British Board of Film Classification

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History of the age ratings symbols

Year

Media

Unrestricted Category

Advisory Category

Restricted Category

1913FilmU - UniversalA - more suitable for adults (no film certified that was not clean and wholesome)None
1921Film  London County Council - no entrance to young people at A films, except with parent or guardian 
1932Film   H - stood for 'horrific', this indicated horror and was advisory 
1951Film    X - incorporated old H and limited audience to those over 16 years
1970Film  U - Universal  A – Advisory, parents cautioned that film may be unsuitable for young children
AA - admission to children of 14 years or over
 
  X - raised from 16 to 18 years 
1982Film  U - UniversalPG - Parental Guidance - general viewing but some scenes may be unsuitable for young children
  15 - no person under the age of 15 to be admitted.
 
  18 - no person under the age of 18 to be admitted.
 
 
  R18 - for films containing more explicit sexual depictions  
1985Video
Uc -Universal particularly suitable for unsupervised children
 
U - Universal. Suitable for all 
PG - parental Guidance - general viewing but some scenes may be unsuitable for young children 
  15 - suitable only for persons of 15 years and over.
 
  18 - is suitable only for persons of 18 years and over.
 
  R18 -restricted to distribution in licensed premises - no one under 18 to be admitted.  
1989Film    12 - no person under the age of 12 to be admitted.
1994Video    12 - suitable only for persons of twelve and over.
2002Film    12A no-one younger than 12 may see a '12A' film in a cinema unless accompanied by an adult.
2009Video
 Uc -Certificate is removed and
replaced with BBFCinsight which states where works are 'particularly suitable for pre-school children' 
  

 

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