Ofcom assesses growing complaints about Celebrity Big Brother

TV watchdog Ofcom is assessing hundreds of complaints about Celebrity Big Brother after former Coronation Street star Ken Morley was removed from the show and another contestant was cautioned by police.

More than 250 viewers complained after the former soap actor clashed with his housemates and was evicted from the show for using ‘unacceptable language’ including repeated use of the word ‘negro’.

Ken is the second contestant to be removed from the house less than a week after the Channel 5 show began.

Ken Morley Celebrity Big Brother

Ken has been removed from the house (Channel 5)

Former Baywatch star Jeremy Jackson, 34, was kicked off the show after former Page 3 girl Chloe Goodman, 21, claimed he drunkenly tried to look at her breasts while the pair were alone in the toilet.

The alleged incident, which was not shown on camera, came after Chloe went to Jeremy’s assistance as he vomited after drinking rum and vodka.

Jeremy Jackson

Jeremy Jackson (Channel 5/PA)

Hertfordshire Police, the force covering Borehamwood where the show is filmed, said: “A 34-year-old man voluntarily attended Hatfield police station on January 12 to assist police with their inquiries into an incident which is alleged to have taken place in the Big Brother House in Borehamwood in the early hours of Saturday January 10. The man has subsequently been issued with a police caution for common assault.”

The force confirmed it had not received any complaints about Ken’s behaviour.

Viewers have also complained to Ofcom about Jeremy’s behaviour and some of the language used by Katie Hopkins.

Katie Hopkins at the Big Brother launch

Katie Hopkins (Ian West/PA)

The show has a history of causing controversy and last year’s series was the second most complained-about show of the year, with 1,874 people contacting the watchdog about it.

The only programme with a worse record was the main Big Brother series which received 3,784 complaints, many of them centred on the behaviour of its eventual winner, Helen Wood, who was accused of bullying other contestants.

Ofcom found the show breached the broadcasting code last year after it showed a pre-watershed scene where housemates swore 14 times within 50 seconds.

Jade Goody and Shilpa Shetty in the Big Brother house in 2007 (C4/PA)

Jade Goody and Shilpa Shetty in the Big Brother house in 2007 (C4/PA)

Its lowest point came in 2007, while it was still on its original home of Channel 4, when around 40,000 people complained after a race row engulfed the celebrity version of the show.

The fiery verbal exchanges between Jade Goody and Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty even reached the world of politics with then-chancellor Gordon Brown forced to address the issue during a visit to India after protesters burned effigies of the show’s producers.

Jade was criticised for bullying Shilpa along with fellow contestants Danielle Lloyd and Jo O’Meara.


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