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I'm A Celebrity, Britain's Got Talent, Jade Goody on Celebrity Big Brother, Adjoa Andoh, Jerry Springer the Opera and Prince Harry and Meghan
What do you think has made the top 10 list? (Picture: Rex/ITV/Reuters/GB News/TalkTV)

The most complained about TV moments of all time have been revealed… and the list includes Good Morning Britain, Celebrity Big Brother and Britain’s Got Talent.

Every fortnight, media watchdog Ofcom publishes a breakdown of the latest complaints it has received from viewers about various TV shows, with all complaints assessed against the Broadcasting Code to determine if an investigation is warranted.

In 2023, the organisation received just under 70,000 complaints in total, following 36,500 the previous year, and 173,000 in 2021.

Now, Ofcom has published the 500th edition of its Broadcast Bulletin – and to mark the milestone, they’ve revealed which programmes have received the most complaints since its inception in 2003.

At the very top of the list as the most-complained about TV moment is Good Morning Britain, clocking up 54,595 complaints for the episode that aired on March 8 2021, when there was a discussion about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey.

At the time, former GMB host Piers Morgan sparked huge backlash for saying that he ‘didn’t believe’ Meghan’s claim that she suffered from suicidal thoughts.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle being interviewed by Oprah Winfrey
The GMB discussion in question was about Prince Harry and Meghan’s interview with Oprah (Picture: Harpo Productions/Joe Pugliese/Handout via Reuters/File Photo)
Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid on Good Morning Britain
Piers Morgan expressed disbelief on GMB over Meghan’s claims (Picture: ITV/Rex/Shutterstock)

However, Ofcom didn’t find that the programme broke broadcasting rules, adding: ‘We reminded ITV of the need to take greater care around content discussing mental health and suicide in future.’

In second place is an episode of Celebrity Big Brother which aired in 2007, which garnered more than 45,000 complaints that ‘centred on the alleged bullying of Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty by fellow contestants Jade Goody, model Danielle Lloyd and singer Jo O’Meara’.

Ofcom stated: ‘Channel Four was found in breach of the Broadcasting Code and was directed to broadcast a summary of Ofcom’s finding on three separate occasions.’

More than a decade later, the celebrity spin-off of the reality show faced a horde of complaints yet again for the third-most complaints ever, this time accumulating over 25,000 ‘concerning an allegation from a housemate, Roxanne Pallett, that fellow housemate Ryan Thomas had deliberately and repeatedly physically assaulted her’.

Jade Goody on Celebrity Big Brother
Jade Goody first appeared on Big Brother in 2002, before returning for the celebrity spin-off five years later (Picture: Shutterstock/Rex Features)
Shilpa Shetty on Celebrity Big Brother
This showed the moment Shilpa Shetty and Jade Goody had a heated argument on the reality series (Picture: Rex Features/Shutterstock)
Most complained about TV moment of all time revealed
The most complained about moments have been revealed (Picture: Metro.co.uk)

The watchdog said that while this moment ‘did not break broadcasting rules’, it was ‘clearly a very sensitive issue, which many viewers felt strongly about’.

‘On balance, we considered the majority of regular viewers would expect there to be an extended focus on this issue, and we also took into account the broadcaster’s repeated warnings to viewers,’ they said.

In fourth place comes a historic moment that happened on Britain’s Got Talent four years ago, when Diversity performed a Black Lives Matter-themed routine on the programme, which sparked 25,000 complaints.

Roxanne Pallett cries in the diary room on Celebrity Big Brother
Roxanne Pallett seen crying in the diary room on Celebrity Big Brother in 2018 (Picture: Rex Features/Shutterstock)
Diversity perform on Britain's Got TAlent
‘We stand by every single decision we made with that performance,’ Diversity’s Ashley Banjo said (Picture: Dymond/Thames/Syco/Rex)

At the time, Ofcom outlined in its response: ‘Our assessment is that this programme did not raise any issues which warranted investigation. In our view, Diversity’s performance was an artistic expression of topical social issues and did not contain any content which was racist, unsuitably violent or otherwise inappropriate in the context of this programme.’

Diversity dancer Ashley Banjo said: ‘We stand by every single decision we made with that performance,’ while a BGT spokesperson stated that the dance ‘offered their take on the extraordinary events of 2020 opening up important topics of conversation’.

