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I really like Jonathan Ross. I think he’s a funny, interesting, kind person, and an excellent interviewer. I also really like his wife… But let’s not get back into that.

Jonathan and his wonderful producer, Suzi, have been incredibly supportive of me and so when they asked me to write a song for their pre-Christmas show, I didn’t hesitate. It was the worst possible time to be writing a new song – I’ve been overworked and ill, was on tour, and was really feeling the stress. But I wasn’t going to say no… it’s Jonathan Ross! And my fellow guests were to be Tom Cruise, the divine actors from Downton Abbey, and the ace Inbetweeners boys.

So I got to writing. Being Christmas, I thought it would be fun to do a song about Jesus, but being TV, I knew it would have to be gentle. The idea was to compare him to Woody Allen (short, Jewish, philosophical, a bit hesitant), and expand into redefining his other alleged attributes using modern, popular-culture terminology.

It’s not a particularly original idea, I admit, but it’s quite cute. It’s certainly not very contentious, but even so, compliance people and producers and lawyers all checked my lyrics long before the cameras rolled. As always with these bespoke writing jobs, I was really stressed for about 3 days, and almost chucked it in the bin 5 times, and freaked out that it wasn’t funny and all that boring shit that people like me go through when we’re lucky enough to have with a big audience with high expectations. And if I’m honest, it ain’t a world-changing bit of comedy. Regardless…

On Tuesday night last week, we taped the show. I met Tom (he’s nice and quite laid-back off camera, and not very short) and the divine Downton ladies (swoon) and the lovely Inbetweeners chaps (yay) and I did my song and everyone laughed and Tom said it was great and when it was done I ran off set onto the back of a waiting motorbike, got from South Bank to the Hammersmith Apollo in 13 minutes, walked into the building, straight on to stage to sing White Wine in the Sun with Professor Brian Cox. Rock n roll.

Subsequently, Suzi and her team edited the show and everybody was happy. Suzi felt it had a nice balance of big-ticket celeb action, local talent, and a nice bit of that cheeky, iconoclastic spirit for which Jonathan is known and widely loved.

And then someone got nervous and sent the tape to ITV’s director of television, Peter Fincham.

And Peter Fincham demanded that I be cut from the show.

He did this because he’s scared of the ranty, shit-stirring, right-wing press, and of the small minority of Brits who believe they have a right to go through life protected from anything that challenges them in any way.

Yesterday I wrote a big rant about comedy and risk and conservatism; about the fact that my joke has no victim; about sacredness (oh God, not again!) and about the importance of laughing at dumb but pervasive ideas. But I trashed it because it’s boring and takes it all too seriously. It’s hardly the end of the world.

But I have to admit I’m really fucking disappointed.

It’s 2011. The appropriate reaction to people who think Jesus is a supernatural being is mild embarrassment, sighing tolerance and patient education.

And anger when they’re being bigots.

Oh, and satire. There’s always satire.

Anywaaaaaaaaaay… the fun news is that I already had the footage of the song when they cut it. Yay. And so you can decide for yourself how offensive it is! Yippee.

Oh, and although I can’t think why anyone would have a problem with me posting this (Peter has covered his arse, the protection of which he is rather nervous about) but I suppose you lovely tech-geeks might want to grab a copy or mirror it, just in case I get asked to take it down.

I hope you enjoy my silly, harmless, accurate song of praise, “Woody Allen Jesus”.

And I hope you all have wonderful Christmases.

BONUS MATERIAL IF YOU’RE NOT BORED OF ME BEING OPINIONATED YET

Below is a column I wrote for the latest edition of the New Statesman, which was guest edited by our greatest living evolutionary biologist, Richard Dawkins. It is about my daughter and Santa and belief. I hope you enjoy.

In the lead-up to last Christmas, when my daughter Violet had just turned four, she looked me in the eye and asked, “Is Father Christmas real?”

This was a problem for me. I had up until this point convinced myself that telling my kid a lie about the origins of her scooter was part and parcel of parenting – that denying a child the idea of Santa would be Scroogian in the extreme.

The trouble is, I have no memory of believing in the physics-defying fatty myself. One of our classic Minchin family tales is of Christmas eve 1978, when I was 3 myself, and my mum asked me in an excited voice, “Who’s coming down the chimney tonight?!” To which I replied, after a brow-creased pause, “Gran?”

