Big Brother is the most complained-about television programme of the year so far, the communications watchdog Ofcom has revealed.
The Channel 5 reality TV show has the dubious honour of receiving the most criticism from the public for the second year in a row.
It received 965 complaints, over 200 more than any other programme, for a number of issues from across the series, Ofcom said.
Chief among these were remarks made by housemate Jemima Slade, during a discussion about what she looks for in a man. Her revelation that she has a preference for ‘dark-skinned Mediterranean’ men, but ‘not black men’, led to 305 complaints to the watchdog.
Another 244 were made by viewers concerned that housemates were bullying Hazel O’Sullivan, while another 166 complaints were made relating to scenes of fighting between Ms O’Sullivan and another housemate, Daley Ojuederie.
The second most complained about programme was The X Factor results show, on ITV1, which generated 734 complaints. Some 317 of these related to an episode on October 13, during which US singer Lady Gaga gave a racy performance in a skimpy outfit made of shells and flesh-coloured underwear.
Despite the number of complaints, Ofcom said there were no grounds to investigate against the Broadcasting Code.
The ITV News was the third most complained-about programme, with 574 complaints. Some 278 related to coverage of the killing of Fusilier Lee Rigby on May 22; an Ofcom investigation into the issue will be published following the conclusion of criminal proceedings.
The most complained about stand-alone issue in 2013 related to the BBC’s Comic Relief: Funny For Money, broadcast on March 15. A total of 487 people complained about the programme, the majority of which related to Rowan Atkinson’s portrayal of the Archbishop of Canterbury, which some viewers found offensive.
Ofcom found that both the use of language and the offence caused by the subject matter explored during the comedy sketch were justified by the context.
The BBC News, Emmerdale, Downton Abbey and Coronation Street were also in the top 10 most complained about programmes.
Some 13,780 complaints have been made to Ofcom so far in 2013.
The most complained about issue in the past 10 years was Celebrity Big Brother in 2007, which generated 45,159 complaints about Jade Goody’s bullying of Shilpa Shetty.
The most complained about TV shows of 2013, to December 12, are:
1. Big Brother: 965 complaints
2. The X Factor: 734
3. ITV News: 574
4. Comic Relief: Funny for Money: 492
5. Celebrity Big Brother: 438
6. Britain’s Got Talent: 422
7. Emmerdale: 376
8. BBC News: 354
9. Downton Abbey: 252
10. Coronation Street: 225