Britain’s Got More Talent ‘in breach’

‘Britain’s Got More Talent’ has been found in breach of Ofcom’s watershed rules after featuring a burlesque performer who dropped her dress on stage leaving her modesty either pixellated (to the TV audience) or covered by a feather boa.

The performer, Scarlet, was introduced to the judges wearing a full length sequinned dress, gloves and a necklace. She sang a verse and the chorus of ‘The Bare Necessities’ before finally removing her dress entirely and wiggling her pixellated bottom at the audience while her front was covered by the boa.  The item was repeated three times before the watershed on ITV2, on 14 April 2013 at 17:30, and on 17 April 2013 at 06:30 and 13:25. In its ruling Ofcom reminded the broadcaster that in September 2011 it had issued detailed guidance about observing the watershed. The guidance states that: “It is important to note that in pre-watershed content, Ofcom would not expect to see singers and dancers wearing clothing that does not adequately cover their bodies (in particular their breasts, genital area and buttocks)”.

In its response, ITV said it had considered the content and edited it very carefully and it was well signposted. It had also taken into consideration Ofcom’s guidance and audience expectations. ITV disagreed that the pixellation was insufficient.

Ofcom found the sequence in breach because the frequency and close up nature of some of the images of Scarlet’s naked buttocks in the context of a burlesque striptease and its insufficient pixellation made it unsuitable viewing for children.