Belfast Telegraph

Coronation Street omnibus sparks new Ofcom probe

The omnibus featured the ongoing Bethany Platt grooming storyline.

Coronation Street is being investigated by the broadcasting watchdog after airing the controversial grooming storyline on a Saturday morning.

The omnibus, broadcast on ITV2 on June 3 at 8.50am, sparked complaints with a scene featuring three men paying for sex and following 16-year-old Bethany Platt (Lucy Fallon) into a bedroom.

Viewers saw another character, Shona Ramsey (Julia Goulding) being beaten and stamped on by several men.

Chris Harper plays Nathan Curtis in the long-running grooming storyline.

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Lucy Fallon (Ian West/PA)

An Ofcom spokesman said: “We’re investigating whether this Saturday morning omnibus episode contained scenes that were unsuitable for broadcast at that time.”

The watchdog assessed but decided not to investigate 73 complaints about a drug taking scene on the soap and 24 complaints about the grooming storyline on separate episodes in June, broadcast in the evening on ITV.

The spokesman said: “We concluded that both storylines were clearly signposted and were the culmination of long-running plots that were likely to have been within the audience’s expectations. The drug use was not shown in a positive light, and we took into account Coronation Street’s history of exploring distressing social issues.”

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Chris Harper (Matt Crossick/PA)

It also decided not to investigate 92 complaints about comments made in the Big Brother house.

Many of the complaints were about a “race row”.

“We received a number of complaints about the recent series of Big Brother,” the spokesman said.

“We are satisfied that Channel 5 broadcast clear and appropriate warnings about potentially offensive content, and intervened appropriately in heated exchanges and situations.

“We also took into account the audience’s expectations of this well-established reality format, and that the series is shown after the 9pm watershed.”

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