Monday 26 September 2016

Derren Brown show which featured 'self-suffocation' stunt broke Ofcom rules

Published 22/02/2016 | 17:16

Derren Brown had aimed to demonstrate a technique to limit bleeding and pain
Derren Brown had aimed to demonstrate a technique to limit bleeding and pain

A Derren Brown show which featured the illusionist suffocating himself with a plastic bag broke broadcasting rules, media watchdog Ofcom has said.

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Something Wicked This Way Comes was broadcast on UKTV channel Watch before the watershed at 9.10am on December 6, and featured the 14-minute self-suffocation stunt in addition to profanity.

There were five complaints to Ofcom, which launched an investigation.

The Watch show broke the broadcasting code relating to "dangerous behaviour" that is likely to be "easily imitable by children".

Something Wicked This Way Comes was also in breach for the use of foul language.

Brown, 44, had aimed to demonstrate a technique to limit bleeding and pain.

Ofcom said: "Plastic bags are a common household item that children frequently have access to without parental supervision. They also present a widely acknowledged risk of harm to young children.

"Therefore, Ofcom took the view that Derren Brown's use of a plastic bag to asphyxiate himself was likely to be easily imitable by children in a manner that was harmful.

"This was particularly because self-asphyxiation was presented as a way to carry out acts which would not normally be possible because of the bleeding and pain that resulted."

UKTV said Something Wicked This Way Comes was broadcast during the day due to "human error" and additional measures had been implemented to prevent a recurrence.

Press Association

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