BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese Welsh
BBCi CATEGORIES   TV   RADIO   COMMUNICATE   WHERE I LIVE   INDEX    SEARCH 

BBC NEWS
 You are in:  Entertainment
Front Page 
World 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Showbiz 
Music 
Film 
Arts 
TV and Radio 
New Media 
Reviews 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 


Commonwealth Games 2002

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

SERVICES 
Tuesday, 26 December, 2000, 13:16 GMT
Film boss defends Elliot decision
Billy Elliot
Strong language: Jamie Bell stars in Billy Elliot
Film classification chief Andreas Whittam Smith has defended his decision to give Billy Elliot a 15 certificate.

The British Board of Film Classification president said he would have been "overwhelmed" with complaints if younger children had been able to see the film, which follows a young boy's ambitions to become a ballet dancer.

He feared people would have been outraged if the film had been given the lesser 12 certificate, because bad language features in it more than 50 times.

Andreas Whittam Smith
Andreas Whittam Smith: Public sensitive about bad language
Billy Elliot went on to become a big hit in the UK and the US, where it has been nominated for four Golden Globe awards.

He said: "The British public, unique among countries, remains very sensitive about bad language.

"I am perfectly sure that if this was passed at 12 we would have been overwhelmed with complaints about the bad language."

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that swearing was becoming more of a worry to the public than sexually explicit scenes.

"We have just changed our guidelines after the most extensive programme of research any broadcaster or cinema body has ever done," he said.

"The public told us three things. It said, as far as the lower age category is concerned, we want you to be tougher on violence, weapons and language.

"As far as sex is concerned, they said go easy at 15, because people know more than you think, and at 18 they said keep out of our way."

He added: "We have done those three things."

See also:

26 Dec 00 | Entertainment
Christmas clues for Oscars
20 Oct 00 | Entertainment
US rates Billy with Exorcist
21 Dec 00 | Entertainment
Gladiator and Traffic fight for Globes
14 Sep 00 | Entertainment
Censors relax film guidelines
08 Nov 00 | Entertainment
Billy aims to conquer Europe
25 Oct 00 | Entertainment
Honours fall at Billy's feet
16 Sep 00 | Entertainment
High hopes for Billy
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Entertainment stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Entertainment stories