(It is also part of Minchin lore that I was a very boring and quite dim kid.)

Regardless, our Violet had seemed quite excited the previous year when we had left a mince pie and a beer by the blocked-up chimney (Violet: But there’s no hole, how will he get down? Me: That’s the least of his worries…), and I’d felt great when she’d squealed with glee at five in the (fucking) morning upon discovering the comestibles had been consumed and that a reindeer had left hoof-prints in the icing sugar by the piano.

But now something in the assertion of the existence of this bearded philanthropist had given her pause, so she’d come to me for clarification. I wasn’t surprised – earlier in the year I’d overheard a conversation she’d had with her friend Alice as they sat by a lake in a playground in Melbourne:

Violet: If you fell in there, you’d die.
Alice: Someone would come and pull you out.
Violet: Yeah, but if the grown-ups weren’t around, you’d die.
Alice: (Pause) When you die, you go somewhere lovely.
Violet: But how would you know it’s lovely? You wouldn’t have your eyes and ears.

… an incomplete but still pretty damning analysis of the infantile idea that we (to quote my editor) survive our own deaths.

She’s always been obsessed by what is “real”. Figuring out what truly exists seems to be the way she deals with her fears. Most of the time when she asks if something is real, she’s hoping it’s not; trolls, dragons, witches have all been happily relegated to the fiction bin, and she sleeps pretty well in the knowledge that they’re not going to crawl back out and attack her in her bed.

And so I face a dilemma: I had sold her the myth of Father Christmas in the spirit of allowing a child her sense of wonderment, but I felt that lying to her face when she asked me point blank about the veracity of my claims was a step too far. I fumbled around a bit before opting for:

“Father Christmas is real… in the imaginary world.”

This didn’t really satisfy her, and nor should it have. Like so much language in theology and philosophy, that sentence has the odour of wisdom, but is a load of old bollocks. Quite nice as a phrase, but pure sophistry, like a lot of the stuff I say on stage, and like nearly everything religious apologists have ever said. It is the stuff of obfuscation – words to divert, like the passive hand of the magician – not the clarification Vi was seeking.

But I think it was the right answer. She went along with the story last year and I reckon she will again this year. By offering her the paradoxical notion of a non-real real, I allowed her the opportunity to just “go with it”, and hopefully she’ll happily do so until her friends find out it’s a myth, at which point she can quietly slip back into knowing what she suspected all along. There’ll be no crushing blow of revelation seven.

Weirdly, I have felt no compulsion to obscure answers to the more serious questions. Vi was very young when she asked what happens when you die, and I told her, “You just stop”. I see no problem at all with that answer. Not only is it demonstrably true, but it also has the wondrous quality of not eliciting a whole lot of further annoying questions.

I was asked recently how I reconcile my reputation for promoting a naturalistic world-view with the fact that I have co-written “Matilda” – a musical based on a Roald Dahl story about a girl who is preternaturally gifted and, eventually, telekinetic.

What an odd question. Do people really think that living a life unencumbered by superstition necessitates the rejection of fiction?

I adore stories. Our version of “Matilda”, even more so than the original Dahl, is a story about stories. About the importance of imagination, and of fiction’s ability not only to educate and enlighten us, but to free us; to set our minds soaring beyond reality.

My daughter will grow up reading stories, and I hope she will have a rich and lifelong relationship with the imaginary. But I will not try to train her out of her clear instinct to define for herself what is real.

I adore Christmas. The fact that I know that Christianity’s origins lie more in Paul of Tarsus’s mental illness and Emperor Constantine’s political savvy than in the existence of the divine has no bearing on my ability to enjoy this age-old festival of giving, family, and feasting.

Our lives would be empty without stories, and the story of this Jesus character is quite a nice one. One that – in theory, and sometimes even in practise – promotes compassion and humility and wisdom and peace.

Jesus is real… in the imaginary world. A five year old could tell you that.

903 Comments

Chris on 22nd of December 2011

Having just lost a true pioneer in the atheist movement, it heartens me to know we still have public figures who are still prepared to fight ignorance. Never stop.

