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ITV's Jekyll and Hyde too scary for children, rules Ofcom

Published 25/01/2016

Tom Bateman stars in ITV's Jekyll and Hyde (ITV/PA)
Tom Bateman stars in ITV's Jekyll and Hyde (ITV/PA)

An episode of ITV's Jekyll and Hyde has been deemed to be unsuitable for children after it included violent and disturbing scenes.

The first episode in the series received more than 500 complaints after it aired at 6.30pm on Sunday October 25 last year, two-and-a-half hours before the watershed.

Broadcasting watchdog Ofcom found the programme broke the rules " requiring children to be protected from unsuitable material by appropriate scheduling".

A spokesman said: " The cumulative effect of violent and frightening scenes made this programme - the first in the series - unsuitable for children when scheduled to start at 6.30pm on a Sunday, and without a clear warning before it started."

The episode in question featured a scary creature called the Harbinger, the murder of a couple and also showed two fight scenes including a bar fight and punch-up in an alleyway.

Broadcaster ITV argued that the episode showed limited violence and that any frightening content was consistent with material shown in other fantasy dramas before the watershed.

Creator Charlie Higson recently confirmed the drama, starring Tom Bateman and Richard E Grant, would not be returning for another series.

He tweeted: " Sad day today as ITV announce they don't want any more #JekyllandHyde. Ah well, I tried. It was a grand adventure while it lasted."

Higson apologised for "upsetting viewers" during an interview with BBC Radio 6 Music, saying: " It wasn't my intention to upset people by it. Obviously, it was my intention for it to be scary - it's a scary show."

An episode of the drama that was believed to have featured a gunfight was pulled following the terror attacks in Paris.

Ofcom confirmed they would not be pursuing any complaints regarding any other episodes in the series.

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