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Steve in Pudsey9,906 posts since 4 Jan 2003
Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
Seems to be a different attitude towards the European elections than the local ones. Whether that is usually the case or if they're being more compliant in the arena of Brexit I'm not so sure.

I suspect the restrictions end up having a different effect because they are a proportional vote, party is more important than candidate.


The other big difference this time is that they weren't meant to be happening and the UK was only confirmed as definitely taking part last week so its probably caught some places off guard (even though the rules have applied in some areas for the recent local elections)

The rules are here by the way:
https://www.ofcom.org.uk/tv-radio-and-on-demand/broadcast-codes/broadcast-code/section-six-elections-referendums

Interesting that if a programme has booked a guest before the election period, they are allowed to appear. Possibly explains last week's guest on HIGNFY


I think there is also the issue of 'balance across the piece'. If HIGNFY had a number of party leaders or similar senior politicians scheduled to appear during the EU Election Period, they would have achieved balance over that period. If Heidi Allen was the only party leader (or senior politician) booked for the shows during that time, it would be trickier.

However the argument about the EU elections potentially not happening is a pretty poor one. There was always a reasonably strong likelihood that EU elections were going to happen once it was clear the UK Parliament wouldn't support a 'No Deal' Brexit.

I do wonder if this is an Indie production company thinking they could sail close to the wind, and the BBC Editorial Policy department exerting some control.

As somebody from Editorial Policy was present at the recording, according to the statement from Hat Trick, I'm more inclined to think it was a cock up than conspiracy.
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Inspector Sands13,518 posts since 25 Aug 2004

I think there is also the issue of 'balance across the piece'. If HIGNFY had a number of party leaders or similar senior politicians scheduled to appear during the EU Election Period, they would have achieved balance over that period. If Heidi Allen was the only party leader (or senior politician) booked for the shows during that time, it would be trickier.

Tricky too because the election periods for the European and local elections overlapped so any 'balance across the piece' would need to be wrapped up before last Thursday.

This week's was episode 5/6 I think so it can't be balanced up in subsequent episodes
all new Phil3,139 posts since 12 Feb 2005
Granada North West Today
I wonder if this is down to a misunderstanding / uncertainty around the bit regarding guests being booked before an election is called?

My reading of the guidelines suggests that they were probably actually ok, given that Heidi was no doubt booked before it was confirmed the election was going ahead. What probably makes it a grey area, and has given them cold feet about the episode going ahead, is that it could be argued that the election was likely to be going ahead anyway. Clearly if it was black and white, they wouldn’t have had her on.
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gottago2,798 posts since 26 Aug 2004
London London
I suspect the restrictions end up having a different effect because they are a proportional vote, party is more important than candidate.


The other big difference this time is that they weren't meant to be happening and the UK was only confirmed as definitely taking part last week so its probably caught some places off guard (even though the rules have applied in some areas for the recent local elections)

The rules are here by the way:
https://www.ofcom.org.uk/tv-radio-and-on-demand/broadcast-codes/broadcast-code/section-six-elections-referendums

Interesting that if a programme has booked a guest before the election period, they are allowed to appear. Possibly explains last week's guest on HIGNFY


I think there is also the issue of 'balance across the piece'. If HIGNFY had a number of party leaders or similar senior politicians scheduled to appear during the EU Election Period, they would have achieved balance over that period. If Heidi Allen was the only party leader (or senior politician) booked for the shows during that time, it would be trickier.

However the argument about the EU elections potentially not happening is a pretty poor one. There was always a reasonably strong likelihood that EU elections were going to happen once it was clear the UK Parliament wouldn't support a 'No Deal' Brexit.

I do wonder if this is an Indie production company thinking they could sail close to the wind, and the BBC Editorial Policy department exerting some control.

As somebody from Editorial Policy was present at the recording, according to the statement from Hat Trick, I'm more inclined to think it was a cock up than conspiracy.

Yes. Indies don't just get commissioned and make the show of their own free will. The BBC commissioners ultimately sign off guests, content, pretty much everything. Somewhere at the BBC something went seriously wrong with their own editorial policy. I highly doubt this is Hat Trick's fault.
Brekkie31,225 posts since 4 Jan 2003
HTV Wales Wales Today
I think there is also the issue of 'balance across the piece'. If HIGNFY had a number of party leaders or similar senior politicians scheduled to appear during the EU Election Period, they would have achieved balance over that period. If Heidi Allen was the only party leader (or senior politician) booked for the shows during that time, it would be trickier.

Do they have to have them actually booked though or is inviting them to appear enough?
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Steve in Pudsey gave kudos
Charlie Wells3,764 posts since 26 Nov 2003 Moderator
Anglia (West) Look East (West sub-opt)

I think there is also the issue of 'balance across the piece'. If HIGNFY had a number of party leaders or similar senior politicians scheduled to appear during the EU Election Period, they would have achieved balance over that period. If Heidi Allen was the only party leader (or senior politician) booked for the shows during that time, it would be trickier.

However the argument about the EU elections potentially not happening is a pretty poor one. There was always a reasonably strong likelihood that EU elections were going to happen once it was clear the UK Parliament wouldn't support a 'No Deal' Brexit.

I do wonder if this is an Indie production company thinking they could sail close to the wind, and the BBC Editorial Policy department exerting some control.

As somebody from Editorial Policy was present at the recording, according to the statement from Hat Trick, I'm more inclined to think it was a cock up than conspiracy.

Yes. Indies don't just get commissioned and make the show of their own free will. The BBC commissioners ultimately sign off guests, content, pretty much everything. Somewhere at the BBC something went seriously wrong with their own editorial policy. I highly doubt this is Hat Trick's fault.

Considering Heidi Allen was listed as appearing in TV Choice which is printed over a week before the recording it's surprising that nobody within the BBC spotted her booking prior to the recording. Presumably had it been spotted and flagged it up as a potential issue to Hat Trick prior to recording (even if only when attending the recording) she could have been substituted.

Ref the BBC website it looks like the TV guide has now been updated to list the Graham Norton Show.
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Steve in Pudsey9,906 posts since 4 Jan 2003
Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
Posting this for the relevant point in the attachment rather than to make any political point - apparently Heidi Allen received assurances from the show producers that her appearance was in order before the recording.


Write that down in your copybook now.