Lesley Cowin on 22nd of December 2011

I thought the song was very clever and very funny. I deplore the cowardice shown by ITV and hope they reverse the decision. Only idiots would consider this song would cause offence, because only those with a sense of humour deficiency would be offended.

Chris Boyle on 22nd of December 2011

Haven’t spent a fair bit of dosh on Tim and his work over the time since I discovered him, I feel chagrined that my free Tim is denied me. The fact that banal TV is considered better than anything vaguely challenging is somehow so much more disturbing. You wouldn’t ask the populace to restrict it’s diet to nothing but brown bread, and entertainment shouldn’t be any different.

Vive la revolution!

Simon on 22nd of December 2011

What a joke, I find it quite laughable that this song be deemed inappropriate or offensive. Its a lighthearted, and realy quite mild, JOKE people! The stupidity of some people. I know for a fact that all my christian friends would find this song to be funny and have the intelligence to realise that it is not an attack on their faith. Smells like censorship to me… Nice work Tim, you funny, intelligent fucker. And merry Xmas.

Karen on 22nd of December 2011

I have to say I’m very disappointed with this. What century are we in?! It’s just typical of some bigwit deciding what we can and can’t watch. I see there are some comments here from Christians who aren’t at all offended, so what exactly is the problem? I guess most Daily Mail readers will be happy, though..

The good thing is that it will now get a lot more airplay via the internet. Tim, you were great at Uncaged Monkeys. Keep up the good work!

Aaron West on 22nd of December 2011

Love your work Tim, bloody awful decisions made by ITV

The Grumpy Scotsman on 22nd of December 2011

As always, a great Minchin composition. Well written, well played, and very funny. It’s a damn shame that Peter Fincham doesn’t have any active brain cells or a sense of humour /-:

Andy Lewin on 22nd of December 2011

What a bunch of fucking idiots at the ITV. There is nothing wrong with anything in the song apart from it has common logic in there. Possibly something the ITV execs lack. Really gutted for you Tim, it is a great tune and very funny. I agree with Munch and shall send a letter of complaint to the fucking idiots.

Emma Geraln on 22nd of December 2011

Sadly the blinkered idiots still have a lot of power. We just need to keep plugging away with reality.

Ada B on 22nd of December 2011

I got a reply from ITV within an hour:
“Thank you for your email regarding THE JONATHAN ROSS SHOW

We often make changes to programmes before transmission and on this occasion we felt that the song didn’t quite work editorially,

May I take this opportunity to thank you for taking the time to contact us here at ITV.

Kind regards

Pat
ITV Viewer Services”

Lou Mason on 22nd of December 2011

Well said Lloyd! I think your comment

http://www.timminchin.com/2011/12/22/im-not-on-the-jonathan-ross-show/comment-page-5/#comment-340406

sums things up exactly!

twobob on 22nd of December 2011

Anti-Faith songs at Christmas.

Somehow genius, somewhat destined to the cutting room floor

Unlucky, Australian Long-haired funny-man virtuoso Jesus.
Great playing.

Nic on 22nd of December 2011

Great song Tim. At least some of us got to see it. No wonder you are pissed off about the whole thing. People can turn things off if they don’t like it and it’s not even offensive. I’ve seen you live so I know you can be more offensive than that :-) Merry Christmas to you and your family

Astret on 22nd of December 2011

I’m really annoyed that ITV has pulled your content, Tim. I certainly will be channel hopping when JR is on.
Just a thought about how you responded to your daughter’s question about death, Santa, etc. And this is mostly because I think Richard Dawkins has some great points but goes a bit far into encouraging blind faith in science. Try suggesting that we don’t know until we try, and some things we can’t try, and we just have to take a guess.
So, what happens when we die? I don’t know, I haven’t done it. I’ve known other people who do, their bodies stop working, they become just meat and bones. But what it feels like for them? Maybe it is like a lovely dream of heaven, or a terrible experience. I hope the first and not the second.
And as for Santa, we could stay up and try to catch him, but like Shrodinger’s cat, once we look, that affects the observation. A great opportunity to introduce some of the more exciting principles of physics.

ross keogh on 22nd of December 2011

like everything you do,an hilarious work of art for us peasants lord to enjoy!!haha u the dogs bollocks-thats a good thing.cant wait to get the chance to see you live sometime.

