Ofcom to conduct review into public attitudes to violence after 'shocking' Hollyoaks scenes aired before watershed

By Jennifer Faull | Deputy Editor

August 28, 2013 | 2 min read

Ofcom has announced that it is conducting a wide-ranging review into public attitudes to violence on television and has warned broadcasters about airing violent scenes before the 9pm watershed.

The regulator chastised Channel 4 and cited a recent Hollyoaks episode where a “violent, intense and shocking” scene showed a man being beaten and thrown in front of a train.

Hollyoaks airs weekdays at 6.30pm on Channel 4 and then at 7pm on its subsidiary network, E4.

Channel 4 claims there had been sufficient warning before the scene and that the scene had been carefully edited. A spokeswoman said: “We note Ofcom’s decision. The correct editorial processes were followed and the scenes were a culmination of a year-long storyline which was anticipated by viewers to have a dramatic conclusion. We are committed to ensuring all Hollyoaks storylines are appropriate for a pre-watershed audience.”

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Ofcom said pre-programme information would “not have prepared the significant number of younger viewers in the audience, or their parents, adequately for the violent, intense and shocking scenes which followed.”

It then sternly reminded all broadcasters that they should ensure “all material broadcast pre-watershed which features violent scenes is appropriately limited”.

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