The Courier-Mail

More than enough of coverage for Philip


THE BBC’s coverage of the Duke of Edinburgh’s death has received the highest number of complaints in television history, with most stating that it was excessive.

Ratings for BBC1 and BBC2 fell after they dedicated Friday evening’s programmin­g to Prince Philip.

At least 110,994 people complained, with 400 viewers expressing disappoint­ment that Andrew, Duke of York (inset) had featured in tributes to his father, given his associatio­n with sex offender Jeffrey Epstein and his refusal to answer questions from the FBI, which is investigat­ing the case.

Another 233 people complained about BBC presenters’ dress, noting that not all newsreader­s were w wearing black as a symbol of mourning. Viewers exp pressed their disappoint­ment that shows such as EastEnders and MasterChef had been replaced with tributes. One complaint recorded in an internal BBC log said: “Coverage of this event took up the entire evening broadcast to the exclusion of all other topics, including the ongoing topic of the pandemic. Some coverage was justified, but not to this extent.”

Another said: “It was sad news Prince Phillip (sic) died on Friday and I understand the BBC had to acknowledg­e the fact but on every single one of its channels? Why (not) just put it on one channel for those that want to listen to that drivel and the rest of us can have a bit of music.”

The number of complaints increased so rapidly that the BBC set up a dedicated form for complaints on the topic. The previous record for BBC complaints was for showing Jerry Springer: The Opera in 2005, which garnered 63,000 objections, many from Christian groups over its irreverent treatment of religious themes.

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