This is the first in a new series entitled "Public Opinion and Broadcasting Standards", published for the Broadcasting Standards Council. What do the following have in common - car-chases, stagecoach-crashes, shootings, stabbings, beatings, cartoon mayhem, pratfalls, close-calls, Shakespearian slaughter, war and Kung Fu? The answer is that each one can be described by the catch-all term "television violence". The controversies surrounding the possible effects of violence on television have obscured the range of attitudes which British viewers bring to violent images on television. This report - based on a national survey of public attitudes to different types of violent television, and on a special survey among viewers in Northern Ireland - explores the nature and complexity of public opinion about violent fiction, and offers insight into the reasons why people hold their views.