A row between Celebrity Big Brother’s Ryan Thomas and Roxanne Pallett led to more than 25,000 Ofcom complaints – more than the total number for 2017 across all TV and radio.
Channel 5’s CBB tops Ofcom’s list of most complained about TV of 2018, with Loose Women coming in second place thanks to an on-air argument between Coleen Nolan and Kim Woodburn.
Newly-released figures show that Ofcom received almost 56,000 complaints from viewers and listeners during 2018. In 2017 by contrast, there were 16,068 complaints about TV shows and radio programmes.
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The significant increase in complaints is thanks mainly to two shows: Celebrity Big Brother (now axed by Channel 5) and Loose Women.
The broadcasting watchdog received 27,602 complaints about CBB in 2018, of which 25,327 related to the incident involving Roxanne and Ryan airing from 30th August to 1st September.
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.
Loose Women on ITV attracted 8,002 complains, of which 7,912 related to the incident between panelist Coleen Nolan and guest Kim Woodburn. The How Clean Is Your House? presenter walked out of the studio in tears after an attempt to end their feud ended in disaster.
Ofcom is now investigating both programmes to determine whether potentially offensive content was editorially justified and placed into appropriate context.
Ofcom’s ‘top ten’ for 2018 is a selection of particularly controversial moments, dominating the stats and accounting for more than 47,000 complaints and 85% of the total for the year.
In third place is Sky News, with 4,251 complaints – of which 3,462 allege bias in the editing of a Tommy Robinson interview on 27th September.
Ofcom also received 4,192 complaints about Love Island, of which 2,644 related to Dani Dyer’s reaction when shown a video of boyfriend Jack reacting to his former partner entering Casa Amour. A further 632 raised concerns about the emotional wellbeing of islander Laura Anderson, and 540 related to “perceived unfair editing” of contestant Samira Mighty.
Completing the rankings are I’m A Celebrity, The X Factor, Coronation Street, Emmerdale, Good Morning Britain and This Morning.
The watchdog said in a statement: “Ofcom is responsible for securing standards on television and radio to protect audiences from harm. Each complaint made to Ofcom is carefully assessed against our broadcasting rules to determine whether further action against the broadcaster might be necessary.”