We believe that public consultation is crucial to continued public trust in what we do. Our new Classification Guidelines reflect explicitly concerns raised by the public during the 2013 consultation and will, I believe, ensure that we continue to be in step with what the public wants and expects in order to make sensible and informed viewing decisions.
Today the BBFC becomes the new regulator of mobile content, replacing the Independent Mobile Classification Body, which had regulated this content since 2004. From 2 September, the BBFC will provide the UK mobile network operators EE, O2, Three and Vodafone, with a new independent Classification Framework for content accessed via their mobile networks.
People sometimes ask whether the BBFC try to lead public opinion, or to act as moral guardians. The Guideline Reviews provide the answers to those questions. Our aim is to keep in line with public opinion - in detail, and in a securely grounded way. Yes, we have expertise in film classification, but no, we do not set ourselves up as moral guardians.
If you have ten quid to spend on a bottle of wine, you could do far worse than to invest in one from Chile. Has the BBFC finally succumbed to product placement? No chance! The thought was planted in my mind by a mysterious juxtaposition of Chile's Atacama Desert, the least humid place on earth, and Belfast City Centre...of which the same cannot exactly be said.
All of the UK's mobile phone networks run a system of filtering to keep web-based adult content away from children who access the internet via a mobile phone handset. The policy was first introduced voluntarily back in January 2004. It is still in place as a voluntary measure.
Inspired by a recent dinner with the author, I am reading, or rather listening to, my friend Jonathan Powell's second memoir of No 10, The New Machiavelli. Just as he did at Oxford, as a diplomat in Washington, and as Tony Blair's Chief of Staff in Downing Street, Jonathan writes well, and with a light touch.
Like a lingering disease cured only by cuts to the most nefarious bits of your running time, the NC-17 has long been the leper of US distribution. Many American cinema chains both refuse to promote and flat out refuse to show NC-17 rated films due to the institutionalised stigma that comes with them.
Teenagers are often ahead of the curve on the burning issues of classification. Their strong views on discriminatory language in films and their concern about anti-social behaviour in films and TV, for example, foreshadowed our recent Guidelines research and independent study into the use of racist and homophobic language and other discriminatory terms relating to disability.
Of all the BBFC's classification issues, sex is perhaps the trickiest. For bad language, for instance, it's relatively easy to define and apply the rules. But when does a sex reference become too strong for 12A? And when does a sex reference, or sex scene, need to be restricted to adults only? It's certainly no longer true that we want "No sex, please, we're British".