Tuesday 24 October 2017

Coronation Street omnibus sparks new Ofcom probe

The omnibus featured the ongoing Bethany Platt grooming storyline.

Lucy Fallon attending the British Soap Awards 2017 (Matt Crossick/PA)
Lucy Fallon attending the British Soap Awards 2017 (Matt Crossick/PA)

By Sherna Noah, Press Association Senior Entertainment Correspondent

Coronation Street is being investigated by the broadcasting watchdog after airing the controversial grooming storyline on a Saturday morning.

The omnibus, broadcast on ITV2 on June 3 at 8.50am, sparked complaints with a scene featuring three men paying for sex and following 16-year-old Bethany Platt (Lucy Fallon) into a bedroom.

Viewers saw another character, Shona Ramsey (Julia Goulding) being beaten and stamped on by several men.

Chris Harper plays Nathan Curtis in the long-running grooming storyline.

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Lucy Fallon (Ian West/PA)

An Ofcom spokesman said: “We’re investigating whether this Saturday morning omnibus episode contained scenes that were unsuitable for broadcast at that time.”

The watchdog assessed but decided not to investigate 73 complaints about a drug taking scene on the soap and 24 complaints about the grooming storyline on separate episodes in June, broadcast in the evening on ITV.

The spokesman said: “We concluded that both storylines were clearly signposted and were the culmination of long-running plots that were likely to have been within the audience’s expectations. The drug use was not shown in a positive light, and we took into account Coronation Street’s history of exploring distressing social issues.”

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Chris Harper (Matt Crossick/PA)

It also decided not to investigate 92 complaints about comments made in the Big Brother house.

Many of the complaints were about a “race row”.

“We received a number of complaints about the recent series of Big Brother,” the spokesman said.

“We are satisfied that Channel 5 broadcast clear and appropriate warnings about potentially offensive content, and intervened appropriately in heated exchanges and situations.

“We also took into account the audience’s expectations of this well-established reality format, and that the series is shown after the 9pm watershed.”

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