Mary Whitehouse Poster


Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (1)  | Trivia (8)  | Personal Quotes (9)

Overview (3)

Born in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, England, UK
Died in Colchester, Essex, England, UK  (natural causes)
Birth NameConstance Mary Hutcheson

Mini Bio (1)

Mary Whitehouse was born on June 13, 1910 in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, England as Constance Mary Hutcheson. She was married to Ernest Whitehouse. She died on November 23, 2001 in Colchester, Essex, England.

Spouse (1)

Ernest Whitehouse (1940 - 2000) ( his death) ( 5 children)

Trivia (8)

She was a fan of the comedy series Yes Minister (1980).
She was Britain's most vocal critic of the growth of sexual content, violence and bad language on television during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.
In 1965 Mary Whitehouse founded the National Viewers' and Listeners' Association in the UK.
She was a fierce opponent of Till Death Us Do Part (1965) for its strong language, Doctor Who (1963) for what she described as its "nightmare qualities" and the comedian Benny Hill for his sexy sketches.
Although she was a regular opponent of the BBC science fiction series Doctor Who (1963) for many years, with the series' script editor from 1968 until 1974, Terrance Dicks, once saying "if there's one thing she hated more than sex, it was Doctor Who (1963)", her criticisms became particularly frequent during the period produced by Philip Hinchcliffe between 1975 and 1977, which she described as "teatime brutality for tots". After viewing Doctor Who: The Deadly Assassin: Part Three (1976), broadcast in November 1976, she wrote a strongly worded letter to the BBC "in anger and despair". She accused the serial of being "permeated with violence of a quite unacceptable kind" and being "shocking", "vicious" and "sadistic", citing in particular three offending scenes: one in which a character was in flames, an episode ending where the Doctor's foot is trapped in a railway track while a train approaches, and another episode ending in which the Doctor's head is held under water by a villain. She finished the letter by accusing the BBC of hypocrisy in ignoring its own Guidance Notes on the portrayal of violence on television and the programme makers of being "engrossed in their own expertise". She received an apology from BBC Director General Charles Curran, which marked a change in the BBC's policy towards the series and Whitehouse's complaints. Hinchcliffe left Doctor Who (1963) after three more serials and his successor, Graham Williams, was ordered to lighten the tone of the series.
She was awarded the CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in 1980 for her services to the community.
Whitehouse's background was as a school teacher. She was the head of the art department and senior mistress at Madeley Secondary Modern School. She was also a devout Christian.
Roger Waters ripped her in the third verse of "Pigs (Three Different Ones)" from Pink Floyd's 1977 album "Animals." ("Hey you Whitehouse/Ha, ha, charade you are/You house proud town mouse/Ha, ha, charade you are/You're trying to keep our feelings off the street/You're nearly a real treat/All tight lips and cold feet/And do you feel abused?/You've got to stem the evil tide/And keep it all deep inside/Mary you're nearly a treat/Mary you're nearly a treat/But you're really a cry.") After Waters went solo in the 1980s, he would replace Whitehouse with Margaret Thatcher.

Personal Quotes (9)

If violence is shown as normal on the television screen it will help to create a violent society.
[on Doctor Who (1963)] I think it's extraordinary that people with a brilliance in many ways, of making a programme of that kind, couldn't have extended their awareness to the effect of what they were doing upon the children who were receiving it. That was almost as though they were a bit dumb.
If they didn't show it on the screen, most people wouldn't know about oral sex.
[from her first public speech] Last Thursday evening, we sat as a family and saw a programme that started at 6.35. And it was the dirtiest programme I have seen for a very long time.
[on Bergerac: The Dig (1990)] As someone who used to watch and enjoy Bergerac (1981), may I say how disappointed I am with its new style. Last night's episode was almost impossible to watch and indeed we turned it off, not least because of the close-up, rapidly changing camera work. Its mood and style was quite unsuitable for family viewing time and one suspects that many adults went to bed with a headache and many children had nightmares! Can we hope that in future it will be considerably less intense and more watchable.
[on Doctor Who: Genesis of the Daleks: Part One (1975)] This series has moved from fantasy to real-life violence with cruelty, corpses, poison gas and Nazi-type stormtroopers, not to mention revolting experiments in human genetics.
[on Doctor Who: The Seeds of Doom: Part One (1976)] Strangulation - by hand, by claw, by obscene vegetable matter - is the latest gimmick. And, just for a little variety, show the children how to make a Molotov cocktail.
[in 1976] The programme contains some of the sickest and most horrific material ever seen on children's television, but no-one has to take my word that such material is likely to disturb. For young children, even a week may be too long to wait for reassurance that the characters with whom they identify are safe. Doctor Who (1963) has turned into tea-time brutality for tots.
[on Doctor Who: The Deadly Assassin: Part Three (1976)] Violence of a quite unacceptable kind. It permeated the programme but reached a climax when the children saw one of the characters - in modern dress - in flames, and then a shocking sequence in which this character, after a vicious close-up fight - got Dr. Who by the throat and held him under the water until he was drowned. Shots which could only be described as sadistic.

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