.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Friday, January 25, 2013

Case for exemption to smoking ban collapses?

The BBC yesterday effectively undermined their own case for an exemption to the smoking ban for theatre and film productions, when they withdrew a claim that a story line in medical TV drama Casualty had to be pulled because of the measure.

It now says the story did run after the production team found an alternative way of filming a lit cigarette, precisely the argument being put forward by those who want to retain the ban intact. BBC Cymru Wales has apologised for the error and asked to amend its evidence:

In their original evidence arguing for a Welsh exemption to the ban on Tuesday, BBC Wales said: "In Casualty, there were plans to use smoking as a cautionary moral tale with a smoker in a hotel room causing a blaze, which formed the central plot line of an episode.

"However, the existing legislation made filming the scenes too difficult to contemplate within the production budget and schedule, and a strong storyline which would have highlighted one of the hazards of smoking, had to be changed to something else."

The BBC now say that "It has since been drawn to our attention by the Casualty production team that they found an alternative way of shooting the relevant scene. To be clear, no change was made to the plot of that episode."

Organisations including ASH Wales and the British Heart Foundation gave evidence to the effect that they believed there was no justification for lifting the ban in Wales and that alternative means could be found of filming smoking scenes, including artificial cigarettes and computer generated imagery.

Those supporting the exemption have said this is too difficult or too expensive and yet it seems that the BBC has been able to do it. We are being asked to relax a public health measure for commercial reasons and yet it transpires that those reasons are flaky at best. The BBC have done their cause great damage this week.
I'm dropping you a line, just to clarify something that is relevant to your blog.

Last night, after we issued BBC Wales' media statement/correction on evidence given to the Sub Committee on Smoke Free Premises, early media reports suggested that we had found a way to film the scene using a lit cigarette - infact that wasn't the case.

What happened was that Casualty had found an alternative way to shoot the scene, without actually physically lighting the cigarette. The end result implied smoking action, without actually lighting the cigarette.

Kate Stokes Davies

Head of Communications
BBC Cymru Wales
This is interesting, how did the filmed the scene without physically lighting an actual cigarette, will this smoking ban also effect the feature movies?
Well Tatiana, i don't think that feature movies come in the category of theatre, in my opinion it is a good thing as young ones can easily adopt such things from their favorite performers.
"alternative means could be found of filming smoking scenes, including artificial cigarette". Yes!!

I've recently given up smoking and am using patches and artificial ciggs to help me off the addiction. Last week when I took a puff out of my electronic vapour cigarette while visiting at the front entrance to the PCH in Merthyr. The security man was alerted and tried to evict me or issue me a fine. If an artificial cigarette can fool a real hospital, they can certainly fool the producers of Casualty. He saw the funny side after I explained what the electronic devise I was puffing on actually was. No problem. I then asked the security guard if the Free Parking also applied to my TARDIS. "Are you some kind of comedian" he asked.. No, I replied, not had that line of work for years.

Perhaps Kate "Stokes" Davies wishes to add further comment.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?