“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,” he said.
Mr Minchin said he liked Jonathan Ross as an interviewer and a person but was disappointed to find the song he worked hard to create, specifically for the show, had been cut out.
He said: “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.”
He was asked to write a song for the pre-Christmas special by Jonathan Ross. He decided to do a song about Jesus, a gentle song about Jesus, that compared him to Woody Allen (short, Jewish, philosophical, a bit hesitant).
He then used other cultural terms to also compare and sum up Jesus.
“Jesus was a great entertainer doing cool tricks all of the time, turning water into wine, making stormy weather fine. Even now his stunts confound us, kind of did what Derrin Brown does.”
The song was performed, it was approved by Jonathan Ross and his producer who felt it had a nice balance and was cheeky.
“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,” Mr Minchin said.
“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. ”
Jonathan Ross said on Twitter: “Really gutted that the brilliant Tim Minchin song has been cut from my show. Decision was out of my hands.”
After the performance he said: “You’ve got some balls doing that in a Christmas show.”
An ITV spokesman said: “We often make changes to programmes before transmission and on this occasion we felt that the song didn’t quite work editorially.”
- It was that kind of night Jonathan said it was… (kungfugrippe.com)
- Tim Minchin on his love of Christmas – Alice Gribbin – New Statesman (richarddawkins.net)
- You won’t believe who Jonathan Ross fancies! (heatworld.com)