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I'm Spazticus: Channel 4's new prank show
Lewis Whyld.PA Wire
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I'm Spazticus, Channel 4's forthcoming prank show, hasn't even aired yet and already it's landed the broadcaster in hot water.
Hot on the heels of the controversy generated by The Undateables, I'm Spazticus, commissioned to tie in with the London Paralympics, features disabled performers pranking able-bodied members of the public.
However, one of its sketches has been withdrawn after police were called when a blind man groped a model. The disabled man and the model were in on the joke, but students at Southend Adult Community College were unaware they were being pranked.
College principal Stephen Layman said they were "shocked" by the filming.
A Channel 4 spokesman admitted that students didn't see the funny side. "As a gesture of goodwill we won't be broadcasting the footage," the broadcaster has said.
A mix of hidden camera show and mock doc, with a studio-based element, I'm Spazticus will feature a number of recurring characters as well as one-offs.
A pilot, first aired on Channel 4 in 2005, won a Superfest International Disability Award.
The Guardian said of the pilot: "As well as being very funny, it does highlight the fascinating and problematic interface between disabled and able-bodied people... More important, though, is that it's the funniest thing that's been on TV for a long time. Absolutely hilarious".
The National Disability Arts Forum said: "And if disabled people are seen to be doing TV with panache and flair this has got to be an improvement on the usual investigative 55 minutes of misery that is offered up as our lives."
I'm Spazticus airs this summer.
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