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BBC receives record 100,000 complaints after wall-to-wall Prince Philip death coverage

The BBC has received more than 100,000 complaints over its wall-to-wall coverage of Prince Philip’s death.

Shows such as the final of ‘MasterChef’ and an episode of ‘EastEnders’ were dropped on Friday (09.04.21) and replaced with tribute programmes following the death of the Duke of Edinburgh, who passed away “peacefully” at Windsor Castle earlier that morning aged 99.

According to The Sun newspaper, the deluge of complaints have broken the record for the most complained about television event in British history.

The previous unwanted record was for the BBC’s 2005 screening of ‘Jerry Springer: The Musical’, which led to 63,000 complaints.

But the BBC has said: “We are proud of our coverage and the role we play during moments of national significance.”

The BBC put a form on its website to enable viewers to complain about the coverage, but it was later taken down on Sunday (11.04.21).

The corporation has said that was because the number of complaints started to fall.

ITV and Channel 4 also put on extended news coverage following the duke’s death, with the former dropping the likes of ‘Loose Women’ and ending ‘This Morning’ early as soon as the news about Philip’s death broke.

Despite all the tribute shows airing for the prince, the most-watched programme on a single channel on Friday night was ‘Gogglebox’, which attracted 4.2 million viewers on Channel 4.

ITV soaps ‘Coronation Street’ and ‘Emmerdale’ were cancelled following Philip’s passing.

On Friday, a BBC spokesperson said: “With the sad news that HRH Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh, has died, there is now special coverage across all BBC networks to mark his life of extraordinary public service and planned scheduling has been suspended.”

The BBC is expected to publish the number of complaints it received this Thursday (15.04.21).  

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