The BBC’s coverage of Prince Philip’s death has broken the complaints record
At least 110,994 people have contacted the BBC to complain over the extent of the coverage.
The BBC’s coverage of the death of Prince Philip has officially become the most complained-about moment in British television history.
After an unprecedented level of viewer feedback was received over the weekend, it has been confirmed that at least 110,994 people have contacted the BBC to complain over the corporation’s decision to turn most of its TV channels and radio stations over to rolling tributes to the Queen’s husband.
The coverage appears to have elicited one of the most negative reactions to BBC programmes ever seen.
BBC One and BBC Two dedicated Friday evening’s programming to the passing of the Duke of Edinburgh, and it was revealed that ratings subsequently fell as viewers switched off altogether, turned to streaming services or watched shows such as Gogglebox on Channel 4.
Viewers expressed their annoyance that shows such as EastEnders and MasterChef were replaced with royal tributes.
It was widely reported that within hours of Prince Philip’s death, the number of complaints about the coverage had become so large that the BBC was forced to set up a dedicated form in an attempt to streamline the process, but this form was then taken down on Sunday, which made it harder for people to register their displeasure.
The coverage of Prince Philip’s death broke the previous record for BBC complaints – which is believed to be 63,000 objections – to the 2005 decision to broadcast Jerry Springer: The Opera, following criticism from Christian groups.
Not all the complaints were about the extent of the BBC’s coverage, however.
Almost 400 people wrote in to complain that Prince Andrew had featured on the coverage, despite his association with the late financier Jeffrey Epstein and refusal to answer questions posed by the FBI.
A further 233 people apparently complained that BBC presenters were not wearing sufficiently respectful clothes, with viewers complaining that not all newsreaders were wearing black.
The BBC has currently declined to comment on the complaint figures released.