Media watchdog Ofcom has long been working to uphold standards on TV and radio, publishing a bi-weekly bulletin to keep viewers and listeners abreast of the shows that have sparked complaint, offence or investigation.


To mark the 500th edition of the Broadcast Bulletin in question, Ofcom has published its list of the top 10 most complained about moments of all time.

Listed from one through 10, shows that feature on the list include 2023's King Charles III: The Coronation for Bridgerton actress Adjoa Andoh's comments about the appearance of the royal family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace at the time.

Other moments include ITV's I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!, which has come under fire for the welfare of animals used in trials, with 11,516 complaints made in total in 2020.

Further up the list of more contentious moments include Britain's Got Talent, after 25,017 complaints were made after Diversity's 2020 dance performance in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, which referenced the death of George Floyd.

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The complaints levelled against the dance act were made in relation to some viewers not deeming it to be suitable for family viewing, but Ofcom released a statement at the time, saying: "In our view, Diversity’s performance was an artistic expression of topical social issues and did not contain any content which was racist, unsuitably violent or otherwise inappropriate in the context of this programme."

In the top three most complained-about moments, though, Celebrity Big Brother doesn't make just one appearance, but two.

In the third spot are the 2018 complaints about an allegation from housemate and actress Roxanne Pallett, who claimed that fellow housemate and Coronation Street star Ryan Thomas had "deliberately and repeatedly physically assaulted her".

Pallett later apologised for the claim, saying: "I massively apologise, to not just Ryan, to his family, his friends, his fans, to every single person that watched that and completely justifiably saw an over-reaction to what wasn't a malicious act."

Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid on Good Morning Britain sitting together talking
Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid on Good Morning Britain. ITV

In the second spot is another Celebrity Big Brother moment, this time from 2007, focused on Jade Goody, Danielle Lloyd and Jo O’Meara's behaviour towards the Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty.

As for the top spot, that goes to Good Morning Britain's 2021 broadcast following the much talked-about interview between Oprah Winfrey and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

Although the discussion of the interview by host Piers Morgan received a staggering 54,595 complaints at the time, Ofcom ultimately found that the programme didn't break broadcasting rules, although noted that Morgan's comments were "potentially harmful and offensive to viewers, and we recognise the strong public reaction to them".

The list of top 10 most complained TV moments of all time is as follows:

  1. Good Morning Britain, ITV, 8th March 2021
  2. Celebrity Big Brother, Channel 4, 10th January 2007
  3. Celebrity Big Brother, Channel 5, 30, 31st August & 1st September 2018
  4. Britain's Got Talent, ITV 1, 5th September 2020
  5. Love Island, ITV 2, 6th August 2021
  6. Julia Hartley-Brewer, Talk TV, 3rd January 2024
  7. I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!, ITV 1, December 2020
  8. Dan Wootton Tonight, GB News, 26th September 2023
  9. Jerry Springer the Opera, BBC Two, 8th January 2005
  10. King Charles III: The Coronation, ITV 1, 6th May 2023

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