BBC adds foul language to ‘Wuthering Heights’

Last Updated: Mar 22, 2011, 12:45 PM IST

London: An adaptation of Emily Bronte’s ‘Wuthering Heights’ by the BBC is set to turn the air blue because it has been given a makeover that includes foul language.

Heathcliff and Cathy will be heard using strong swear words in Radio 3’s adaptation of one of literature’s most famous and tempestuous love stories.

The decision to air the scenes at 8pm on Sunday night has left some worried, as unlike television, radio does not have a 9pm watershed.

Radio 3 has a low audience among young people, but there are concerns students who are studying the book could tune in to the adaptation without realising it has been given a more adult makeover.

“The use of strong language by some characters in this production was not undertaken lightly,” the Daily Mail quoted a Radio 3 spokesman as saying.

“Language warnings will be broadcast at the beginning of the drama,” he said.

Playwright and theatre director Jonathan Holloway defended the
decision to use expletives in his reworking of the 1847 novel for the BBC.

He told that the story would have shocked its readers when it was originally published.

“For me Wuthering Heights is a story of violent obsession, and a tortuous unfulfilled relationship. This is not a Vaseline-lensed experience,” Holloway said.

“That’s what I wanted to elbow out, this idea that it’s the cosy greatest love story ever told. It’s not.

“The f-words are part of my attempt to shift the production to left field, and to help capture the shock that was associated with the original book when it was published,” he added.