Ofcom to investigate Celebrity Big Brother following Roxanne ‘punch’ row

The broadcasting regulator received more than 25,000 complaints following the exchange between Roxanne Pallett and eventual winner Ryan Thomas

Roxanne Pallett and Ryan Thomas, Celebrity Big Brother (CBB screenshots, EH)

Ofcom is launching an investigation into Celebrity Big Brother 2018 after the watchdog received more than 25,000 complaints about the ‘punching’ incident involving Roxanne Pallett and fellow housemate Ryan Thomas.

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Former Emmerdale star Pallett accused ex-Coronation Street actor Thomas, who went on to win the reality show, of being a “woman beater” in an exchange which many viewers saw as play-fighting. 

Pallett later apologised for making the accusations.

A total of 25,247 viewers complained to Ofcom following the scenes on Celebrity Big Brother.

The watchdog will examine whether “appropriate information” was shown by Channel 5 which may have assisted “in avoiding or minimising offence” to viewers. 

An Ofcom spokeswoman said: “We are investigating whether this programme broke our rules on offensive content.

Thomas was given a formal warning by Big Brother producers following the accusations by Pallett, who insisted on sleeping in a spare bedroom, separate to Thomas and the other housemates.

The actress then left the house, but following a public backlash she later apologised for her actions on The Jeremy Vine Show saying: “I got it wrong, I really got it wrong.”

Channel 5 axed Big Brother and Celebrity Big Brother earlier this month after seven years.

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Ofcom is also investigating Loose Women over Kim Woodburn’s appearance on the ITV show, in which the How Clean Is Your House? presenter was seen rowing with panellist Coleen Nolan before walking out of the studio in tears.