The Have I Got News for You episode which saw host Jo Brand shoot down an all-male panel over sexual harassment jokes has become the most complained-about programme on the BBC in the last fortnight.
New figures published by the Corporation reveal that the 3rd November edition of the comedy panel show attracted a substantial 234 complaints regarding the programme’s treatment of the allegations of sexual misconduct in Westminster.
In a segment looking at a recent headline about the scandal, she hit back at Have I Got News For You team captain Ian Hislop after he chuckled: “Some of this is not high level crime, is it, compared to say Putin or Trump?”
However, Brand cut Hislop off, saying: “If I could only say that as the only representative of the female gender here today, I know it’s not high level but it doesn’t have to be high level for women to feel under siege in somewhere like the House of Commons.
“And actually for women, if you’re constantly being harassed even in a small way, that builds up and that wears you down.”
As the audience cheered, she joked: “Sorry, I thought I was on Question Time for a minute.”
Hislop responded, “No, and as you point out with four blokes sitting around you we’re hardly in a position to say, ‘That’s rubbish’.”
The episode also featured Daily Mail journalist Quentin Letts, who made several controversial jokes, and comedian Miles Jupp.
According to The Guardian, the figures also show that the BBC received 8,377 complaints in total between 30th October and 12th November. Of these, 5,529 were about specific programmes.
The broadcaster has released this information about complaints for the first time after media regulator Ofcom told it to be more transparent.