ITV’s long-running drama Emmerdale was criticised once again over its depiction of shooting, after one of the characters was shown heading out to investigate for suspected poachers after first grabbing a loaded shotgun.

Last week, gamekeeper’s wife Bernice Sellwood wrote to Shooting Times saying: I contacted ITV to complain about this episode, but will it sink in? I don’t think so. When will they get things right? It really portrays people who live and work in the countryside in a bad light. In 2007, ITV was criticised by broadcast regulator Ofcom for showing a violent shotgun blast as part of a kidnapping plot on the soap. Likewise in 2006, the soap was ridiculed by shooters for its portrayal of a gameshoot featuring Guns being served drinks on their pegs by waitresses and making bets between themselves over who would shoot the most birds.

Anita Turner, series producer for Emmerdale, responded to the criticism: “We do take professional advice and have firearms experts on set when filming, but while we take our social responsibilities seriously, we also need to take dramatic licence on occasion. We are not condoning the error in gun handling made by this character in this situation and it is not our intention to cause offence. We will take this feedback on board with the handling of further storylines relating to

sporting guns.”

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