Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Derren Brown - after the event

Earlier this month I explained the letter sent to Channel 4 following Derren Brown's "prediction show". With no reply from them the letter was forwarded to OFCOM, the UK Office of Communications and broadcasting watchdog.

Their reply has not upheld my concerns about the broadcast.

Derren Brown claimed he would broadcast a live lottery prediction show on 9 September, followed by an "explanation" show the following Friday. My concern focused on the misleading nature of the trails, and the lack of a disclaimer advising viewers that the programme would not, in reality, be an actual live prediction.

OFCOM have replied in the following terms...

...[A]fter reviewing the material we do not judge there has been a breach of our regulations.


Whatever solution viewers believed, or whether [his explanations] was all part of the 'showmanship' as he indicated at the start of the programme, is a matter for individual viewers to decide.


That he did not definitively clear up how he guessed the lottery numbers is not a problem for us as the regulator.


And there shall I leave it.