BBFC head: Watership Down shouldn't be rated U

David Austin, the new head of the British Board of Film Classification, says the classic 1978 animated film Watership Down should be rated PG.

The film, which was given a U certificate on its original release, has been the subject of many complaints to the Board over the years, often from parents worried that the film is unsuitable for children due to graphic scenes of animals fighting at its conclusion.

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 live's Sarah Brett, Austin said that if the film came in for re-classification while he was at the BBFC "my view is that it should be classified as PG."

He added: "It was classified U in 1978; standards were different then".

He said that for modern audiences there were a few issues such as "violence which is arguably under present guidelines too strong for U and it also contains a swear word which parents have told us in their view is unacceptable for U."