BBC complaints over Prince Philip’s death coverage reach a record 110,000

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BBC's coverage of Prince Philip's death sparked 110,000 complaints from viewers, the highest number of complaints ever published in the UK about television programming.

After news broke of the Duke of Edinburgh's death at midday on Friday, the BBC and other channels immediately axed their usual schedules.

Popular programmes such as EastEnders and the Masterchef final were dropped and replaced by coverage of Philip's death, as well as tributes.

In the latest figures released by the BBC's fortnightly complaints report, it read: "The higher than usual level of correspondence this fortnight was driven by reaction to the amount of coverage given to the death of the Duke of Edinburgh which accounted for 104,010 complaints during this period.

"At time of publication the overall total was 109,741."

The BBC has responded with a statement, saying: "The BBC said in a statement: "The passing of HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh was a significant event which generated a lot of interest both nationally and internationally.

"We acknowledge some viewers were unhappy with the level of coverage given and impact this had on the billed TV and radio schedules.

"We do not make such changes without careful consideration and the decisions made reflect the role the BBC plays as the national broadcaster during moments of national significance.

"We are grateful for all feedback and we always listen to the response from our audiences."

It was reported that there was such an influx of complaints from frustrated viewers that the BBC had to create a special form online to process them all.

However, the online form was later pulled after the page was reportedly swamped.

A link to the complaints form led viewers to a page which stated: "We're receiving complaints about too much TV coverage of the death of HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

"Please enter your email address below to register a complaint about this – we'll then send you the BBC’s response as soon as it is available."

ITV followed suit with its coverage, cutting soaps Coronation Street and Emmerdale to air coverage of the Duke of Edinburgh's death.

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Meanwhile, Channel 4 faced backlash after airing a report on his death, an obituary, and a 90 minute special before airing Gogglebox at 9pm and The Circle final at 10pm.

In response to complaints on social media, head of news and current affairs and sport on Channel 4 said that the channel had "a duty to offer an alternative to other channels hence a return to schedule".

Gogglebox was then revealed to be the most watched programme on April 10, with over four million viewers.

  • BBC
  • Prince Philip

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