Ranked: The TV moments that received the most Ofcom complaints this year
People were not happy with Prince Philip’s death
The staff at Ofcom must be clocking in hours of overtime right now as it seems this year’s TV shows are receiving thousands upon thousands of complaints. Whether it’s Love Island, Meghan and Harry’s interview or a questionable Channel 5 documentary, the Ofcom complaints just keep on coming. But what are the most complained about moments of 2021?
This year has seen some of the highest number of complained about moments ever since Ofcom began regulating TV in 2003. ITV in particular has received complaints across some of its biggest programmes including This Morning, Good Morning Britain and Love Island. The channel is responsible for 10 out of the 15 most complained about moments this year, registering nearly 100,000 Ofcom complaints in those moments alone.
But it’s not just ITV. Channel 4, GB News and the BBC have all found themselves with viewers complaining in their thousands over their programmes.
These are the TV moments to have received the most Ofcom complaints in 2021:
15. This Morning’s interview with influencer who ‘identifies as Korean’ – 123 complaints
Kicking off the top most complained about Ofcom moments of 2021 is This Morning’s interview with influencer Oli London who “identifies as Korean”.
Oli is white and had multiple surgeries, costing £175,000, in order to look like BTS member Jimin. During his interview with Holly and Phil, Oli said he’d been fascinated with Korean culture ever since he lived there nine years ago.
He went onto say he’s always felt “trapped” in his body but now after having surgery to achieve a “Korean look” he’s happier than ever.
Ofcom received 123 complaints over the interview that took place in July as many said it was offensive to Korean people.
14. Hugo being overlooked in a challenge – 235 complaints
Love Island has managed to rack up a large number of the Ofcom complaints this year.
The first being Hugo getting overlooked in the “Line of Booty” challenge. During the challenge the girls had to pick a boy to pat down, kiss and put in a jail cell.
Hugo was left on the subs bench and not picked by the any of the girls. Savage. The moment received 235 complaints to Ofcom, part of 600 that were registered in the first two weeks of Love Island.
13. Channel 4’s Dispatches programme – 331 complaints
Channel 4’s Dispatches documentary “Torn Apart: Family Courts Uncovered” received 331 Ofcom complaints when it aired in April earlier this year due to the “misrepresentation of dads”.
The documentary looked into the system of family courts and what really goes down behind closed doors. The show included footage of children being taken from their homes in the middle of the night by police to another parent’s home.
Many viewers felt the show was very one sided as it showed no interviews or personal footage with the dads.
12. Dan Wootton’s comments on lockdown on GB News – 390 complaints
Is anyone surprised a GB News segment ended up on this list? During Dan Wootton’s first appearance on GB News in June earlier this year, the show received 390 complaints for his comments on lockdown.
During the show he ranted about the government and the control of “doomsday scientists”. He said: “Boris Johnson has bottled it. Freedom Day won’t take place next Monday, Britain won’t be open again.
“We will still be haunted by the pandemic despite having the world’s best vaccine rollout. Lockdowns are crude measures. Mark my words in the years to come we will discover they have caused far more deaths and devastation than the government has ever admitted.”
After the complaints were sent in, Ofcom said they would not investigating the comments made by Dan.
11. Danny Bibby entering the Love Island villa – 1,507 complaints
Another Love Island moment which caused an influx of Ofcom complaints was the arrival of Islander Danny Bibby.
Just as he was about to enter the villa it was reported Danny used the n word in an old Instagram post. Danny has since apologised for his use of the word, however during his appearance on the show many people thought he should be removed from the villa for his comments.
Over 1,000 complaints were sent in to Ofcom during the Love Island episode when Danny entered the Love Island villa.
10. This Morning’s 800 calories diet – 1,932 complaints
It appears even a global pandemic can’t stop diets being shoved down our throats. In February earlier this year ITV was subjected to a number of Ofcom complaints over a 800 calorie diet being promoted on This Morning.
During a segment called “How To Lose The Lockdown pounds” doctor Michael Mosely appeared on This Morning to discuss the benefits of a 800 calorie diet.
Many people took to Twitter to complain about the moment, with one person calling it “possibly one of the most irresponsible things” This Morning had done. Ofcom registered nearly 2,000 complaints over the moment.
9. A Good Morning Britain debate on ditching unvaccinated friends – 2,104 complaints
At the beginning of June a debate took place on GMB to discuss whether you should ditch friends who have not had the COVID vaccine.
The debate featured GMB hosts Adil Ray and Ranvir Singh and guests Dominique Samuels and Nick Hewer.
People on Twitter called out the debate claiming it was “divisive” and Ofcom received over 2,000 complaints for the segment.