Vicky on 22nd of December 2011

Loved it! Can’t understand why people have to be so overcautious about every bloody thing… …it’s not like there’s anything to damn them in the non-afterlife!
Have a wonderful Christmas Tim. Thank you for giving us all some of the biggest belly laughs of the last few years, long may you continue.
Incidentally, the best memory I have of you this year wasn’t a giggle at all; it was the truly beautiful half hour recital before the Plymouth show the other week.
Peace to you and yours x

Henry on 22nd of December 2011

Someone clearly has too much starch in his shorts. It’s not a praise song, but it can clearly be taken as pro-Jesus — and it’s very witty and intelligent as well. You had other scriptural choices that could have led you to a Jerry Springer Donald Trump cannibal Jesus, but you went with the happy, positive stuff instead. Bummer.

Regarding Christmas, I say the same thing to my kids for Santa as I do for ghosts, vampires, and Jesus — “People like to tell fun stories about that.”

Thomas54 on 22nd of December 2011

A brilliant piece of poetic musical humour. Tim Minchin *is* the Man.

Disgraceful that PC idjuts at ITV deemed it inappropriate.

Watched it six times so far on YT. Great to see so many mirrors.

Ana Morphic on 22nd of December 2011

I LOVE your song writing – and I think that this song was indeed witty and funny, but silly and not to be taken seriously. Doesn’t that ring true for all of your comedy though? I have been following you online/on telly for ages, and I think anyone who has heard of you know you are not interested in offending people on telly. However, *fuck the pope* was one of your best!! :) (that’s why sticking it online works best)

I just wonder WHAT went through Peter DickFaces head when he *made the decision*… weird. Keep up the good work Tim – we love ya. xx

Bandwagon on 22nd of December 2011

Before, during and after the J Ross show I reckon we should all make a ‘complaint’ to ITV about it’s content, presentation, colour of the carpet etc anything random – after all, you don’t have to actually watch or hear something these days to complain about it & that complaint to be taken seriously, do you?!

Ian on 22nd of December 2011

Tim. Bloody brilliant song… I have added “1” to the number of complaints….

Dear Mike

(If it’s still Mike. If your shift has ended or ITV has drafted in further Christmas elves to cope with a large number of complaints, then “Dear whomsoever…”

I wish to register my complaint, and my disappointment, that ITV (seemingly Peter Fincham himself) has cut Tim Minchin’s song from the Jonathan Ross Christmas Special.

Tim is (or was) undoubtedly the most creative and talented of the guests and while I might have watched for Tom Cruise (going to see MI4 after Christmas and you may be showing a clip) or the Downton Abbey women (*please see separate postscript complaint below), I would have definitely watched for Tim Minchin.

Now I won’t bother.

I suspect, as Tim says on his blog, that you might have got several thousand complaints about his song had it been broadcast. I sincerely hope you get thousands more that it isn’t.

Christians (and those who are Christians at Christmas) don’t watch a Jonathan Ross Christmas Special to celebrate His birth (that of Jesus, not Jonathan) or to have their faith reaffirmed. They watch Christmas Songs of Praise and “Carols from (insert big city) Cathedral” for that.

Christians who watch Jonathan Ross know exactly what they are getting and wouldn’t, I surmise, be offended, on the whole. Non-Christians who watch Jonathan Ross, I suspect, comprise the majority of his audience.

The song is bloody funny and has a bit of reckless edge. Something which I wish ITV still had.

I look forward to my cut’n’paste reply.

Yours sincerely, etc

*PS Will someone tell the makers of Downton Abbey that Highclere Castle is in Hampshire, not Berkshire. They might update the end credits then…

Stephanie on 22nd of December 2011

I laughed until I cried. Then I got pissed with you Tim! You really hit the nail on the head with “ranty, shit-stirring, right-wing press, and of the small minority of [Brits] who believe they have a right to go through life protected from anything that challenges them in any way”. You can take out “Brits” and put in “people”. It’s the same here in the US and I imagine, everywhere. Who cares if they are offended? Let them be. Maybe it will make them think for themselves for the first time in their lives and work it out. Why do Christians, or any religious people, think they deserve to have their fantasy protected from criticism? And don’t say they don’t do any harm. There’s been plenty of harm done in the name of religion. It their beliefs are that fragile then they really need the challenge.

