The BBC’s protection of Prince Philip’s death has become the most complained-about event in British TV history, after the broadcaster received a swathe of criticism for clearing its schedules on Friday and committing whole TELEVISION and radio channels to rolling tributes to the royal.
More than 100,000 individuals have registered their grievances over the BBC’s choice to halt protection of key issues, including coronavirus, which suggests reporting around the Duke of Edinburgh’s death has received more problems than Jerry Springer: The Opera, which received 63,000 complaints in 2005, and Russell Brand name’s prank call to actor Andrew Sachs, which drew 42,000 grievances in 2008.
Within hours of the duke passing away, a special online type was established allowing viewers to easily lodge their dissatisfaction. The webpage was taken down on Sunday, however, when figures continued to grow– by which time regular programming had currently resumed.
Following Philip’s death at Windsor Castle, aged 99, the BBC wiped its schedules across both BBC1 and BBC2 to run a series of special programmes about him. BBC Radio 4 and BBC Radio 5 Live likewise aired programs about the Queen’s hubby.
The move, which was mirrored by ITV, saw scores bomb on Friday night. While ITV’s audience decreased by 60 per cent on the night, in contrast to the previous week, BBC1’s visited 6 percent week-on-week and BBC2 simply over 66 percent.
As an outcome Channel 4’s Gogglebox became the most-watched programme on a single channel on Friday night, with 4.2 million audiences.
The BBC decreased to comment on the figures and said it would launch its fortnightly grievances bulletin on Thursday as planned.
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Former BBC speaker Simon McCoy, who recently left the broadcaster to join the recently launched GB News, was amongst those airing their criticisms on social media.
” BBC1 and BBC2 showing the very same thing. And probably the News Channel too. Why? I understand this is a substantial event. However surely the public should have a choice of programming,” he wrote on Twitter.
The complaints were not just about the degree of the BBC’s protection either. Just under 400 individuals wrote to require why Prince Andrew had actually featured in reports, in spite of his association with the late investor and prolific paedophile Jeffrey Epstein– and the accusations of sexual attack that still hang over the prince.
Meanwhile, some 233 individuals are said to have complained that BBC presenters were not wearing sufficiently considerate clothes, with viewers complaining that not all newsreaders were wearing black.