8. Dr Hilary and Richard Madeley on Good Morning Britain – 2,632 complaints
At the beginning of November Dr Hilary and Richard Madeley received over 2,000 complaints for their comments about COVID.
During Good Morning Britain Dr Hilary said yellow leaflets claiming to be from the government about COVID vaccination risks were “complete misinformation”.
He said: “Beware of bogus letter drops, which are complete nonsense. This is complete misinformation.”
“It looks like a Government UK yellow card reporting scheme for adverse reactions to any kind of medicines or vaccines. But this purports to talk about all sorts of adverse reactions to vaccines, which are completely bogus and a hoax.”
Richard Madeley went onto tear one of the leaflets up.
7. Dr Hilary on Lorraine – 3,743 complaints
A late addition to this year’s list is Dr Hilary’s comments on unvaccinated patients in hospital.
On December 6 Dr Hilary Jones was encouraging people to receive their COVID vaccinations as he claimed 90 per cent of people in hospital are unvaccinated.
He said: “The government’s aim is to get everyone boosted by the end of January, who is eligible, so that’s really good news and that will confer a good degree of protection against even Omicron.
“Those people who haven’t been vaccinated, we’d really love you to think again and be vaccinated because 90 per cent of people in hospital are unvaccinated.”
Over 3,000 people complained claiming Dr Hilary was lying about the figures of patients.
6. The Casa Amor postcard – 5,000 complaints
The Casa Amor postcard regularly features on the highest Ofcom complaints list and this year’s edition received more complaints than any previous year.
The postcard which featured pictures of Teddy, Toby, Hugo and Tyler all kissing new girls, received 5,000 complaints.
A massive percentage of these were due to viewers thinking the postcard was “misleading and caused unnecessary distress” mainly due to Faye being led to think Teddy had been unfaithful.
5. Meghan and Harry’s Oprah interview – 6,449 complaints
It was only to be expected that Meghan and Harry’s bombshell interview with Oprah was going to piss some people off.
During the interview the couple discussed their struggles within the royal family and alluded to racist comments made by a member of the royal family.
The interview received over 6,000 complaints, however it has not been made clear what specific complaints people had over the two hour special.
4. The Channel 5 documentary on Charlotte Crosby’s surgery – 7,082 complaints
In April earlier this year Channel 5 aired a documentary on Charlotte Crosby’s surgery journey. The show was called “What’s Happened To Your Face?” and saw a panel of experts discuss the surgery Charlotte had had done.
Charlotte published a statement about the documentary calling it “immoral and insensitive” and went onto to explain the level of trolling she’d faced over the years.
She went onto thank those who showed support for her and had turned the show off. The documentary received a staggering 7,082 complaints and Channel 5 has since removed the show from its streaming service.
3. Faye’s outburst at Teddy – 24,763 complaints
The top three most complained about Ofcom moments of 2021 starts with Faye’s argument with Teddy in last Friday’s Love Island episode.
The argument received over 24,000 complaints due to Faye who was seen shouting and swearing at Teddy after seeing a video of him saying he was sexually attracted to Clarisse during Casa Amor.
Viewers of the show took to Twitter to express their discomfort in watching the scene and a men’s domestic abuse charity condemned Faye’s behaviour.
Faye has since apologised for her behaviour and she and Teddy are back together. However her outburst is now the most complained about Love Island moment ever.
2. Piers Morgan’s comments about Meghan Markle – 57,121 complaints
Surprise, surprise something Piers Morgan said has ended up high on this list.
The morning after the Harry and Meghan interview, Piers appeared on Good Morning Britain and said he did not believe Meghan’s claim she felt suicidal during royal life.
This amongst many other comments triggered over 55,000 Ofcom complaints. Piers eventually said it was “not for me to question if she felt suicidal” however he ended up quitting Good Morning Britain a few days later. Ofcom are still considering the ruling on the scene.
1. The BBC coverage of Prince Philip’s death – 110,000 complaints
And the top most complained about moment of 2021 is surprisingly the BBC’s coverage of Prince Philip’s death in early April.
The majority of the complaints centred on the “excessive” coverage of his death and the replacement of normal shows such as Masterchef in favour of tributes to the Prince. Other complaints were about the inclusion of Prince Andrew and BBC presenters not wearing “respectful enough clothes”.
A few hours after his death there were so many complaints about the coverage the BBC had to create a dedicated form to handle the level of complaints.
Two weeks after his death the BBC released a statement saying they acknowledged viewers were unhappy with the scheduling however they felt it important to be covering the death as a moment of national significance.