10 November 2012 4:01 PM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

After a century looking out for the nation's sensibilities and a new president taking charge, the British Board of Film Classification has much to scrutinise – not least its own history

After 100 years of trimming the naughty and nasty bits from films, the board that classifies all entertainment for theatrical release in Britain is training up its new chief censor, a solicitor.

But if you, like the new man, had already worked at the cutting edge of censorship for some time and were an expert in the legal arguments surrounding the public screening of scenes of violence and depravity, would there really be anything left to learn?

Apparently so, for Patrick Swaffer, who was appointed president of the British Board of Film Classification last month, is undergoing an "induction period" in a job that will see his signature projected on to cinema screens across the land on certification cards for years to come. »

- Vanessa Thorpe

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