Complaints Reports

Programme Complaints & Interventions Report

These reports are case summaries of complaints which appeared to raise issues of substance in relation to the interpretation of the ITC Programme Code. Summary statistics of non-substantive complaints can be found in the full reports which are obtainable from the ITC.

Showing Complaints & Interventions Report for LUCY SULLIVAN IS GETTING MARRIED

Channel: ITV (LWT)

Date & time: Friday 5 January and Monday 8 January: 5.05pm

Complaint from: 41 viewers (upheld)

Background

This series followed the lives and loves of three young women sharing a flat in London. It was first shown as part of the late-night schedule at 10.00 pm.

Issue

Viewers were concerned that the language and general sexual tone of these episodes were not suitable for a series scheduled in a slot following straight on from children’s programmes.

Assessment

The ITC asked LWT how a series aimed at a young adult audience, with its frank attitude to sexual relationships, was felt to be suitable at 5.05 pm when children would still comprise a large part of the audience. The licensee believed that the underlying tone and structure of the series was not dissimilar to some teatime soaps. Substantial editing and re-voicing had been carried out to make it suitable for this slot.

Having carefully considered LWT’s reply, the ITC believed that, even with the changes that had been made, certain episodes were not entirely suitable for early evening transmission. Although teatime soaps may deal with similar issues, their approach is less adult in both language and portrayal. Specifically, a sex scene in the 5 January episode and the explicit sexual tone and language in the 8 January episode were inappropriate in a drama in this teatime slot.

Overall, the ITC had serious concerns about the scheduling of a series, which concentrated on the sexual relationships of a group of young adults, so early in the evening.

Conclusion

The Programme Code states that material unsuitable for children must not be broadcast at times when large numbers of children may be expected to be watching. The ITC considered that insufficient account was taken of the likely audience composition. These episodes were, therefore, in breach of the Programme Code.