Most complained reality TV moments

From Big Brother to The X Factor: The most complained about reality TV show moments ever

Roxanne Pallett’s punch-gate scandal was named the most complained about moment of the decade

Reality TV has its moments of laughter, chaos and sometimes it often has its negative moments. Over the years there have been thousands of complaints across all reality television shows, ranging from 2,000 to over 40,000 complaints to Ofcom. Ofcom is the UK’s regulator for broadcasting and telecommunications with one of the main elements it regulates being television programmes. From Love Island to I’m A Celebrity, here are the most complained about reality TV moments ever, according to the number of Ofcom complaints it received.

Jade Goody and Shilpa Shetty’s fight on Celebrity Big Brother – 44,500 complaints

A lot of people will recognise this from videos shared on social media and in 2007, Ofcom received 44,500 complaints over the race row between Jade Goody and Shilpa Shetty on Celebrity Big Brother. During this season of the show, housemates clashes with Shetty after claiming they couldn’t pronounce the name Shilpa and referred to her as “Princess” and “the Indian”.

In another incident, Jade Goody told Shilpa Shetty that she was “no f***ing princess here”, and needed “a day in the slums”. The next day, Jade referred to Shilpa as “Shilpa Poppadom” and later explained in the Diary Room she didn’t mean it in a racist intent and was warned by Big Brother about her behaviour.

Ofcom later made the decision to force Channel 4 to air apologies over the alleged racist bullying, the first time it had required a public service broadcaster to do so.

Roxanne Pallett scandal – 25,327 complaints

Over 25,000 Ofcom complaints were made to Ofcom after Roxanne Pallett falsely claimed that Ryan Thomas had assaulted her while they were in the Celebrity Big Brother house together. After they were seen play fighting, Roxanne called Ryan a “woman beater” but has since said she got it “massively wrong”. This moment was named the most complained about moment of the entire decade.

Faye’s outburst at Teddy on Love Island – 24,763

Faye’s outburst on Love Island made it the most complained about moment on the reality TV dating series. Love Island viewers were left upset after Faye began shouting at Teddy after she was shown a video of him during Casa Amor saying he was attracted to Clarisse Juliette. Ofcom rejected the almost 25,000 complaints after Faye apologised for her actions and other Love Island contestants showed their support for Teddy.

Faye being misled over Teddy’s Casa Amor behaviour on Love Island – 4,330 complaints

Not long after the 25,000 complaints about Faye’s behaviour, Ofcom then received almost 5,000 complaints with the majority of people complaining saying the Casa Amor postcard “was misleading and caused unnecessary distress.” Viewers also complained about an alleged “manipulation” of Faye and Teddy following the postcard.

Rihanna and Christina Aguilera’s X-Factor performance – 2,750 complaints

In 2010, Ofcom received almost 3,000 complaints after Rihanna and Christina Aguilera performed a dance routine that was deemed as inappropriate for a pre-watershed show. Rihanna performed What’s My Name, while Christina Aguilera sang two songs. ITV also received over 1,000 complaints over the performance. The X Factor was later cleared by Ofcom and was said to be “at the limit” of acceptability for pre-9pm broadcast, but did not breach broadcasting rules.

Love Island 2022 movie night – 2,481 complaints

The latest Love Island season received a huge number of Ofcom complaints during its movie night episode. The episode was complained about for its “alleged misogynistic behaviour by some of the male contestants”, as well as the following Aftersun episode complaints being about the “comments made about Ekin-Su, and the treatment of Jacques during his interview.” That entire episode made movie night the most complained about day on Love Island in 2022.

Dani Dyer crying on Love Island – 2,644 complaints

Ofcom received a forever growing number of complaints about Dani Dyer crying over Jack on Love Island. Viewers complained after Dani was shown a video of Jack Fincham with his former girlfriend in Casa Amor. Ofcom decided that Love Island did not breach rules by showing Dani Dyer’s “distress”.

Helen Wood and Marc O’Neill bullying Brian Belo – 2,024 complaints

Ofcom received over 2,000 complaints from Big Brother viewers. Viewers complained that it was offensive for housemates Helen Wood and Marc O’Neill to describe their housemate, Brian Belo, as “looking like a murderer and rapist” and like a “psycho”. Belo left the show after breaking down in tears in the diary room, while Helen was given a warning over the comments. Ofcom assessed the complaints and decided to not raise an investigation into the claims. Helen has since said she regrets the comments she made about Brian while in the Big Brother house.

Matt Hancock’s arrival into the I’m A Celebrity jungle – 2,000 complaints

Matt Hancock being in the I’m A Celebrity jungle was no treat for anyone. Ofcom confirmed it had received 1,968 complaints due to Matt Hancock being the jungle, as well as how he was being treated by other contestants. Ofcom chose not to investigate due there being no ban on “any particular person taking part in programmes.”

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Featured image credit via ITV and Channel 5.