Gogglebox edits out Alex Salmond comments over sexual assault case fears

Vincent Wood
Alex Salmond speaks outside court in Edinburgh in November 2019: AFP/Getty

An episode of Channel 4’s Gogglebox was pulled and replaced with an edited version following concerns it may have prejudiced the upcoming trial of former SNP leader Alex Salmond.

The show, aired by the broadcaster in full on Friday, featured comments on the former Scottish first minister from the Derby-based Siddiqui family, who were watching the Question Time leader’s debate at the time.

The comments regarded the character of the 64-year-old in a manner that could be seen to prejudice his upcoming court case – a potential breach of the contempt of court act.

Repeats of the programme were initially removed from listings and the episode pulled from the broadcaster’s streaming site - only to be reissued with the potentially contemptuous comment removed.

The first airing of the show was watched by roughly two million people, according to BARB data cited by industry publication Broadcast.

A Channel 4 spokesperson said: “This episode of the programme has been edited and is now available on All 4.”

Mr Salmond has pleaded not guilty to a number of charges including one attempted rape, one intent to rape, 10 sexual assaults and two indecent assaults. He is due to stand trial on 9 March next year.

The charges cover a period between 29 June 2008 and 11 November 2014, with one sexual assault alleged to have taken place in the month of the historic independence referendum.

He has pledged to defend himself “vigorously” against the allegations.

A spokesperson from the Crown Office, while not commenting directly on the case, said: “Contempt of Court is a matter which may be brought to the court’s attention by any party involved in the proceedings.

“In all cases where the Crown becomes aware of issues of potential contempt, these will be considered carefully and action will be taken if considered appropriate.”

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