Poppies Yes, Red Ribbons No.

Coming up to 1 December, all over the world ordinary people and celebrities alike were pinning red ribbons to their clothes to show their support for more awareness about HIV–AIDS.  Many of us have written to our MPs and MLAs asking them to put a red ribbon on to mark World AIDS Day.


Earlier in November, coming up to 11 November, in many parts of the world ordinary people and celebrities alike were pinning red poppies to their clothes to show their support for the Royal British Legion and other similar charitable bodies. Many MPs and MLAs were seen wearing them from mid October.

It seems that the BBC, however, is somewhat different. Wearing a Poppy at Remembrance is acceptable, but wearing a red ribbon is not. Pink News has reported to day that Graham Norton was

reprimanded by the BBC for wearing an HIV/AIDS awareness ribbon on his Friday night chat show.

What is particularly stupid is that all his guests were wearing the red ribbon, yet he was not meant to. But he would have been allowed (one would suggest expected) to wear a Poppy coming up on Remembrance?

I suspect that the wearing of the red ribbon or any other symbol is seen as political, yet the wearing of a poppy can also be seen as political, particularly here in Northern Ireland, however much we might like it not to be so seen. Wearing a red ribbon helps to highlight the global fight against HIV–AIDS and I think that all presenters should be allowed to wear the ribbon along with their guests should they wish to do so.

If, like me, you feel that this should be addressed, please contact the BBC. You can do so by writing to

BBC Complaints
PO Box 1922

or by doing so online. (bbc.co.uk)



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