What you do Tim, is to be admired. You are my “Jesus” in that you spread important ideas using the big voice fame has afforded you. Comedy has never had the respect it deserves. You never see a comedy win an Oscar. Nobody offers you a Noble Prize for making the world a better place by making people laugh and think about the carnage of human suffering religion inflicts at the same time. But they should. Tim, you deserve that level of respect and acknowledgment. Comedy is a wonderful medium for getting contentious subjects talked about. Woody Allen did the same thing for many. George Carlin did it for me and I am forever grateful to him for it. I had always been an atheist growing up, but I didn’t really know why until he pointed it out to me. He made it ok for me to challenge all the crap my parents told me to believe but didn’t follow one little bit in their actions. I guess I was lucky to have total hypocrites for parents. It makes it a lot easier to see religion’s hypocrisy.

Tim, you have all of my love and respect. I’ll be writing a letter to the Jonathan Ross show about this. Don’t know if they care what Americans think about it, but I bet they do. Thank you Tim, for doing what you do. It’s not just silly funny stuff. It’s important work to be proud of. I’ve only given the world three more atheists. Think how many you have!

Holly on 22nd of December 2011

What a great performance! Really funny and I honestly don’t see how ITV could even begin to worry about getting a lot of complaints for it tbh :s Especially on a show like Jonathan’s.

Anyways I’ve sent an email of complaint in – Peter Fincham needs to grow a pair, honestly.

Jordan on 22nd of December 2011

Lets keep the pressure up on Twitter – suggested Tweet below! – spread far and wide!

@wossy @itv What do we want? #woodyallenjesus When do we want it? ITV1 23-Dec #timminchin (RETWEET!) youtu.be/_SFdUJLebzU

Lloyd on 22nd of December 2011

I just wrote this to ITV:

————————————

Dear ITV,

It has been brought to my attention that those in control of what may
or may not be broadcast ion ITV have decided that they should not
broadcast Tim Minchin’s singing a comedy song about Jesus on the
Jonathan Ross show this week. This is a very bad decision.

It is a bad decision for several reasons.

First, it is against the grain of the show itself. Viewers who choose
to tune in to Jonathan Ross do so knowing full well that it is a show
that will contain swearing of several sorts, including blasphemy, and
copious references to matters sexual, contentious, and ‘edgy’. Mr
Ross clearly prides himself on his ability to swear on television, and
make risqué jokes, and the show greatly benefits from the constant
feeling that anything might be said next. This feeling will be
considerably lessened when it becomes widely known that the show is
censored. Not only will this week’s show be harmed as a result of
this censorship, but all subsequent ones.

Second, it is unjustified. The song is not offensive to any sane
person. The song at no point advocates hatred or violence to be done
to Christians, nor does it criticise the person of Jesus. It is a
happy, silly, song which likens Jesus to various modern characters,
almost all of them virtuous or even heroic, No outrage it expressed
by the people in the studio during the recording. I am an atheist,
and would doubtless be offended by things said on various Christian
channels, or from the pulpits of local churches, but I choose not to
go to those churches nor watch those channels, and even if I did
encounter those expressed views, I would accept them as personal
opinions directed at an audience other than me. The song repeatedly
calls for Jesus to be praised, and goes along with the Christian
mythology of the bible. It might be interpreted as a sly satirical
swipe at some of the beliefs associated with Christianity, but that
would be for the listener to decide.

Third, the decision to censor is insulting to Christians. It suggests
that they are of such weak character and slow intellect, that they
would fail to spot that the song is harmless, and would either
collapse in tears or fly into a rage. It further suggests that
Christians are people to be feared because they might take violent
action in retaliation for this comedy song. At present, there is no
great threat of Christian terrorism in Britain, but actions like ITV’s
might put the idea into the head of a very stupid person.

Fourth, it is insulting to non-Christians, because it suggests that
they are an audience not to be catered for, that having non-Christian
beliefs is somehow offensive, that they have no right to express
themselves in public even in such overtly gentle ways, and that there
is something inherently upsetting about people who might think for
themselves and question established traditions.

