BBC apologises after 139 people complain about Holly Willoughby's 'unsuitable' low-cut dress on The Voice


The racy dress Holly Willoughby wore to present the final of BBC talent show The Voice on Saturday night has prompted 139 complaints from viewers.

Some of the 8.7 million people who watched the show saw fit to inform the BBC that the black lace dress with a plunging neckline was unsuitable for family viewing, according to Broadcast Now.

The show was broadcast from 7.15pm to 9.30pm on Saturday, meaning most of the programme aired prior to the 9pm watershed, when broadcasters should avoid material that could be unsuitable for children.

“We’re sorry if some viewers found Holly’s dress to be unsuitable,” a BBC spokeswoman said. “Holly enjoys fashion and we felt the dress she wore for the live final of The Voice UK was glamorous and wholly appropriate for the occasion.

“We don’t believe it would have gone against audience expectations for a TV spectacle such as this.”

Revealing outfits are a regular feature on ITV’s rival to The Voice, The X Factor. The Simon Cowell show came in for particular criticism following its 2010 final, when Rihanna and Christina Aguilera performed sexually-charged routines.

Ofcom received almost 3,000 complaints about the incident, but the watchdog ruled that while the pop stars’ performances did not breach broadcasting rules, they were “at the limit” of acceptability.

This Morning presenter Holly Willoughby, whose low-cut outfits have earned her the nickname Holly Willoughbooby, has attracted complaints before for her revealing dresses.

In 2008, ITV received five complaints after the 32-year-old presenter wore a daring white number on Dancing On Ice.

An ITV spokesman said at the time: “The dramatic costumes are all part of the Dancing On Ice show and we are very surprised Holly’s dress has caused such a stir.”