Ofcom has ruled that ITV breached broadcasting codes after it showed the infamous chest-bursting scene from ‘Alien’ at 9.25am during a news bulletin broadcast just after its children’s programmes on a Saturday morning.
The scene was shown on January 28, as part of a report on ‘ITV News’ about Sir John Hurt’s death, but immediately followed CITV’s morning show ‘Scrambled’.
Presented by Sam Homewood, London Hughes and Luke Franks, ‘Scrambled’ usually features studio-based antics and gunge, as well as episodes of kid’s shows like ‘Thunderbirds Are Go’, ‘Horrid Henry’, ‘Adventure Time’ and the ‘Mr Bean’ animated series.
Though there was an ad break between the two programmes, a potential 19,000 young viewers ranging from 4 to 15 could have still been tuning in and watched the notoriously gory scene, according to the Radio Times.
Finding ITV in breach, Ofcom said in its ruling: “Ofcom considered that parents and carers were unlikely to have expected material of this nature to be shown on ITV before the watershed and immediately after children’s programming had finished.”
ITV has accepted the ruling, saying that ‘Although news bulletins are not of particular interest to children… we accept that the clip chosen was unsuitable for children who may have been available to view at this time, and was therefore wrongly scheduled’.
It added that ‘the error was recognised by the editorial team very shortly after the report went out’, and the clip was removed from consequent reports shown pre-watershed.