The most complained about TV moments in history

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From royal interviews to controversial reality TV moments, here are the most complained about TV moments in history according to TV watchdog Ofcom.

1. Good Morning Britain, ITV, 8 March 2021

Complaints: 54,595

This programme featured reactions to the Oprah Winfrey interview with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Although Ofcom did not find it in breach of broadcasting rules, ITV was reminded to handle topics around mental health and suicide with greater care.

 

2. Celebrity Big Brother, Channel 4, 10 January 2007

Complaints: 45,159

Viewers were outraged by the alleged bullying of Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty by Jade Goody, Danielle Lloyd, and Jo O’Meara. Channel Four was found in breach of the Broadcasting Code and had to broadcast Ofcom’s findings multiple times.

 

3. Celebrity Big Brother, Channel 5, 30, 31 August & 1 September 2018

Complaints: 25,327

Roxanne Pallett’s allegation that Ryan Thomas physically assaulted her led to thousands of complaints. Ofcom found no breach of rules but acknowledged the sensitivity of the issue and the broadcaster’s warnings to viewers.

Diversity dance

4. Britain’s Got Talent, ITV, 5 September 2020

Complaints: 25,017

The dance troupe Diversity performed a routine that included support for ‘Black Lives Matter’, sparking complaints about its suitability for family viewing. Ofcom concluded that the programme did not break any rules.

 

5. Love Island, ITV2, 6 August 2021

Complaints: 24,921

Faye’s behaviour towards Teddy led to nearly 25,000 complaints. Ofcom determined that the programme did not breach any rules.

 

6. Julia Hartley-Brewer, TalkTV, 3 January 2024

Complaints: 17,351

Julia Hartley-Brewer’s interview with Palestinian politician Dr Mustafa Barghouti drew numerous complaints. Ofcom found no rule breaches but advised TalkTV to justify potentially offensive comments more carefully.

Ant and Dec revealing I'm A Celebrity results

7. I’m a Celebrity, Get me out of Here!, ITV, December 2020

Complaints: 11,516

Animal welfare concerns during trials led to a flood of complaints, largely from an RSPCA petition. Ofcom concluded there were no issues under their rules.

 

8. Dan Wootton Tonight, GB News, 26 September 2023

Complaints: 8,867

Laurence Fox made misogynistic comments about journalist Ava Evans, resulting in a breach of Ofcom’s offence rules.

 

9. Jerry Springer the Opera, BBC2, 8 January 2005

Complaints: 8,860

This controversial programme offended many with its portrayal of the Christian community. Ofcom found no breach of broadcasting rules.

 

10. King Charles III: The Coronation, ITV1, 6 May 2023

Complaints: 8,421

Actress Adjoa Andoh’s comment about the Royal Family during the coronation broadcast received many complaints. Ofcom concluded the programme did not breach any rules.