British viewers less worried by levels of sex, violence and swearing on TV

A report from the media regulator Ofcom shows fewer people are concerned about fighting, fornication and foul language on television now than in 2005


The British viewing public are less concerned about sex, violence and swearing on TV now than they were in 2005, according to a new report from media regulator Ofcom.


The watchdog quizzed a sample of 1,700 Brits aged 16 and over during 2011 and discovered that more than half of respondents thought that the amount of fighting, fornication and foul language on our screens was about right.

Only 25% of those quizzed thought there was “too much” sex on the TV, down from 36% in 2005, while just over a third of the survey’s sample thought levels of violence (36%) and swearing (37%) were currently too high, a reduction from 56% and 55% respectively from seven years ago.

Despite these declines, 19% of respondents still said that they’d been genuinely offended by something they’d seen on TV during the past 12 months, which was a similar proportion to those polled on the topic in 2010.

12% of viewers indicated that they thought the general quality of TV had gone up over the past year too, while 55% felt that things had stayed pretty much the same and 31% said things had got worse – a reduction from the 40% who made the same complaint in 2005.


And while the majority of people still watch television via a conventional set, the survey found that 34% of internet-ready respondents now watched TV programmes or clips online.