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Monday, 12 February, 2001, 02:30 GMT
Channel 4 hit by wrestling rap
WWF.com website
Children were likely to have been watching the wrestling
Channel 4 has been told it was wrong to show violent scenes on an American wrestling programme when large numbers of children were watching.

The ITC has upheld three complaints about a sequence in which a wrestler threatened a competitor's assistant with a sledgehammer.

The World Wrestling Federation programme was broadcast last October.


All those involved agreed that this judgement was wrong and this scene should not have been included

ITC
In the sequence, wrestler Rikishi damaged a car with a sledgehammer before threatening one of his opponent's aides.

Channel 4 said the scenes were transmitted because the sledgehammer was not used against anyone and because Rikishi was persuaded against violent conduct.

The ITC report stated: "Nevertheless, on reflection, all those involved agreed that this judgement was wrong and this scene should not have been included."

The station said staff had been reminded of the need to adhere to guidelines.

'Political case'

Channel Four is also criticised after a quiz show featured an item about the controversial Elgin Marbles.

William G Stewart, host of quiz show Fifteen To One, made a lengthy presentation which stated the case for returning the historic artefacts to Greece after claiming many viewers wrote to him on the subject.


No other comparable material offering an alternative view had been shown or was planned

ITC
The precious marbles currently reside in Britain but Greeks claim they are an important part of their heritage.

But a viewer complained to the ITC because he felt it was inappropriate for a partisan political case to be presented in a quiz show.

It responded: "Channel Four accepted that the inclusion of the material in question was not duly impartial and confirmed that no other comparable material offering an alternative view had been shown or was planned."

The television station said arrangements had been introduced to ensure that such problems were not able to occur in future.

Sexual references

In another ruling, four complaints were upheld relating to one of Ant and Dec's Saturday morning CD:UK shows in which a guitarist swore during a live interview.

Slash
Slash: Swore on air
Ex-Guns n' Roses star Slash was talking to the pair during a programme in December last year, when he used a four-letter word and made sexual references which were audible to viewers.

The broadcaster, LWT, explained that previous live interviews with Slash had given them no reason to believe he would use expletives.

LWT said it deeply regretted the incident and pointed out that it was the first such occurrence in 119 programmes.

The company apologised unreservedly to viewers for any offence caused.

While upholding the complaints the ITC noted the programme's good record of compliance with regards to live interviews.

See also:

15 Jan 01 | Entertainment
Complaints over Ali G catchphrase
04 Sep 00 | Entertainment
Ali G takes top TV award
18 Sep 00 | Entertainment
Nude game show 'in good taste'
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