Ofcom, the broadcasting watchdog, has relaxed watershed rules. That means that Britain will become a nation full of tawdry television sex and violence. And we can’t wait!
Ofcom published its new broadcasting code yesterday. In short, rules on top-end television sex and violence have been relaxed, so long as children are better protected from it.
The thinking behind this new code is that adults should be given more choices
to think for themselves in this multi-channel digital age. Back when
there were just two channels, if a station were to broadcast graphic
sex and violence, everyone would watch it – there would be nothing else
to watch – and the country would be full of the sound of a million
vicars spluttering into their tea. Now, if something on television
offends you, you can simply watch something else.
The key word is ‘context’. It’s taken Ofcom over 100 words to
explain what it means, but it boils down to how editorially justified
So a news programme can broadcast images of, say, crying injured
wartime children. That’s allowed because it’s factually correct and in
the public interest. But if, say, a monkey goes crazy with a chainsaw
on Dora The Explorer (DVDs) and starts molesting the bloody corpses, that would be slightly harder to justify.
Under 18s will be more protected by the new code. Pre-9pm, rules
apply to stop corrupting tiny minds, and more challenging material will
be protected by things like PIN codes. But the best part of being a kid
was staying up late and seeing a nipple for a second at 11.30pm.
Nowadays, that’s evolved into a kind of sophisticated code-breaking technique
where children figure out their parents’ PIN so they can watch a
badly-permed bimbo rub her boobs for an hour. And this fantastic PIN-guessing
ability means that hardcore pornography is still banned.
Also, channels can use the ‘f’ word and the ‘c’ word as much as they
like, more or less. A brand can sponsor an entire channel, hopefully
leading to things like Men And Motors And Cillit Bang! And, sadly,
hypnotists still can’t broadcast routines straight to camera.
So, what sex and violence-filled television shows would you like
see? Tramp Punching With Trevor McDonald? Anne Robinson Shags The
Nation? Let us know below.
[story by Stuart Heritage]