London, Apr 10 : The BBC has been ordered to make an on-air apology to viewers over repeated swearing by stars including Madonna and Phil Collins during last summer's Live Earth concert.
This is one the toughest sanctions ever imposed on the Corporation by media watchdog Ofcom.
Television audiences were subjected to "the most offensive language" on six separate occasions as performers at the Wembley Stadium event.
As the BBC had decided against using a time delay, the swearing was not bleeped out.
The show was screened live on BBC1 and BBC2 on July 7, a Saturday afternoon when millions of children were watching, and prompted 22 viewer complaints to the regulator.
Ofcom found the BBC guilty of "serious and repeated" breaches of broadcasting guidelines in a ruling published on April 9, and demanded that the Corporation broadcast a statement of its findings on both flagship channels on April 12.
The offences were compounded by the BBC's failure to make prompt on-air apologies for the foul language, the watchdog said - on one occasion, there was a delay of almost half an hour.
"The likely audience would have expected to have been protected from the most offensive language in such a programme on BBC TV's flagship services," the Telegraph quoted the ruling from Ofcom's sanctions committee, as stating.