The 10 most complained about TV programmes of 2017

Good Morning Britain features on the ten most complained about TV episodes twice (Photo: ITV)
Good Morning Britain features on the ten most complained about TV episodes twice (Photo: ITV)
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Most television viewers either change the channel or write an angry tweet whenever remotely offended by the content of a TV programme.

In 2017 however, a select few moments resulted in communications watchdog Ofcom receiving an avalanche of complaints.

An Ofcom spokesperson told i: “To help us protect standards on television, we always assess every complaint we receive from viewers. In 2017 we have investigated 187 programmes, and found 97 of these in breach of our broadcasting rules.”

From daytime controversy to jungle bullying, here are the most complained about programmes in the UK in 2017 (up to 20 December):

1. Good Morning Britain, ITV, 5 September (1,142 complaints)

Davidson described homosexuality as a “sin” and “a socially constructed concept”. His appearance came only a day after presenter Piers Morgan had verbally attacked trans model Munroe Bergdorf for her views on white supremacist marches in Charlottesville.

2. Press Preview, Sky News, 20 June (1,063 complaints)

In June, Press Preview drew the ire of viewers following offensive comments from British journalist Melanie Phillips.

Phillips insinuated that amongst the world’s Muslim population “there are millions of people to try to kill others.”

She also misquoted President Sisi of Egypt, suggesting he’d said: “We cannot anymore have a situation where 1.6 billion Muslims are trying to murder the rest of the world.”

In reality the African leader had posed the rhetorical question “Does this mean that 1.6 billion people (Muslims) should want to kill the rest of the world’s inhabitants?”

3. Britain’s Got Talent, ITV, 1 June (665 complaints)

Also in June, Britain’s Got Talent presenter Amanda Holden provoked outrage from viewers for her choice of outfit.

The TV personality wore a dress with a plunging neckline on the ITV talent contest which was deemed inappropriate by some, due to the programme’s younger audience.

4. Coronation Street, ITV, 27 October (541 complaints)

Corrie took a dark turn in October with violent scenes which drew more than 500 complaints.

The character of Pat Phelan persuaded mentally unstable character Andy Carver to kill Vinny Ashford in a creepy warehouse setting. Phelan then turned on Carver, finishing off the grisly sequence.

Some viewers suggested the scene would have been better placed in a horror film.

5. Comic Relief 2017, BBC 1, 24 March (339 complaints)

The usually inoffensive fundraising extravaganza Comic Relief was an unlikely source of complaints earlier this year.

Controversial comedian Russell Brand uttered the F-word before the watershed and former Shooting Stars presenter Vic Reeves upset viewers for flashing a fake penis at TV presenter Susanna Reid.

6. Emmerdale, ITV, 6 March (275 complaints)

Emmerdale drew almost 300 complaints for prison-set scenes that were deemed inappropriate for the soap’s 7pm slot.

Aaron Dingle suffered homophobic abuse from fellow inmates, before being mocked over the suicide of his father.

Dingle was then violently beaten by the mocking prisoners.

7. I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! ITV, 7 December (243 complaints)

Earlier this month Iain Lee and ex-footballer Dennis Wise became embroiled in a bullying row.

Actor Jamie Lomas and Wise were frequently seen making digs at radio presenter Lee following the latter’s failure to complete a Bushtucker trial.

8. This Morning, ITV, 13 November (181 complaints)

The ITV chat show earned a number of complaints for the comments of guest Andrea Williams of the Christian Legal Centre.

Williams referred to the transgender identity as “a fad”. Williams was joined by school teacher Joshua Sutcliffe, who complained about losing his job after “misgendering” a child.

9. Good Morning Britain, ITV, 20 June (176 complaints)

Good Morning Britian was criticised for hosting right-wing figure Tommy Robinson (real name Stephen Lennon).

The English Defence League co-founder made inflammatory comments about the Qur’an, labelling the holy script “a violent and cursed book”. Piers Morgan labelled Robinson “a bigoted lunatic”.

10. Benidorm, ITV, 3 May (137 complaints)

The sitcom Benidorm received a number of complaints following offensive comments towards a character with a cleft lip.

Character Joyce Temple-Savage said of Danny Tetley “[he has]a voice like a 13-year-old girl and a face like a dropped pie”.

The Cleft Lip and Palate Association said of the comments: “We at the Cleft Lip and Palate Association (CLAPA) were extremely disappointed to hear of an ignorant and highly offensive comment.”

This article originally featured on our sister site, the i.

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