HC Deb 27 January 1998 vol 305 c132W
Mr. McNamara

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if he will discuss with the Chairman of Channel 4 the contents of the episode of "TV Dinners" relating to the cooking and eating of human placenta puree. [25223]

Mr. Fisher

I understand that this programme is to be shown next month. Programme content on Channel Four is regulated by the Channel itself in the first instance, and by the Independent Television Commission which licenses it. The Commission does not preview programmes, but lays down guidelines for its licensees on the standards to be maintained in respect of taste and decency, which they are bound by the terms of their licences to observe. I know that my hon. Friend has made his concerns known to the ITC and I am confident that it, and the Broadcasting Standards Commission, will give careful consideration to any complaints made by him or other viewers once the programme has been broadcast.

It is a long standing principle that Government do not intervene directly in matters of programme content and my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State does not propose to intervene in this case.