History of the age ratings symbols | 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' 
  
2019Film
 
U - Universal. Suitable for all 

PG - General viewing, but some scenes may be unsuitable for young children. 

Generally suitable for those aged 12 and over (cinema only); those under 12 admitted, but only if accompanied by an adult.

Suitable only for persons of 15 years and over. (Not to be supplied or shown to any person below that age)

Suitable only for persons of 18 years and over. (Not to be supplied or shown to any person below that age)

To be supplied only in sex shops and shown only in licensed cinemas to persons of not less than 18 years.
 Video (from April 2020)  

Suitable only for persons of 12 years and over. (Not to be supplied to any person below that age)

 

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