British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) changes guidance from “mild sex references” to “innuendo” for the new Paddington film.

The BBFC has altered its guidance for upcoming family film Paddington after an approach from film distributor StudioCanal.

The feature, rated PG, was originally classified with the advice: “dangerous behaviour, mild threat, mild sex references, mild bad language”.

But when the decision was published on the BBFC website, Paddington’s distributor requested a reconsideration of the insight for the film, specifically to the description: ‘mild sex references’ and more clarity to the frequency of mild bad language. 

Paddington author Michael Bond was also reported to be “totally amazed” at the BBFC’s advice.

Subsequently the BBFC agreed to alter the term ‘mild sex references’ to ‘innuendo’ and added clarity to the frequency of mild bad language. The revised BBFC insight for the film reads: dangerous behaviour, mild threat, innuendo, infrequent mild bad language.

The BBFC ruled that the content in the film went beyond its ‘U’ guidelines and stated that the distributor was content with the PG certificate for the film.

Paddington, directed by Paul King, will be released in the UK on Nov 28.

Ben Whishaw voices the marmalade-loving bear from Darkest Peru in the live-action film, which also stars Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Peter Capaldi and Nicole Kidman as a villainous taxidermist.

Bonneville, who plays Mr Brown, told the BBC on Tuesday that he thought it “hilarious” that the BBFC had mentioned “mild sex references” in relation to a scene in which he disguises himself as a cleaning woman and is flirted with by a security guard.

“I was scratching my head thinking ‘what are the censors talking about?” he said. “There were four and five year olds watching it the other day laughing uproariously, so I don’t think it’s going to damage any young children - or indeed any 75 year olds.”

Bond’s Paddington books have sold 35 million copies around the world since they were first published in 1958.