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Last Updated: Thursday, 3 July, 2003, 11:34 GMT 12:34 UK
BBC ends public 'walk-on' roles
Holby City
A walk-on part in Holby City was offered as a prize
Competitions for members of the public to win walk-on parts in drama series have been scrapped by the BBC.

The corporation has reached an agreement with actors' union Equity to stop such prizes being offered.

A BBC spokeswoman said the competitions were felt to be "demeaning" to trained actors and deprived them of paid employment.

The ruling comes after an untrained person had been offered the chance to appear as an extra in hospital drama Holby City.

But the competition did not go ahead, and a complaint from Equity prompted the BBC to change its policy.

Equity official Glen Barnham told The Stage newspaper: "We are fed up with these competitions.

"There are enough out-of-work actors who rely on these kinds of parts for their bread and butter money."

The BBC said it accepted Equity's point of view, and there had been no dispute about reaching the decision.

The Holby City competition winner will get to visit the set, but will not now feature on screen.

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