Page last updated at 09:04 GMT, Wednesday, 24 June 2009 10:04 UK

Dench swearing prompts complaints

Dame Judi Dench in Quantum of Solace
Dame Judi plays tough-talking M in the Bond films

Every film in which actress Dame Judi Dench swears results in complaints, the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) has said in its annual report.

A handful of film-goers objected to her use of an expletive in 12A-rated Bond movie Quantum of Solace, but the complaints were "expected", it said.

The body, which certifies films, DVDs and games, has updated its guidelines.

Releases will be vetted for issues of prejudice for the first time alongside violence, swearing and sexual content.

More rigorous

Issues of race, gender, sexuality and disability will be taken into account when the BBFC issues certificates.

Under the new guidelines, a DVD box set of US comedy series Friends has been given a 12 rating instead of a PG because of the single use of the word spastic.

The organisation, which has reviewed its guidelines for the first time in four years, has said that the tone and meaning will come under scrutiny as well as what appears on screen.

It says that some releases which fall between two certificates could now be pushed into a more rigorous classification.

Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight
The Dark Knight's 12A rating was criticised

Rules about horror films have been tightened in the 12 and 12A category, meaning that 2001 release The Others, starring Nicole Kidman, would now be given a higher certificate.

The BBFC came to their conclusions after consulting 8,700 people.

It said that in the last year it received 853 e-mails and letters about its classifications.

The decision to give hard-hitting film The Dark Knight a 12A certificate generated the most public concern, with 364 complaints being received by the BBFC.

It put the complaints about one minor swear word in Quantum Of Solace down to the "Judi Dench factor".

"This beloved actress plays M, Bond's tough-talking boss. However, it was her tough talking which upset the viewers," it said.

"Almost every time Dame Judi swears in a film, regardless of its category, we can expect a number of complaints."

BBFC president Sir Quentin Thomas also expressed concerns that children are able to access explicit material on the web too easily.

He added that efforts to regulate content were difficult because many sites are operated from outside the UK.

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Times Online British Board of Film Classification... - 25 hrs ago
The Times Is Friends offensive? Rachel's language falls foul of rating rules - 46 hrs ago
Telegraph Judi Dench swear words 'always spark complaints' - 47 hrs ago
The Scotsman Now films classified by race or sex discrimination - 56 hrs ago Complaints over Dench film language - 58 hrs ago

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