Fifth, it is self-defeating. As a result of this censorship, more
people will end up both watching the footage, and being offended by
it. It will put the footage into new realms: that of the
easily-offended Christian person who revels in outrage, trying to find
out what all the fuss is about, and finding a way to be offended by
it, who would never normally watch the Jonathan Ross show; and the
realm of people like me, who might otherwise have missed it entirely.
You supposedly sought to avoid offence, but instead you have more than
doubled it. Now you have offended people like me who like Tim
Minchin, who like atheism and rational thought, and who value freedom
of speech very highly. This song, had it been broadcast, would have
scarcely caused a ripple. Now it will cause a wave. Where did I see
it? On the world wide web, of course.

Sixth, it is unprofessional. Tim Minchin is a star with a loyal and
avid following. The Jonathan Ross show is a major outlet for such
stars, particularly those that are a bit ‘edgy’. If you commission a
song from such a star, and then refuse to air it, you will lower the
chances that that star or others like him will in the future honour
the show by tailoring material for it. The show will more seldom air
unique material, and will be the lesser for it.

Seventh, it is cowardly. Fear seems to be behind this decision, but
fear of what, exactly? Of rampaging pitchfork-wielding Anglicans?
This seems unlikely. Of a law suit? From whom, and what would be the
case? Of Moslems? This song is about Jesus, and although he is
recognised as a prophet of God by Moslems, I know of no precedent of
Moslems’ getting violent or expensively litigious regarding very small
slights to Jesus. Indeed, to show fear of Moslems in this way is an
insult to the majority of Moslems who are law-abiding and moderate.
One of your greatest fears is presumably of low audience figures.
This decision will lower your audience figures certainly, because all
those who love Tim Minchin will stay away, and those who enjoy the
carefree rudery of the Jonathan Ross show will be disappointed. No
one will be tuning in to see what the fuss was about, because you will
have removed the thing that the fuss was supposedly about. On the
plus side, you will get people watching the show who would not
otherwise have done, because they had heard that the offensive Tim
Minchin was going to be on the show, and generally found the show to
be a bit edgy for them, but now that they have heard that Tim Minchin
has been censored, and that the show is very slightly less rude,
they’ve decided to give it a go. I doubt that there are many of this
last category.

Eighth, it is morally wrong. The freedom of speech is something worth
preserving for itself. As a major broadcaster, ITV has to play its
role. In the long run, there is moral hazard in enacting arbitrary
authoritarian censorship. All ideas, sensible and ridiculous, should
be held up in public to scrutiny.

There is yet time for you to reverse this decision. When you see that
you have done something wrong, it is a sign of wisdom to change your
mind. It is weakness to keep to the same path in order to save face.
It is also ineffective, because you will end up looking much more
ridiculous. Let Tim sing his silly song on Jonathan’s show.

Yours faithfully,

Nikolas Lloyd

P.S. If you do see sense and allow this benign song to be broadcast on
your channel, you might like to add a subtitle correcting the lyric in
the song which suggests that Schroedinger’s cat was in more than one
place at once, which is of course a perversion of physics theory,
which could corrupt the viewers’ grip on reality.

Victor on 22nd of December 2011

I love the song – hope you will include it in your future shows.

It always baffles me as to why the people who get all upset about making fun out of the J guy don’t seen to mind the huge corporate companies who take the piss out of his birthday (Christmas) by trying to sell you loads of crap at this time of year. Oh well, I suppose that’s bigotry?

As for the ITV – man up, you’re a huge TV company. Other large media organisations have gotten away with a lot more than a bit of light hearted ‘blasphemy’

Barbara Zimet on 22nd of December 2011

The following is what I wrote;

To whom it may concern;

It is amazing to me that in a country that is really not as interested in religion compared to say the United States, that you would actually cut Tim’s performance. Having had the pleasure of seeing this performance in question and being what I consider a rather intelligent human being, I don’t get it. There are other songs that Tim has written that had he performed I would understand could cause grief, not this one.

Considering he was asked to write a new piece, while he was touring and doing a load of other things, and it is also my understanding ran it by the lawyers to see if there were issues, and there were no legal issues, and showed up, did the performance and then you cut it. Wrong on more levels then can be counted in my opinion.

