I thought it was hilarious this year. Offensive? Hardly.
Storm in a teacup, as with 99.9% of all things the Mail writes about. Notice they're only too happy to reprint the offending material, thus enabling people didn't and wouldn't ever watch the show to be 'offended' as well. And obviously they're happy to totally ignore the other hour and a half of the programme that wasn't remotely offensive to anyone and was properly funny. You're right that the whole thing is solely to have a pop at Channel 4 - if the show had been on Sky, not a word would have been said.
That Billy Connolly piece is hilarious at least. Utterly clueless.