

    • Hello there – you really must repent of your unbelief and accept Jesus as your Lord and Saviour.

    * Gay activities are sinful and they need to repent.

    • The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah is not a myth, that event actually happened.

    • Oh dear, you people are so cynical, so full of hate and bitterness! You need Jesus in your lives.

    • Creationists are on the move; we will not be silenced!

    • Creationists are on the march – we will prevail!

    • Creationism is the truth. Evolution is evil-lution.

    Reasonable discussion? These comments are as distant from an adult discourse as it’s possible to get, and suggests that Bob, who has been chucked off many other sites for posting the same irritating and meaningless rubbish, is completely incapable of engaging in any meaningful dialogue. He is a very sad little man, and deeply in need of psychiatric help.

    1. Stephen

      I believe it was the Stalinists, wasn’t it, who first invented the idea that anyone who disagreed with their point of view must be mentally ill?
      And, to be fair, it doesn’t take much to get people on the Freethinker website to use foul language. The columns are peppered with profanities.

      1. reverend61

        That’s probably true, Stephen, but I think it misses the point. I don’t think that Bob’s ban is necessarily connected with his viewpoint – just the manner in which he chooses to express that viewpoint. The stereotype is that rationality is reserved for the mindset of the non-believer, but you and I both know that’s not true – there are Christians who can be rational, polite and reasoned, just as there can be stupid atheists. It sounds to me like Bob means what he says – and that’s fine – but is incapable of being sensible, and there is no place for someone like that in an online forum.

        1. Stephen

          I thought he expressed his point of view sensibly if trenchantly in the examples given. There was old-style evangelism as well. An atheist with real freedom to think would have accepted it as all good knock-about stuff and indeed rather mild compared with the belligerent tone of the ‘FreeThinker’ comment columns.

          But in the end, the ‘FreeThinker’ exists to promote atheism and Barry Duke is entitled to publish who he wants.

          We have gone down a bit of a backwater here. The article was about the demerits of a comedy programme about assisted suicide and its likely impact on vulnerable young people.

  8. Jane

    Good Evening,

    Thank you so much for publishing this artlcle. It is very serious and DARK. This is no accident but rather a plan put together to NORMALISE and justify the killing and murder. YOU are paying the BBC, who are telling you through the TELL LIE VISION to kill your fellow man. Jesus asks us to LOVE our neighbours. Satan has been very busy gathering his little helpers. Below is a brilliant video about the sucide cases in South Wales with connections to a subversive organisation called Common Purpose – change agents. I do hope you all get a chance to listen to this very important information and research that Tim Rogers has/is exposing in S.Wales.


    Here is an article on the account of a brave man Brian Gerrish, who went to South Wales to talk to the community about the suicides of the young children. The reception he received by labour MP Sian James exposes her backward mentality and deliberate attempt to cover up the truth.

    Labour MP Sian James And Her Thugs Try To Hide Causes Of South Wales Suicides

    Labour MP Sian James employed an intimidating mob to try and frighten off those attending my Swansea talk on causes of suicides in young people in South Wales. Police and Swansea Local Council attempted to close the venue. Why?

    More Here

  1. Suicides rise in 2011 as BBC3 makes fun » Christian Voice UK

    […] BBC3 is set to screen a comedy about assisted suicide next month. For those who have lost loved ones, suicide is anything but funny.  Christian Voice is among those pleading with BBC3 controller Zai Bennett, to drop the show.  Alarm has also been raised about websites promoting suicide viewed by young people. […]

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    […] BBC3 Suicide Comedy Row […]

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