Published: 17th October 2012

BBFC Announces New President

The BBFC is pleased to announce the appointment of Patrick Swaffer as President.

The appointment took effect from today.  He succeeds Sir Quentin Thomas CB who stepped down after ten years.

Patrick Swaffer is a former Senior and Managing Partner of Goodman Derrick solicitors. He currently is a Consultant to that firm, sits as a Recorder in the Crown Court and is a partner in Media Compliance Services LLP.  

He knows the BBFC well having been its legal adviser for many years, a role which he will now relinquish.

He said:

“I am delighted to have been appointed President of the BBFC in their centenary year – a remarkable achievement of longevity reflecting the continuing public desire for the prior classification of films and DVDs.

“The BBFC is an independent and self-financing body acting solely in the public interest. The classification of films and DVDs and the provision of additional consumer advice allow members of the public, particularly parents, to make informed viewing choices. Where necessary the BBFC steps in to protect the public, particularly children, from content that might cause them harm.

“The classification guidelines published by the BBFC, and its consistent and clear approach to classification issues, have ensured that it continues to enjoy the trust of the public, the local authorities and the film industry. The BBFC’s well known and widely recognised classification symbols are now not only seen at the cinema and on DVDs but also on many websites where films may be viewed or downloaded. The BBFC encourages this responsible approach and is working with online content providers to offer a range of services to meet the public demand for classification and full information. Some 90% of parents wish to see the BBFC’s symbols on film downloads.”

The Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport, Rt Hon Maria Miller MP, will lay an order before both Houses of Parliament proposing to designate Patrick under the Video Recordings Act 1984 as the authority responsible for making arrangements for the classification of videos.\

Notes for Editors

  1. Patrick Swaffer was appointed by the Council of Management of the BBFC after an open competition.
  2. Patrick Swaffer is married with 3 grown up children.
  3. The notice of intention to designate the President must lie for 40 days before both Houses of Parliament. This will not pose any problems for the BBFC as the two Vice-Presidents, Alison Hastings and Gerard Lemos, and the BBFC’s Director, David Cooke, are all designated under the Video Recordings Act 1984.
  4. Patrick Swaffer will be available for interview after his induction period, which includes training in film examination.

About the BBFC

The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) is an independent, private, not for profit company which classifies films, videos, DVDs and certain video games, advertisements and trailers.  The BBFC operates transparent, well-understood and trusted co-regulatory and self regulatory classification regimes based on years of expertise and published Guidelines which reflect public opinion and the risk of harm; and is accountable to Parliament.