Channel 5 boss demands explicit sex on television

Senior television executive says UK lags behind Europe and predicts hardcore pornography will soon be seen on British screens

A senior executive at Channel 5 is calling for British television to be allowed to show hardcore pornography.

A senior executive at Channel 5 is calling for British television to be allowed to show hardcore pornography.

Adam Perry, the controller of special events at the channel, made his plea at the weekend and will screen explicit pornographic material at a special session of the Edinburgh television festival next weekend.

"My position is that we are now in an illogical and possibly indefensible [situation] in the UK, where we lag behind the rest of Europe in what we can see on subscription view," Mr Perry said.

Hardcore pornography would be available on British television by 2003, he claimed. "At the moment, the British Board of Film Classification [BBFC] guidelines on R18 videos allow scenes of penetration. Ultimately, in two to three years time, this will lead to hardcore pornography in specialist subscription services on British TV. It already happens in Europe: you subscribe to it and it is encrypted and it has pin protection so that kids can't see it."

Although Mr Perry said the views are his own and not those of the channel, such a claim is a little disingenuous as the Edinburgh television festival is chaired by Channel 5 director of programmes Dawn Airey. She will have been closely involved in drawing up the festival programme including the session on television and pornography.

Mr Perry's plea for hardcore pornography to be available on British television will be uncomfortable for David Elstein, his chief executive, who has bridled at the broadcaster being nicknamed "Channel Filth" in some quarters and has said that it does not show pornography. Channel 5 has already been criticised by the regulatory body, the Independent Television Commission (ITC), and by the Broadcasting Standards Council.

Though it has straddled the borderline of taste, the channel has so far stopped short of showing hardcore pornography, which would immediately fall foul of British law.

At the festival, Mr Perry will unveil a Channel 5 poll on sexual attitudes which found that 59 per cent of people think that the laws on sexually explicit material should be the same throughout the EU. It also shows that just over half of those questioned believe that broadcasters should be allowed to show more explicit material after the watershed.

"I think this survey proves that people are much more relaxed about it," Mr Perry said. "In the right conditions they are prepared to accept scenes of explicit consensual sex."

Mr Perry's views were condemned by Patrick Reilly, the chairman of the Catholic Communications Commission, who will take part in the festival debate. "You could argue that this is about freedom," he said. "But there are certain kinds of freedoms we should not exercise. You could argue that you should have the freedom to drive your car and drink, but we have laws against it to protect people."

An anomaly in current legislation was illustrated at the weekend when Channel 4's broadcasting of Lars Von Trier's film The Idiots cut out a scene of penetrative sex to comply with ITC rules, even though the film has been shown uncut on Channel 4's website and has been cleared by the BBFC for watching both at the cinema and on video.

News
peopleHowards' Way actress, and former mistress of Jeffrey Archer, was 60
Sport
Chelsea are interested in loaning out Romelu Lukaku to Everton again next season
sport
News
Robyn Lawley
people
Life and Style
Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson voice the show’s heroes
gamingOnce stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
people
News
i100
Life and Style
Phones will be able to monitor your health, from blood pressure to heart rate, and even book a doctor’s appointment for you
techCould our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?
News
people
Extras
indybest
Sport
Usain Bolt confirms he will run in both the heats and the finals of the men's relay at the Commonwealth Games
commonwealth games
Life and Style
tech'World's first man-made leaves' could use photosynthesis to help astronauts breathe
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Data Scientist

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: A data analytics are currently looking t...

Insight Analyst Vacancy - Leading Marketing Agency

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: A leading marketing agency have won a fe...

Account Manager, London

£18000 - £22000 per annum, Benefits: Excellent Uncapped Commission Structure: ...

Sales Executive, London

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Charter Selection: This exciting entertainment comp...

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?