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Monday, 23 October, 2000, 10:14 GMT 11:14 UK
Violence is 'TV turn-off'
Simon Gregson plays Steve McDonald
Coronation Street viewers objected to a 'beating' scene
Screen violence is the biggest TV turn-off, according to a report by the Broadcasting Standards Commission (BSC).

Sixty per cent of people questioned for the report complained there was too much violence on TV.

TV concerns
Violence (39%)
Bad language (25%)
Sex (21%)
Standards (10%)

The study showed that increasing numbers of people are switching off programmes which disgust them.

Concerns about the amount of sex on television, however, seem to be dropping as the issue fell from being the primary concern of viewers to the third.

Almost 40% of those interviewed said they had been "personally disgusted" by something on TV and had switched off the programme - a rise of almost 10% on last year.

When asked to name the issue which concerned them most 39% said violence, 25% said offensive language and 21% said sex.

Content warnings

Figures showed viewers felt that clear warnings about programme content were given in 35% of cases for programmes with bad language and sex, but only 27% for violence.

Last year viewers felt programme warnings were only given in 20% of cases.

Recently 30 people complained to the TV watchdog, the Independent Television Commission (ITC), about violent scenes in Coronation Street.

In the episode in question, villain Jez Quigley attacked Steve McDonald, played by Simon Gregson, for testifying against him in court.


Broadcasters would be wise to pay close attention to these growing public concerns

Lord Holme

Viewers complained over the level of violence and menace in the soap at a time when children could be watching.

But the ITC ruled that the scenes had been filmed so that very little violence was in fact shown.

Lord Holme of Cheltenham, in one of his last statements as chair of the BSC, said: "We welcome the way in which broadcasters are giving audiences better warning of what to expect, but they would be wise to pay close attention to these growing public concerns.

"The results reinforce our view of the importance of monitoring public attitudes in a changing world."

Lord Holme resigned at the weekend after a newspaper revealed he had been having an extra-marital affair.

See also:

22 Oct 00 | UK
TV watchdog boss resigns
16 Oct 00 | Entertainment
Street falls foul of TV watchdogs
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