New rules for phone-in quiz showsViewers will be warned if they spend more than £10

02 May 2007

 

Man with a TV remote control.

Controversial television phone quizzes will now be subject to tough new rules imposed by a watchdog.

Viewers will now be warned if they spend more than £10 on premium rate phone calls and they must be told how many other people are calling to try to take part.

Shows including Channel 4's Richard and Judy, GMTV on ITV and the BBC's Blue Peter have been embroiled in controversy over their phone-in competitions.

It is understood that the new rules, imposed by premium-rate phone call regulator Icstis, are designed to regain the trust of viewers after a series of high profile complaints about the use of premium rate phone lines on TV.

Premium rate

A highly-critical report to MPs told of viewers spending thousands of pounds trying to get through to answer questions and shabby practices by producers to stop callers being put through.

Under the new rules viewers must be shown on screen the number of people calling to take part, and the price of calls must be read out by the presenter or a voiceover every 10 minutes.

Shows which do not comply could face heavy fines.

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