Timeline created by ConnorMuckleston
In Film
  • 1909

    Local authority gains power to provide or withhold licenses for cinemas in their region.
  • 1912

    The BBFC is created by a burgeoning film industry as a means of ensuring uniformity for film classification decisions.
  • 1932

    The H certificate is introduced by the BBFC. H is an advisory certificate which tells the public that a film has a horror theme and is not suitable for children.
  • 1952

    As a result of changes to the cinematographer act, the X certificate is introduced. No children under the age of 16 may see an X rated film. This is the first mandatory age-restricted category.
  • 1960

    In the first famous trial using the new Obscene Publications Act, D H Lawrence's novel Lady Chatterley's lover becomes freely available for the first time in 32 years. The book is deemed art rather than pornography.
  • 1970

    The age limit on the X category is raised from 16 to 18. The advisory U and A categories are introduced along with the AA category that allows admission to those aged 14 and over.
  • 1982

    The BBFC rating system is overhauled with the introduction of the PG, 15, 18 and R18 categories. The first film rated PG is Return of the Soldier.
  • 1984

    The Video Recordings Act (VRA) is passed and the BBFC becomes the designated authority for rating videos 'for suitability within the home'. The BBFC becomes the British Board of Film Classification.
  • 1989

    Tim Burton's Batman becomes the first 12 rated film in the cinema. Children under 12 cannot view this in the cinema. This category is only available for theatrical releases.
  • 1994

    An amendment is made to the VRA in the wake of the Jamie Bulger case. The BBFC is asked to pay 'special regard to any harm that may be caused to potential viewers or society' in any given video or video game.
  • 2002

    Following an extended period of consultation, the 12 category for cinema is replaced with the advisory 12A. The first film to sport the new category is The Bourne Identity.