If it were maybe 20 years ago I would get it. I don’t in 2011, perhaps you will be kind enough to explain to me the reason behind this.

Although maybe I should thank you, for it not for all this controversy I would not know about this wonderful song and would have waited longer to hear it.

Thank you for your time and attention this issue.

Regards,

Barbara Zimet

Siobhan on 22nd of December 2011

Happy Christmas to you too, Tim!

Thanks for writing a very funny, INoffensive, and really rathe ACCURATE Christmas song. It made me chuckle, and think about drawing a modern representation of Jesus, because now we have better metephors to show all the crazy stuff he did, not just you know … height and light and … lambs and lions and stuff. A modern portrait would be way more action packed than anything Rembrandt ever did.

Ali Handscomb on 22nd of December 2011

I have rung ITV and complained on their facebook page. They were ridiculously snotty and said the “content wasnt felt to be right for the show”. What a load of bollocks. I hope loads of people complain. I am an atheist and proud. Love you Tim.

Woodyallen,magic,jesus... on 22nd of December 2011

Great song from you – pathetic response from ITV. So glad you made it from that recording over to Hammersmith Apollo – thank you soooo much for duetting with Ed Sheeran (awesome suprise!) and the quite surreal finale of ‘white wine in the sun’ accompanied by Prof. Cox on keyboard – follow your D-Ream and ‘things can only get better’. (if you can think of that without the image of Tony Blair’s election campaign, that would be good!!)

Alconcalcia on 22nd of December 2011

As I just tweeted, with the news about Tim Minchin and the furore over Alan Hansen’s innocent slip up I worry that we have censored ourselves into a corner

Chris on 22nd of December 2011

So angry about the low-brained thinking of 21st century suits, but so so happy you’re doing what you are doing. And the song was in your own unique vein of genius musical comedy.
As for the second part, sad that in Christopher Hitchens we lost probably the greatest modern separater of the fact or logic from the (dangerous) speculative bullshit that spews from the church.

Adolph Taxman on 22nd of December 2011

Did you still get paid?

Dani Moore on 22nd of December 2011

I think this is a pleasant and catchy song, couldn’t shake the image of Woody Allen in a dress flying around the world; gave me the giggles!

I see no reason why this should be offensive, if someone didn’t like it they could have easily turned the tv off and let the rest of us enjoy the show! Tim you’re a genius! :)

Jules on 22nd of December 2011

Pah! Awesome as ever…..such a shame that people are still too scared of retribution to entertain the thought of a challenge!

Sheena Hatton on 22nd of December 2011

I don’t see the problem – it’s a clever, witty song. I do object to censorship like that. People should be allowed to make up their own minds, if you don’t want to hear it, turn it off.

I don’t entirely agree with your views on religion (no-one can possibly know either way) and Atheism has become as much of a crazy, fundamentalist religion as any (South Park portrayed this excellently). Hope and Faith are not ‘infantile’, ignorance and blind faith are. But, if I don’t like what you say I roll my eyes, skip through it and
find the next bit that I agree with and makes me laugh (in much the manner that I sit through the occasional church service!)

Stephen Glenn on 22nd of December 2011

I’m going to join the band of Christians on here who have already said that they have no problem with the song. Clearly it is song from yourself who doesn’t believe that Jesus is the son of God, nor indeed that there is some supreme being.

That being said however you did list a lot of the facts (even if you don’t think they are) about his life. As you said Jesus was a great entertainer and I reckon he’s have been on that sofa next to Tom Cruise laughing along with the rest of us. It is a pity that ITV are taking this position of not including it in Jonathan Ross’s show, you appearance was one element I was actually looking forward to so am glad to have seen it.

Hope you enjoy your white wine in the sun and have a happy Christmas with all your family.

Paul Smith on 22nd of December 2011

Made me laugh. I have shared on Facebook and asked others to do the same, only way to beat (IMHO) needless censorship is to flaunt what was (needlessly) censored.

Phil on 22nd of December 2011

Great song, and a rather unsurprising reaction from the powers that be. Keep up the fine work.

