C4 says it’s adopting wide-ranging new Big Brother procedures to prevent controversies like the Celebrity Big Brother race row.

It’s appointing a new viewers’ editor to deal with public complaints, a new monthly Right to Reply programme and a major research programme into ‘diverse Britain’.

As well, new Big Brother House rules have updated what is considered to be unacceptable behaviour. The rules now also identify ‘serious harassment… including bullying’ as unacceptable behaviour that will prompt an intervention.

The announcement came as Ofcom forced the network to broadcast an apology for breaches of its code of conduct in the way it dealt with the Shilpa Shetty/Jade Goody conflict.

A C4 review panel said of the controversy: “The significant lesson for Channel 4 and Endemol is that great offence was caused by the broadcast of several comments by housemates, irrespective of their motivation.

“Channel 4 appeared to be somehow condoning the behaviour of some of the housemates because interventions were felt to be too late or insufficiently forceful.”

C4’s director of TV, Kevin Lygo, said: “I believe these measures are a sensible tightening of our procedures. Channel 4 is doing everything possible to prevent a repeat of the public offence caused by the programme while staying true to the format of Big Brother.”