Channel 4 boss calls trans comedian Jordan Gray’s iconic naked skit a ‘beautiful moment’

Photos of Jordan Gray in a pink suit, playing a piano, arranged in bubbles

Channel 4’s chief executive has called Jordan Gray’s iconic naked skit on Friday Night Live, which got more than 1,000 complaints from Ofcom, a “beautiful moment of trans expression”.

Alex Mahon reportedly said during the broadcaster’s annual Inclusion Festival on Wednesday (30 November) that the performance was “lovely” and “powerful”. 

“We brought back Friday Night Live, live with Ben Elton, for our 40th birthday, and we had a performer in, a comedian called Jordan Gray,” Mahon explained.

“She’s trans and she stripped naked at the end of the performance and that was the first time, I think, really on mainstream television you see a trans body and what that looks like.

“That’s really important, it was a beautiful moment of trans expression. It was lovely.”

Mahon added: “What’s great is a couple of thousand people complained to Ofcom, and Ofcom back us and say it’s perfectly, perfectly appropriate to put that on television.

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“What’s even more powerful is young people writing to Jordan and talking about how that made them feel better about themselves, and better about what they are going through.

“This is a really difficult time for young people, and that kind of thing, the normalising of different body types is really, really important.”

Jordan Gray wears a pink suit as she sings into a microphone during her Channel 4 Friday Night live performance
Jordan Gray hoped her appearance would help normalise trans bodies. (Channel 4)

Ofcom dismissed more than 1,600 complaints about Gray’s completely nude performance on 21 October, with the comedian stripping down to play the keyboard with her penis to her song Better Than You. 

Having assessed the complaints, Ofcom said it would not investigate the “post-watershed comedy and music show” further.

“In our view, audiences would be likely to have expected controversial humour from this one-off special reviving an established alternative comedy series,” it said in a statement.

“We also took into account the time of the broadcast, which came more than an hour after the watershed, and the advance on-air warnings about very strong language and adult humour.”

Gray told PinkNews after her performance that the feedback had been so positive, she “cried on the way home” from the show. 

“I got in a taxi after the after-party, and I saw a consolidation of a load of the best comments and it was people saying, ‘I just feel seen’ or ‘I feel like I don’t need to feel ashamed and I haven’t had that feeling yet,'” she said.

“I cried on the way home.”

Gray, who competed on The Voice in 2016, added that she hoped her appearance would help normalise trans bodies.

“It’s not a long clinical conversation and what it means to be a man and a woman,” she added.

“It’s a large nude person just joyful expressing themselves. So everyone can get on board for that.”

Actor Jason Isaacs even weighed in to praise her performance, describing it as “challenging and sensational television in a landscape that feels all too curated most of the time.”