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Olympic promotional footage provokes epileptic fits

'I was thinking about the 2012 Games and then I was out'

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The 2012 Olympics website has pulled "a segment of animated footage" featuring "a diver diving into a pool which had a multi-colour ripple effect" after the snippet reportedly provoked epileptic fits.

We hasten to add the animation did not feature the much-maligned Olympics logo, which to date has merely provoked apoplectic fits in hundreds of thousands of enraged Brit taxpayers.

According to the BBC, Christopher Filmer "rang BBC London 94.9FM to say he suffered a seizure while watching the footage on television and his girlfriend also suffered a fit and needed hospital treatment". He recounted: "The logo came up on TV and I was thinking about the 2012 Games and then I was out."

The offending footage was scrutinised by Professor Graham Harding, who "developed the test used to measure photo-sensitivity levels in TV material". He told BBC London 94.9FM: "It fails the Harding FPA machine test which is the machine the television industry uses to test images. And so it does not comply with Ofcom guidelines and is in contravention of them."

UK charity Epilepsy Action said the images "could affect the 23,000 people in the UK who have photosensitive epilepsy" and that it had received reports they had "even triggered breakthrough seizures where people have a relapse after being seizure-free for a long time".

An Epilepsy Action spokesman said: "The brand incorporates both the Olympic and Paralympic Games, which is ironic as the latter is a showcase for athletes with disabilities. People can strive for years to gain seizure control and it is important that nothing puts this at risk."

A London 2012 spokeswoman confirmed the scare "surrounded a piece of animation shown at the launch, which was recorded by broadcasters and put on the official website". She said: "This concerns a short piece of animation which we used as part of the logo launch event and not the actual logo. We are taking it very seriously and are looking into it as a matter of urgency." ®

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