LISTEN very carefully….. I shall says this only once: This article contains comments and attitudes that may offend some readers.

How many times have we heard a similar warning at the start of some TV programme or other? A classic film, a re-run of an old comedy or some of the current reality TV shows, none are immune and our capacity to take offence seems to have grown over the years.

Brit-Box which focuses on UK television and film re-runs frequently feels the need to warn viewers it contains ‘language and attitudes of the time that may offend some viewers’.

Re-runs of the legendary 1955 film adaptation, The Dam Busters, have renamed Wing Commander Guy Gibson’s black labrador Trigger. Maybe this nearly passes the lip-reading test of the original and is marginally better than just bleeping out the N-word every time.

The BBC went further. It Ain't Half Hot Mum was a popular comedy when first broadcast in the 1970s attracting audiences of around 15 million but, 10 years ago, BBC editors decided against re-runs fearing it was racist.

Well, at least we were spared yet another warning.

I wonder how long will it be before the Fallen Madonna with the big whatsits gets bleeped out from ‘Allo ‘Allo; but can we seriously take offence at Officer Crabtree’s pigeon English ‘I was pissing by the door when I heard two shats’?

Neither is the current, omnipresent, multi-channel, live sports coverage immune. Most live matches will have apologies from the commentators at some time or other when stump-mics for cricket and pitch side microphones for rugby and soccer pick up some earthy language from the combatants on the fields of dreams during the heat of battle.

Come on – has anyone who has ever played sport at any level not come across this for real?

And is there really any need repeatedly to warn us that ‘this programme contains strong language/nudity/scenes of violence from the outset’?

Well, I suppose as we settle down to watch we shouldn’t have to wait in eager anticipation for too long if it happens from the outset – so, many thanks for tipping us the wink, whetting our appetites….. and maybe even encouraging us to watch.

But to square the It Ain’t Half Hot Mum circle, perhaps some of these warnings themselves are out of touch with today’s society? If we are offended by the repeated use of the F-word for example, then every council should be posting warning notices on lamp-posts in every busy street throughout the land, such is its everyday use.

I accept that content or ‘trigger’ warnings are intended to be helpful guides that allow viewers to make an informed decision on whether or not they want to continue watching a particular programme and are perfectly reasonable. However, it’s down to where you draw the line.

I fear the pendulum has swung wildly out of kilter with today’s society.