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Monday, 22 July, 2002, 09:14 GMT 10:14 UK
Brookside 'too explicit' for timeslot
Jacqui Farnham, played by Alexandra Fletcher
Jacqui (right) has been involved in controversial scenes before
Channel 4 soap opera Brookside has been reprimanded for showing a sexual encounter that was "too explicit" for its early evening timeslot.

The Independent Television Commission (ITC) ruled that the "sexually charged" scene between the characters Max and Jacqui Farnham should not have taken place before the 9pm "watershed".


The scene went beyond implying that the couple were about to have sex

ITC report
The ITC ruling comes just a week after another broadcasting watchdog, the Broadcasting Standards Commission (BSC), found that TV companies were undermining the meaning of the watershed by showing unsuitable material before 9pm.

TV soaps were among the main offenders, the BSC suggested.

The episode of Brookside which attracted the criticism was screened in April and showed a scene in which Max, played by Steven Pinder, was worried that his partner had been hurt in a car crash.

When he found Jacqui, played by Alexandra Fletcher, in hospital, they embraced.

The ITC said: "As they undressed each other, the scene became more sexually charged, with Jacqui appearing to respond to sexual pleasure rather than just an emotional release.

"In the ITC's view, the scene went beyond implying that the couple were about to have sex and, as such, was too explicit in its sexual content before the 9pm watershed."

Complaints

Channel 4 has maintained that the scene was more emotional than sexual, and the images were just a prelude to lovemaking.

The ITC also upheld complaints against another soap, ITV1's Emmerdale for misleading medical advice.

In the drama a diabetic character was seen discussing how his hypoglycaemia was due to missing an insulin injection.

Viewers noticed the error and complained that the correct treatment would have been to eat or drink.

The programme maker, Yorkshire TV, said procedures had since been tightened to ensure no other such mistakes ended up in scripts.

But the ITC rejected complaints about an edition of Coronation Street in which Richard Hillman (Brian Capron) killed his wife by beating her with a spade.

The scene was broadcast at 7.30pm after a warning - but 14 viewers complained that the scene was too violent for young viewers.

The ITC said it "did not consider that this relatively restrained level of violence went beyond most viewers expectations in a drama at this time of the evening".

See also:

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