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Monday, 11 December, 2000, 08:02 GMT
TV watchdog raps vampire series
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Buffy the Vampire Slayer (above) inspired the latest series Angel
The Independent Television Commission (ITC) has upheld more than 80 complaints about an early evening drama series featuring scenes "reminiscent of a late-night horror film".

The Channel 4 series Angel features a reformed vampire but many viewers said they were upset at its adult tone at a time when young children could be watching.

Comdy character Ali G
Ali G: Rapped by ITC
But other viewers complained it had been heavily cut, so it could be shown in the early evening.

The ITC also criticised bad language by the cult comedy character Ali G in a music video featuring Madonna, saying the slang used was offensive to the African-Caribbean community.

Ali (aka comedian Sacha Baron Cohen) used a word which is slang for part of the female anatomy but digital channel Kiss, which broadcast the video in the afternoon, said it was an innocent part of youth culture.

'Dark tone'

Angel is a spin-off from the hit series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which is popular with adult and younger audiences.

Channel 4 defended its scheduling, saying that, through appropriate editing, younger as well as older viewers could enjoy it.

The ITC said it was concerned about the dark tone of the series and considered that, even after cuts, three episodes had been unsuitable for the early evening.

One showed scenes of torture and paedophile references; another - about a stalker - had a sexual tone.

A third episode featured what the ITC called "a harrowing storyline".

Channel 4 is now showing the programme after the 9pm watershed.

In August, the Pagan Federation claimed programmes such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Sabrina the Teenage Witch were encouraging a positive interest in witchcraft among children.

The federation, which represents adult druids, witches and other pagans, said it had been "swamped" with about 100 enquiries a month from youngsters wanting to become witches.

See also:

28 May 99 | Entertainment
Buffy slays the competition
08 Dec 00 | Entertainment
Ali G 'in da movies'
17 Oct 00 | Entertainment
Ali G up for an Emmy
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