Page last updated at 15:34 GMT, Wednesday, 23 April 2008 16:34 UK

Row over TV sex scene at assembly

From the episode of Caerdydd. Image: S4C
Sex in the Senedd - the scene shot in the assembly building

Programme makers who filmed a sex scene in the Welsh assembly building for a drama series did not make officials aware of its nature, it has emerged.

Caerdydd (Cardiff) a Welsh language drama series broadcast on S4C, featured the scene shot in a Senedd toilet in a recent episode.

But the Assembly Commission who approved the filming said they thought it would be a "conversation scene".

S4C said it was satisfied producers had followed the correct procedures.

The drama, which is made by the Cardiff-based company Fiction Factory, is about the lives of characters living in the Welsh capital.

In the scene, a young employee of an unnamed political party - who had just been asked to stand as an assembly candidate - is seen enticing her older lover into a toilet and baby-changing room in the Senedd.

There then follows an explicit encounter between the two.

The 70m building in Cardiff Bay is where the assembly's debating chamber is based.

We try to offer as much access to the Senedd as possible, as it is a public building, but in return people have to play fair
William Graham, AM

The Assembly Commission, which runs the building, said they granted the company permission to film on 14 March in the corridors and for one scene in the baby changing room.

"However the National Assembly was told that this scene was a conversation scene and was not aware of its full content," said a spokesperson.

"The company was allowed to film in good faith."

It added it had carried out a full internal review and could confirm that "at no stage of the negotiations about the use of the building for filming, or during the filming itself, was the content of the scene disclosed by the programme makers".

But the commission said it remained committed to being open and accessible to all and added that the scene would not prevent them from working with "responsible companies" in the future.

William Graham AM, who represents the Conservatives on the commission, said that scripts should be vetted more closely in future, and that the production company had not played fair.

"We try to offer as much access to the Senedd as possible, as it is a public building, but in return people have to play fair, or risk jeopardising future filming opportunities," he said.

"No one likes any sort of censorship, but there are standards that should be adhered to in cases such as this.""

A spokesperson for S4C said it had investigated the circumstances surrounding the filming of the drama series.

"We are confident that Senedd personnel who dealt with this issue were not misled," the spokesperson said.


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