TV3 may ditch 'psychic' programme


TV3 has said it will take a controversial late-night programme which features self-styled psychics off the air unless the makers can give it a guarantee they will meet all the legal and regulatory requirements.

The company told The Irish Times that it had contacted the makers after the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland upheld four complaints against the programme in a ruling published yesterday evening.

While the broadcaster has said it is considering taking the programme off air, it initially offered a robust defence.

In one submission to the BAI, TV3 went as far as to say pregnancy was not “strictly considered to be a health issue”. Under the BAI’s code of conduct, it is forbidden for psychic services to discuss health matters or to predict the future as a matter of fact.

However when a caller queried one “psychic”, she was told that she would have twins. In response, TV3 said care was taken to ensure psychics did not provide advice on health matters but said “the reality is that in a live broadcasting environment, some questions which are very general, such as those in relation to childbearing, can touch on health issues”.

Another complaint focused on a woman who asked when she would have her next grandchild. She was told that a grandchild was not only coming but that “I think your daughter is pregnant right now”.

In response TV3 insisted the programme met all regulatory requirements and was clearly “identified as an entertainment service at all times”.