In the fifth spot is the 24,000 complaints that were recorded over ‘Faye’s behaviour towards Teddy’ on Love Island in 2021, which the watchdog determined ‘did not raise issues under our rules’. In a statement, Love Island said that it takes ‘the emotional wellbeing of all the islanders extremely seriously’.

Faye Winter on Love Island
Faye and Teddy’s argument was a huge talking point on Love Island that year (Picture: ITV)
Julia Hartley-Brewer on TalkTV
Ofcom told TalkTV to ‘take extra care’ after the backlash (Picture: TalkTV)

After that in sixth place, in January this year, Julia Hartley-Brewer’s interview with Palestinian politician Dr Mustafa Barghouti on TalkTV resulted in more than 17,000 complaints.

While Ofcom decided that the exchange ‘did not raise issues under our rules’, the organisation instructed the channel ‘to take extra care to ensure potentially offensive comments are justified’.

In the seventh spot is ITV’s I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!, which received more than 11,000 complaints in December 2020 regarding the ‘welfare of animals used in trials’, with the complaints received following the launch of a petition by the RSPCA.

According to Ofcom, this complaint ‘did not raise issues under our rules’, while an ITV spokesperson said in November that year: ‘I’m A Celebrity complies with animal welfare law concerning the use of animals and we are proud of our exemplary production practices.

‘We have a long working relationship with the RSPCA in New South Wales, Australia and as such contacted their counterparts some months ago when we knew that the programme would be made in the UK, with a view to working collaboratively with them.’

Declan Donnelly on I'm A Celebrity - A Jungle Story
ITV stressed that I’m A Celebrity ‘complies with animal welfare law’ (Picture: ITV/Rex)
Laurence Fox interviewed on an episode of Dan Wootton Tonight on GB News
Fox was being interviewed on an episode of Dan Wootton Tonight on GB News (Picture: GB News)

In September 2023, the GB News programme Dan Wootton Tonight received close to 9,000 complaints – the eight-most of all time – regarding ‘misogynistic comments made by Laurence Fox about journalist Ava Evans’, which was found to have breached Ofcom rules.

Wootton and Fox were both suspended by GB News, with the former saying in an apology at the time: ‘I want to reiterate my regret over last night’s exchange with Laurence on GB News.’

He added: ‘I apologise unreservedly for what was a very unfortunate lapse in judgement on my part under the intense pressure of a bizarre exchange.’

In March 2024, it was confirmed that Wootton was ‘no longer employed by GB News’, as the channel said: ‘We thank him for his contribution and wish him well with his future endeavours’, while in October 2023, a statement was released by the broadcaster confirming that it had ‘ended its employment relationship’ with Fox.

In the ninth spot on the list, the BBC Two programme Jerry Springer the Opera received 8,800 complaints in 2005, due to its ‘representation of the Christian community’, but Ofcom concluded that ‘this did not break broadcasting rules’.

David Soul in Jerry Springer the Opera
Ofcom concluded that Jerry Springer the Opera ‘did not break broadcasting rules’ (Picture: Richard Young/Rex Features)
Adjoa Andoh
Bridgerton star Adjoa Andoh said that she ‘didn’t mean to upset anybody’ (Picture: ITV)

Then finally in 10th place, looking back to the King’s Coronation coverage on ITV last May, 8,400 complaints were logged by Ofcom following comments that Bridgerton star Adjoa Andoh made about the royal family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, when she said: ‘There is a bit of me that we’ve gone from the rich diversity of the Abbey to a terribly white balcony. I was very struck by that.’

At the time, Ofcom wrote in a statement: ‘While we understand some viewers had strong feelings about this comment, after careful consideration we have concluded that the comment was a personal observation which was part of a wide-ranging panel discussion which also touched on other diversity-related topics, and which contained a range of viewpoints.’

Adjoa later appeared on BBC Radio 4, explaining her remarks as she said on the radio programme: ‘I think I upset a few people yesterday, I was talking about the day and how marvellous it was and then looking at the balcony at the end.

‘And I suddenly went “ooh, it’s so white” – because the day had been so so mixed. I didn’t mean to upset anybody.’

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