From October 1988 to September 1994 the voices of representatives from Sinn Féin and several Irish republican and loyalist groups were banned by the British government from being broadcast on television and radio in the United Kingdom. The restrictions, announced by the Home Secretary, Douglas Hurd, An archive excerpt of how interviews with any member’s of the 11 organisations listed in the British Broadcast Restrictions Act were undertaken. Members could still be interviewed but according to the Act their voices mustn’t be broadcast. This Legislation covered Radio and TV but oddly enough not print media. The Republic of Ireland had its own similar legislation that banned anyone with links to paramilitary groups from the airwaves, but repealed this in January 1994. This added pressure on the British government to do likewise. The broadcast ban was finally lifted on 16 September 1994, a fortnight after the first Provisional Irish Republican Army ceasefire.

Many media outlets overcame this obstruction by dubbing over voices in the cutting room using vocal actors who studied the video and tried to follow how the interviewee spoke in that film. This was subsequently mixed over the top of the voice of the interviewee when the piece was broadcast. on 19 October 1988, covered eleven organisations based in Northern Ireland and followed a heightened period of violence in the history of the Troubles, as well as the government’s belief in a need to prevent Sinn Féin from using the media for political advantage.

Broadcasters quickly found ways around the ban, chiefly by dubbing the voice of anyone who was prevented from speaking with the voice of an actor. The legislation did not apply during election campaigns and under certain other circumstances. The restrictions caused difficulties for British journalists who objected to censorship in various other countries, such as Iraq and India.