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Last Updated: Friday, 2 February 2007, 12:35 GMT
C4 postpones masturbation season
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Board members were said to be concerned about the series
Broadcaster Channel 4 has postponed a series of programmes themed around masturbation.

Three shows, including a documentary about a charity "masturbate-athon", have been removed from the schedule.

"The programmes are not currently scheduled but will be shown in due course," said a spokesman.

Channel 4 has faced strong criticism over the recent series of Celebrity Big Brother, which prompted a record number of complaints over alleged racism.

Media watchdog Ofcom is investigating the controversy.

The regulator is also reviewing the broadcaster's funding, with Channel 4 seeking a new form of government subsidy, possibly a share of the TV licence fee, to help fund the switch to digital.

The subsidy would replace the free broadcasting space given to the channel when it launched in 1982, which will become redundant when the UK completes the move to digital TV in 2012.

'Provocative'

Originally planned for March, the masturbation season has been "moved around repeatedly", said a spokesman, who added that schedule changes were normal for any television station.

But industry paper Broadcast reported that several Channel 4 board members had expressed concern at the series.

It was due to contain a documentary about a female masturbation coach and a programme following two men trying to give up the habit.

The "masturbate-athon", billed as the first of its kind in Europe, was filmed in central London last August.

Organisers said the event, which involved several charities, was to promote discussion of sexual health issues.

Channel 4 commissioner Andrew MacKenzie previously said the series was the type of "provocative and mischievous" material that the channel should be covering.

Last year, Channel 4's founding chief executive Sir Jeremy Isaacs criticised its "obsession with adolescent transgression and sex".


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