Matthew Wright’s decision to do a light-hearted impression while discussing the murder of a teenager on his Channel 5 magazine show, The Wright Stuff, attracted the most complaints to Ofcom of any show this year, according to figures released by the media regulator.
The programme, which was broadcast on 6 December, saw 2,220 contact Ofcom about the presenter’s attempt to mimic TV detective Taggart while introducing a news item about the death of Liam Aitchison on the Western Isles of Scotland.
With significantly fewer complaints, in second place on the list is ITV’s Dancing on Ice, which incurred the wrath of 784 people concerned about a February broadcast in which Jason Gardiner’s comments about a contestant’s dance and later comments to head coach Karen Barber were deemed offensive.
Ofcom received another significant number of complaints about a different edition of the programme broadcast in January – on that occasion, 253 people contacted the media regulator, again concerning remarks by Gardiner they felt were offensive.
And despite garnering more than 31,000 complaints direct to the BBC, Jeremy Clarkson’s rant on The One Show about shooting public sector workers who strike only prompted 763 complaints to Ofcom – putting it third in their list.
The most complained about programme overall in the top 100 was Simon Cowell’s talent show behemoth, The X Factor. In total, 15 separate editions of the ITV1 show attracted over 750 complaints in total throughout the year. More than 200 of these concerns specifically related to the 2011 wild child Frankie Cocozza, who attracted criticism for swearing on air during a results show and glamorising the use of alcohol.
Other programmes to make it into the Ofcom top ten were Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields on Channel 4, which 176 people complained contained misleading material, and Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror: The National Anthem, which 145 people felt was inappropriate and offensive.