Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Ash on a Young Man's Sleeve

I thought the week couldn't get any weirder after illegal immigrants paying criminal gangs to smuggle them out of Britain, and Kerry council issuing drink and drive permits. I was wrong:
The BBC was forced to axe a storyline in Casualty about the dangers of smoking because of Wales's stringent anti-smoking laws.
BBC1's long-running hospital drama was planning a storyline in which a smoker inadvertently caused a fire in a hotel.
But Welsh law bans smoking in enclosed public places and in the workplace, which includes – unlike England – actors lighting up on set.
Clare Hudson, head of productions at BBC Wales, told the Welsh national assembly on Tuesday that the smoking ban could cost its economy up to £20m a year in lost work.
"We had one storyline in Casualty warning about the dangers of smoking and how it caused a fire in a hotel," said Hudson.
"But we could not go ahead with it because of the current legislation.
"And scenes in [the revamped] Upstairs, Downstairs were difficult to work around because we had to shoot them outside of Wales.
"Our drama in Wales has been growing very steadily over the past few years. We don't want to see that growth capped on the basis of the current legislation.
"Without the additional burden of this regulation we would become more successful. It would be part of a fantastic set of incentives to attract dramas here."
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