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UK: BBC Accused Of Censoring Siobhan McSweeney’s BAFTA Acceptance Speech

The BBC has been accused of censoring Derry Girls star Siobhán McSweeney’s speech at the BAFTAs last night.

The 43-year-old actress won the first Bafta TV award for best female performance in a comedy programme for her role as Sister Michael, the principal of the show’s Our Lady Immaculate College, in the hit Channel 4 series.

During her acceptance speech, the Cork native referenced the restoration of power-sharing at Stormont and criticised the Governments involved.

“To the people in Derry, thank you taking me into your hearts and your living rooms,” she said.

“I am daily impressed with how you encompass the spirit of compromise and resilience despite the indignities, ignorance and stupidity of your so-called leaders (in) Dublin, Stormont and Westminster.

“In the words of my beloved Sister Michael, ‘it’s time they started to wise up’.”

However, these comments did appear in the BBC One broadcast of the ceremony. In the BBC broadcast, McSweeney said: “To the people of Derry – thank you for taking me into your hearts and your living rooms.”

In a statement on Monday, the BBC said: “While we always aim to keep the core sentiment of acceptance speeches, edits have to be made due to time constraints.”

A BBC spokesperson said the edit was part of a number of cuts to the broadcast which was played out to TV audiences with a delay.

“The live event is three hours and it has to be reduced to two hours for its on-air slot,” they said.

“The same happened to other speeches made during the night and all edits were made to ensure the programme was delivered to time.”