Actors' identity crisis over TV credit notes

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Television credits may be the signal for most viewers to change channels or put the kettle on but they provide a vital shop-window for the actors whose minor roles would otherwise pass unnoticed.

Television credits may be the signal for most viewers to change channels or put the kettle on but they provide a vital shop-window for the actors whose minor roles would otherwise pass unnoticed.

Now Equity, the actors' union, has complained to television companies about a new practice of dropping credits altogether or rolling them across the screen so quickly they are unreadable.

Equity said credits amounted to a television actor's CV. "They are not going to get work unless people can identify them with particular performances," said a spokesman. It has sought reassurances that credits will be shown clearly and not relegated to a website.

But Lorraine Heggessey, the controller of BBC1, recently said credits were only of interest to the actors and their families.

"Crashing" credits has become common as viewers channel-surf through the increasing numbers of non-terrestrial stations.

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