Feeds

Ofcom okays Derren Brown psychic-baiting

Opinion of regulator's dead relatives pending

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Ofcom has ruled that the psychic at the centre of an episode of Derren Brown Investigates was treated fairly.

The show, which was broadcast by Channel 4 in May, centred on Joe Power, a Liverpool psychic who claimed he could talk to the dead.

Power claimed that he didn't know the show, which featured Derren Brown following him around and pointing out how easy it would be to fake psychic communications, would be a sceptical presentation, apparently unaware of his own (recorded) statements saying how much he was looking forward to exactly that.

Brown has never made any secret of his disdain for those who reckon they can speak to the dead, demonstrating time and again how the same results can be achieved through careful observation and good guesses: if you're as bright as Derren Brown, at least. Nor did Power seem unaware of these options, in recorded interviews which went against him during the investigation.

"He's a well-known sceptic," Power had concluded in an interview with programme-makers made before he signed up for the show. "Why can't a sceptic meet a genuine medium?"

Ofcom stated that "Mr Power clearly understood that Mr Brown was a sceptic". But that didn't stop Power claiming to be under the impression that the programme was called Derren Brown Unexplained, and wouldn't question his abilities.

Complaints about specific elements, such as a crew member's testimony that Power was in the car park when Hollyoaks actress Claire Cooper pulled up in her Mini (he later astounded her by psychically deducing that she indeed owned a Mini), were also rejected on the grounds that Channel 4 included Power's denial of the events - leaving it to viewers to decide whose word they trusted more.

As the regulator puts it, "Accordingly, Ofcom has not upheld Mr Power’s complaint of unfair treatment in the programme as broadcast." ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Amazon says Hachette should lower ebook prices, pay authors more
Oh yeah ... and a 30% cut for Amazon to seal the deal
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Nintend-OH NO! Sorry, Mario – your profits are in another castle
Red-hatted mascot, red-colored logo, red-stained finance books
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
Feel free to BONK on the TUBE, says Transport for London
Plus: Almost NOBODY uses pay-by-bonk on buses - Visa
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.