2021 breaks Ofcom records for most TV and radio complaints

Piers Morgan’s comments following Oprah Winfrey’s interview with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle topped the list

Ofcom has revealed what moments from TV and radio have received the most complaints in the record-breaking year of 2021.

As noted in their end-of-year review, the broadcasting regulator received over 150,000 complaints throughout 2021 – an increase of 124 per cent on last year. This does not include complaints about the BBC, which are handled by them directly at first.

Ofcom states the top five most-complained about shows account for 80 per cent of all complaints, meaning a small number of shows like Good Morning Britain and Love Island have sparked the increase.

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Over the year, Ofcom concluded 33 investigations and recorded 20 breaches of the rules from the complaints – many of which “were about hate speech or harmful, scientifically unfounded coronavirus misinformation”.

Piers Morgan’s comments on Good Morning Britain following Oprah Winfrey’s interview with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle racked up the most at 54,595 complaints. This was followed by Faye’s behaviour towards Teddy on Love Island at 24,921 complaints.

You can check out the full top ten list below.

Most complained-about programmes of 2021 via Ofcom

1. Good Morning Britain (March 8) – Piers Morgan’s comments on Meghan Markle and Prince Harry interview, 54,595 complaints
2. Love Island (August 6) – Faye’s behaviour towards Teddy, 24,921 complaints
3. Celebrities: What’s happened to your face? – Remarks made on the appearance of a number of celebrities, 7,125 complaints
4. Oprah with Meghan and Harry (March 8) – interview with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, 6,486 complaints
5. Love Island (July 28) – delivery of postcard from Casa Amor, 4,337 complaints
6. Lorraine (December 6) – Dr Hilary Jones’ comments regarding the number of unvaccinated people in hospital, 3,769 complaints
7. Good Morning Britain (March 9) – variety of issues including Piers Morgan asking Charlotte Hawkins to stand so viewers could see what skirt she was wearing, 3,249 complaints
8. Good Morning Britain (November 1) – Dr Hilary Jones criticising a fake coronavirus information leaflet, 2,632 complaints
9. Good Morning Britain (June 1) – for a debate titled ‘Ditching unvaccinated friends?’, 2,104 complaints
10. This Morning (February 26) – for a segment on ‘How To Lose The Lockdown Pounds’, 1,942 complaints

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Morgan has since responded to the accolade on Twitter, writing: “Delighted to have perpetrated the most complained about moment on UK TV for 2021… especially because every single one of the absurd complaints was rejected. Thanks Princess Pinocchio!”

The TV presenter, who left Good Morning Britain in March following the public outcry, has also been awarded NME’s Villain Of The Year twice in 2018 and 2020.

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