Viewers ask why BBC cut off major part of Siobhán McSweeney's speech after she won BAFTA
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Viewers have questioned what the BBC was doing after the BAFTA Television Awards was broadcast last night, with a part of Derry Girls star Siobhán McSweeney’s speech cut out.
Check out the video above to see what she actually said, without any editing.
In her acceptance speech for the best female performance in a comedy role, won for her eye-catching turn as Sister Michael in Derry Girls, McSweeney rounded on political leaders on both sides of the border in Ireland and in London.
However, that particular part of her speech was not part of the broadcast, nor part of the BBC iPlayer version of the show that has since been uploaded.
This begs the question – why lose specifically that bit?
In a speech that was equal parts rushed and hilarious, she told a joke about her dying mother, thanked just about everyone she’d ever met and worked with, but also added a poignant thanks to the citizens of the city that made the show.
“To the people in Derry, thank you taking me into your hearts and your living rooms,” McSweeney 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 [the Northern Ireland Assembly] and Westminster.
“In the words of my beloved Sister Michael, ‘it’s time they started to wise up’.”
But, that part of the speech was never broadcast.
It didn’t go unnoticed, though.
Twitter user @OhHeyJacob shared footage from the unaffiliated BAFTA YouTube channel side-by-side with what went out on iPlayer.
He wrote: “What actually happened VS what the BBC aired.
“Tell me again how the BBC is unbiased? Why have they cut that out?”
He later added: “This should be a scandal of national proportions.”
Others seem to agree, with one comment reading: “Thou shalt not criticise thy government.”
Another said: “If they’re going to blame it on trimming down for time, one has to question why they couldn’t cut 10s of applause spread out across the show.”
A third said: “Such a more powerful moving speech. What great telly they just scrapped.”
However, some suggested that there could be other motivation behind the decision to bin off that part of McSweeney’s speech.
“They’ve removed it for that exact reason – [to] remain unbiased - which is correct,” one commenter wrote.
“It’s the national broadcaster and it’s not a current affairs show so has to remain politically neutral and can’t just slag off one group.”
Elsewhere in her speech, McSweeney had joked about how she was asked not even to become an actor by her mother.
She said: “As my mother laid dying in Cork, one of the very last things she said to me was, would I not consider retraining as a teacher.
“If she could see me now getting a BAFTA for playing a teacher.
“Joke’s on you, mum!”
A spokesperson for the BBC said: “As in previous years, due to the nature of the show it is broadcast with a short delay, and while we always aim to keep the core sentiment of acceptance speeches, edits have to be made due to time constraints.”
They also pointed out that the show was three hours long and had to be edited down to two for the air-slot. Other speeches were also edited in order to run the show to time.