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[i]Holby City[/i] rapped by Portman Group

Published:  23 July, 2008

TV medical drama Holby City has been blasted by responsible drinking organisation The Portman Group, which claims the show depicted a "highly irresponsible portrayal of excessive and rapid drinking".

The scene in the BBC show that the Portman Group took offence to concerned two medics, who were seen to down five shots of tequila.

The group also claims that it was "implied" that their drinking "would lead to a sexual encounter", and that the show also failed to portray "the harmful effect that would have been caused by this drinking".

Portman Group chief executive David Poley said: "We appreciate that programme makers want to mirror some aspects of real life, but they should avoid the encouragement of harmful, rapid and excessive drinking.

"In this case, the characters drank far too much and the harmful consequences were not shown. There are strict controls on alcohol advertising and marketing, but the impact of these rules is being diluted by irresponsible programming."

From next year, The Portman Group's Code of Practice will include a new rule preventing the encouragement of rapid drinking. The Group has also complained to the BBC and TV watchdog OFCOM about the scene.