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<i> Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press</i>

The British Broadcasting Corp. issued new guidelines Wednesday aimed at keeping gratuitous sex and violence--as well as supporters of Irish nationalist guerrillas--off the air. “Scenes of violence, sex, great distress or inclusion of bad language are all considerations which can affect the most suitable placing in the schedules,” the new guidelines say. “A good rule of thumb is to avoid taking the audience by surprise except for a very good reason.” Violence should never be gratuitous, dead bodies should not been shown unless there are “the most compelling reasons for doing so” nor should there be undue focus in the news on the bloody aftermath of a terrorist attack. Producers were told that while sex had been more explicit on television in recent years, they were more limited than film makers in what they could show because their programs were viewed by families at home. British television shows nudity, but only after 9 p.m.


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