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S4C Channel accused of ‘trash TV’ over Sophie Dee documentary

from www.walesonline.co.uk – S4C has been accused of courting viewers of “trash TV” after it emerged the Welsh-language channel was planning a documentary about a hardcore pornography actress.

In a list of forthcoming commissions posted on its website, the broadcaster includes a show about Llanelli-born porn star Sophie Dee, who is now based in California.

Ms Dee, 27, has appeared in 300 pornographic films and has won several industry awards.

She is married to another porn star called Lee Bang.

Other shows planned by S4C include one about a drag artist called Tina Sparkle and a series on cage fighting.

A broadcasting insider said: “This looks like a last desperate attempt to pick up new viewers, presumably from UFC [Ultimate Fighting Championship channel] and Channel X.

“Chapels and eisteddfodau the length of Wales will be getting in the smelling salts.

“The more worrying point is that those in charge at S4C clearly don’t understand what the channel really needs if it is to restore its good name. In a future of scarce resources, how would you fancy proving your worth to [Culture Secretary] Jeremy Hunt and Parliament with Sophie Dee beside you?

“They’ve now got a decent settlement with the BBC. Why screw it up by commissioning programmes like this with public money?”

Welsh Labour AM Jenny Rathbone said: “It seems a pretty desperate move by S4C to plan to commission tasteless shows such as these. I’m sure S4C’s viewers do not want to see Wales’ own channel spiral into trash television programming.”

Suzy Davies, the Shadow Minister for Welsh Language and Culture, said: “S4C has a public service obligation to provide comprehensive programming that should, at times, be thought-provoking and questioning. However, many viewers will rightly question whether documentaries about hardcore pornography, funded by taxpayers, are a priority for public interest and likely to appeal to a wide audience.

“In an increasingly competitive digital age, S4C should be seeking to broaden its appeal to Welsh speakers and learners to further cement its position as a leading player in the Welsh media.”

Plaid Cymru Heritage spokeswoman Bethan Jenkins said: “I don’t know yet what kind of film S4C is planning to make. If it is designed to be titillating – a kind of lad’s mag approach – then that would be a complete waste of public money.

“On the other hand, a serious- minded, journalistic inquiry into the adult entertainment industry is well within the remit of a channel committed to providing a quality view of the world.”

Welsh Liberal Democrat Heritage spokesman Peter Black said: “My view is that it is not the role of politicians to dictate to TV companies what programmes they choose to air. S4C is heavily regulated and no doubt anybody who takes offence at this programme will take advantage of that to make complaints to the appropriate body.”

An S4C spokesman said: “We have noted clearly in our Vision 2012 our aim to provide interesting, diverse and exciting programmes and content, which explore and reflect all aspects of Welsh life. We will offer content that is original, inventive and attractive. At times we will offer material that is challenging and contemporary, and this means that we will have to push the boundaries and take risks.

“Soph Porn is the working title of one programme in a series about people who lead interesting and successful lives in different fields. Production companies have been asked to put forward ideas for challenging and talked-about programmes and they have responded positively.

“It is only one of dozens of commissioned programmes for the 2012 schedule, which reflect the breadth of creativity, talent and experience in the production sector, and our remit as a public service broadcaster and a Welsh-language channel to offer a service that will offer a variety of quality content for viewers and users from different backgrounds, age groups and areas.

“Soph Porn and other series and programmes will be broadcast as part of our new and exciting schedule which will be launched in March 2012. We have in place a number of methods to gauge viewers’ response to our content, including a new Viewers’ Panel.”

Read More http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/2011/11/02/s4c-comes-under-fire-for-documentary-about-hardcore-porn-star-91466-29703661/#ixzz1cYdjPpgS

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