Lisa on 22nd of December 2011

I love that you have the guts to lay it all out like it is on the JR show. I wish they had the balls to play it. The more this happens, the more people will examine their ridiculous beliefs. As to your girl, I was a christian when mine were little, but even then, I felt a bit guilty. The first thing my kid asked me when we told her Santa was not real was “Is god fake, too?” Little did I know at the time, she, a six year old, was displaying more intelligence than I was. If I had to do it again, I think I would tell them the truth about Santa or Father Christmas as you guys call him. I think its important to children to be consistent. Loved the song, Tim. Oh and this kid was the first in my family to become atheist. A critical thinker might just be born, not made.

Amanda on 22nd of December 2011

This was great, but you could try not posting these things when I’m supposed to be working? I just spent the last hour watching Tim Minchin on YouTube. Lots of fun, but I’m so behind now!

Gary on 22nd of December 2011

Well I for one am hugely offended. “With great power comes great responsibility” is Spiderman not Superman!

*sigh* Honestly

Jesus stuff was great though.

Lou Mason on 22nd of December 2011

‘Dear Ms Mason

Thank you for your recent email regarding The Jonathan Ross Show.

I can confirm that your comments have been noted here at ITV Viewer Services.

We often make changes to programmes before transmission and on this occasion we felt that the song didn’t quite work editorially

May I take this opportunity to thank you for taking the time to contact us here at ITV Viewer Services .

If we can be of further assistance please do not hesitate to contact us.

Kind regards

Ann
ITV Viewer Services’

Dani Riot on 22nd of December 2011

The world is split into two distinct categories.

Category A: People who realise this life is all we have. So we have fun with it, enjoy ourselves and try to cram excitement and success into every waking moment of our short lives…

but then there is also:

Category B: People who believe that their life is a build up for something greater. So they waste their time waiting and filling it with crap because they still think they have forever in front of them.

Unfortunately Category B fill that time with thinking everything is a personal attack or insult and writing into the complaints departments of TV channels.

The reason such censorship exists is because us sane people know that when ‘Songs of Praise’ comes on… we can just turn over. We don’t waste our time writing into the BBC to say how they have offended us. Same goes for any other programme or subject about something we don’t believe in or feel is irrelevant to our lifestyles.

Dan on 22nd of December 2011

That’s a really good song – thanks for posting. And yah boo sucks to the Jonathan Ross show, because now it isn’t going to be as good. Why they get rid of their best content only they will know.

Lindsey on 22nd of December 2011

I’m a Christian and although I don’t agree with your worldview, songs like the one you have written are great for promoting dialogue and discussion! Incidentally, we have taken the same approach to Santa with our children – we enjoy the magic in a ‘not-real’ real way! Also posted below a thought-provoking video response…
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iNR6zcoLLfs
Downhere’s ‘Real Jesus’

Michael Riley on 22nd of December 2011

Not entirely sure if you read these things Tim, but if you do, I can’t help but feel excited by the concept of letting you know personally that I am entertained, inspired and often uplifted by your work and annoyed by censorship of what you do.
That’s probably a bit silly really, since you have plenty of people to tell you that already, but for some reason I just wanted to let you know that.
Merry Christmas

David Turner on 22nd of December 2011

Tim, You are unique; a breath of fresh air for those of us who own brains and are bored to death by what passes for comedy in the media. You achieve that wonderful thing; the combination of wit and wisdom. You treat us as intelligent beings who bring adult, fully formed minds to listen to you. Please do not for a nano-second feel the need to change a thing when nonsense like this happens. My belief is that it will be the dog that dies.

Robert Webb on 22nd of December 2011

The song is wonderful and so are you.

Richard on 22nd of December 2011

While I don’t think your song should have been canned, I do find “The appropriate reaction to people who think Jesus is a supernatural being is mild embarrassment, sighing tolerance and patient education.” rather silly.

The appropriate reaction to someone who has a different religious view to you is to accept it. Religion isn’t a fact you can prove or disprove, it is a belief. Being “embarrassed” and wanting to “educate” people with a different view of creation is rather silly.

It is weird your song was canned as there are plenty of people poking fun at God and Jesus in a far more offensive way. In fact, as a Christian, I didn’t find your song offensive at all. Seems rather silly they won’t let you on the show.