1964 — Mary Whitehouse launches the Clean Up TV Campaign

One of the greatest killjoys ever produced by the British Isles, Mary Whitehouse was a conservative Christian who decided that it was time that someone put their foot down about all the filth on TV – and that that foot was her. She formed the National Viewers’ and Listeners’ Association, an organisation of similarly inclined busybodies who were motivated by the sheer terror that someone, somewhere, might be having a good time. Determined to prevent this shameful occurrence from happening, she mounted a number of campaigns, all of them notable for their censoriousness and not a few of them for their homophobia. It became a badge of honour amongst British entertainers to be criticised by her.

Whitehouse had a day job as a sex education teacher. One assumes that very few of her students ever successfully reproduced.

Referenced in:
Pigs (Three Different Ones) — Pink Floyd

1976 – Mary Whitehouse sues Gay News

Mary Whitehouse was, depending on your politics, a valiant and untiring defender of moral standards, or an interfering busybody who got off on minding other people’s business.

In 1976, she sued the publishers of the magazine Gay News for printing a poem entitled “The Love that Dares to Speak its Name” by James Kirkup, on the grounds that it was blasphemous. She ultimately won this court case, although the fact that both the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Cardinal of London refused to testify on her behalf speaks volumes about just how much distance there was between Whitehouse’s moral standards and those of the wider community, even among other Christians.

Referenced in:

Glad to be Gay ’79 — Tom Robinson Band