The 10 TV moments which received the most Ofcom complaints in 2021

·4-min read

2021 has been a year of ups and downs, and the TV world is no exception. Plenty of controversial moments have hit screens this year, raking in their fair share of Ofcom complaints too, with the regulatory authority seeing a 124% rise in unhappy reports from TV viewers (totalling over 150,000) compared to last year.

So, to round off the year on a, erm, not-so-positive note, here are the 10 TV moments which received the most Ofcom complaints in 2021...

1. Good Morning Britain: Piers Morgan's comments on Meghan Markle

Good Morning Britain features four whole times in Ofcom's 2021 list of most-complained about moments. However, it was host Piers Morgan's comments about Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle (which aired on 8th March) that took the top spot.

During the broadcast, Piers said he "didn't believe a word" of what Meghan had told Oprah Winfrey when the Duchess opened up about struggling with her mental health. The 8th March episode went on to receive 54,595 Ofcom complaints, with Piers later walking off set midway through filming and eventually quitting the show.

Photo credit: Mike Marsland - Getty Images
Photo credit: Mike Marsland - Getty Images

2. Love Island: Faye's argument with Teddy

Love Island is another show which features more than once in Ofcom's top 10. The 6th August episode received 24,921 complaints - most of which mentioned contestant Faye Winter's argument with her partner on the show, Teddy Soares.

Following the behaviour in question, Faye later apologised to Teddy, saying, "I am really sorry for the way I spoke to you. There’s no excuse for the way I spoke to you or how I raised my voice and no one should have someone speak to them like that."

3. 'Celebrities: What's happened to your face?'

Channel 5 two-part series Celebrities: What's happened to your face? received 7,125 complaints. The show featured the tagline, "The facial flaws of the famous," with stars including Simon Cowell and Charlotte Crosby mentioned in the series.

Charlotte later called out the show on Instagram, describing it as "immoral and insensitive" and explaining that she and her agent had previously expressed their thoughts to the production company when the show was first commissioned, but that the series aired regardless.

4. Oprah Winfrey's Harry and Megan interview

The 8th March was a big day for Ofcom complaints, with the much-anticipated Oprah With Megan and Harry interview receiving 6,486 complaints after it aired on ITV.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex sat down with Oprah to discuss their decision to step down from royal duties and to move to California, with Harry describing other royal family members as "trapped". The interview also saw Meghan bravely telling the world she'd experienced suicidal thoughts, while the couple also shockingly revealed that a member of the monarchy had made comments questioning their son Archie's skin colour.

Photo credit: Harpo Productions/Joe Pugliese
Photo credit: Harpo Productions/Joe Pugliese

5. Love Island: the Casa Amor postcard

Love Island's 28th July episode received 4,337 complaints. The episode featured the drama-inciting Casa Amor postcard, which showed the girls pictures of what the boys were up to in the Casa Amor villa.

One picture on the postcard showed Teddy Soares kissing fellow contestant Clarisse Juliettè during a game, with fans complaining on social media saying they thought the postcard was an attempt to sabotage Teddy's relationship with Faye Winter.

Photo credit: ITV - ITV
Photo credit: ITV - ITV

6. Lorraine: Dr Hilary's vaccination discussion

The 6th December episode on breakfast programme Lorraine sparked 3,769 Ofcom complaints. The show featured Dr Hilary Jones who, during a discussion about Covid-19, claimed that "90% of people in hospital are unvaccinated."

7. Good Morning Britain: Piers Morgan's comments about Charlotte Hawkins

Good Morning Britain's second appearance in the top 10 comes in response to an episode on 9th March, which saw Piers Morgan commenting on co-host Charlotte Hawkins' "miniskirt" and asking her to stand up to show her outfit. The episode, which received 3,249 complaints, also saw Piers clash with presenter Alex Beresford over Meghan and Harry's Oprah interview, before Piers walked off set altogether.

8. Good Morning Britain: Dr Hilary with Richard Madeley

A third entry for GMB, the 1st November episode received 2,632 complaints. The show included a segment featuring Dr Hilary Jones, with Jones criticising a fake Covid-19 leaflet which host Richard Madeley then tore up.

9. Good Morning Britain: 'Ditching unvaccinated friends?'

Another Good Morning Britain episode sparked yet more complaints, with the 1st June episode featuring a section titled "Ditching unvaccinated friends?". The moment received 2,104 complaints.

10. This Morning: 'How to lose the lockdown pounds'

ITV daytime show This Morning received 1,942 complaints over its 26th February episode, which featured a segment called "How to lose the lockdown pounds".

The episode saw hosts Alison Hammond and Dermot O'Leary speaking to Dr Michael Mosley in a conversation where they discussed rapid weight-loss programmes consisting of 8oo to 1,000 calories per day, leading to complaints on social media and via Ofcom.

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