The BBC has come under fire again from viewers after it chose to broadcast “Gary Barlow’s Big Ben Bash” in the run up to midnight on New Year’s Eve.
The show, which also continued for twenty minutes after midnight, saw Barlow perform live at Central Hall in Westminster, during which he performed a duet with himself via a projected video of him singing in 1993.
Viewers were quick to criticise the BBC's decision to dedicate over an hour of New Year's Eve television to the singer, after the channel came under fire last month for scheduling a so-called ' Gary Barlow Day'.
One viewer wrote on Twitter: "I love Gary Barlow but is there any day when he's not on the telly? The BBC is being renamed the GBC!"
While another said: "Does anybody remember when Gary Barlow was a has been and not on the telly every time the BBC had a gap to fill? Great days."
Despite the criticism, "Gary Barlow's Big Ben Bash" was the second most-watched show of New Year's Eve, after the BBC's live coverage of the London fireworks. The programme drew an average audience of 6.7 million, with a peak of 10.2 million.
BBC broadcaster Andrew Neil was rather more positive about the former Take That star's appearance, tweeting: "Gary Barlow before and after fireworks also excellent. BBC finally found new winning formula for Hogmanay."
A statement from the BBC said: "It is not unusual for an artist of Gary Barlow's stature and broad appeal to appear on a range of programmes that reach different audiences, and is entirely in keeping with our editorial guidelines."
The BBC worrying about numbers of Bulgarians/Romanians coming over here and not contributing. Last night they paid Gary Barlow shed loads.- stephen skeet (@whducks) January 1, 2014
Tax dodging Tory boy Gary Barlow on the BBC. Again. What was that about it being a hot bed of leftists?- Mark DJD Martin (@djdaddums) January 1, 2014
It's always heartwarming when 90% of BBC employees tweet about their free NYE experience with Gary Barlow and post pics too! #not!!!- James Meeds (@Jamesmeeds) January 1, 2014
Gary Barlow followed by John Bishop, BBC One you really are punishing us poor saps stuck at home.- Paul B. (@Vendice_Partner) January 1, 2014
- Stewart (@stewartlc2000) January 1, 2014
the first song I listened to in 2014 was accidentally gary barlow thank you bbc one
- (@emilyrxth) January 1, 2014
Now Gary Barlow is on a second, painful walk around and random handshakes with the crowd. BBC Licence fee well spent.
- Lee Bruce (@LeeBruce83) December 31, 2013
No public execution of Gary Barlow for the New Year show. Sometimes I wonder if the BBC even read my letters at all.
Gavin Mitchell (@gavinmit) January 1, 2014
I love Gary Barlow but is there any day when he's not on the telly? The BBC is being renamed the GBC!
-Lynn D Loo (@SlinkiiMinkii) January 1, 2014
Seriously BBC Gary Barlow on one side and Mel C on the other. Is it 2014 or 1994?!
- Jo Frazer-Wise (@jofwise) January 1, 2014
New Year's celebrations around the world
New Year's celebrations around the world
London staged what was billed as 'the world's first multi-sensory fireworks display', when flavoured snow and scented bubbles descended on revellers
The London Eye is illuminated by fireworks as 2014 arrives
Fireworks explode over Edinburgh Castle during the Hogmanay street party celebrations
Indonesian people set up fireworks to celebrate 2014 New Years
Robertus Pudyanto/Getty Images
Fireworks explode near Malaysia's landmark Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur during the New Year 2014 celebrations
6/23 New Zealand
Fireworks explode over the heads of tourists and locals as the clock hits midnight to celebrate the New Year on the waterfront in the New Zealand town of Queenstown
Marty Melville/AFP/Getty Images
7/23 North Korea
Fireworks explode over Juche Tower and the Taedong River in Pyongyang, North Korea to celebrate the New Year
Kim Kwang Hyon/AP
8/23 South Korea
Buddhists light candles during New Year's Eve celebrations at Bongeun Buddhist temple in Seoul
Performers at the New Year's eve Winter Carnival in Newcastle city centre
10/23 Hong Kong
Fireworks explode over Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong
Alex Ogle/AFP/Getty Images
Indian sports players from the Madan Mohan Malviya Stadium light candles during an event to welcome the New Year in Allahabad on December 31, 2013
Fireworks explode from Taiwan's tallest skyscraper, the Taipei 101 during New Year celebrations
New Year's Fireworks on Sydney Harbour at Mrs Macquarie's Chair in Sydney, Australia
People dressed in traditional costumes play drums during a performance to celebrate the new year at the Great wall in Beijing
Shinto priests walk under a 'torii' (Japanese gate located at the entrance of a Shinto shrine) after they participated to a shinto ritual in preparation for the New Year at Meiji Shrine in Tokyo
16/23 The Netherlands
An explosion during a carbide shooting, a Dutch New Year's Eve tradition to scare off evil spirits, in Aarle-Rixtel
Lanterns are released into the sky for the 2014 New Year on December 31, 2013 in Bintan Island, Indonesia
Yuli Seperi/Getty Images
Fireworks light up the sky as Filipinos welcome the New Year, Wednesday Jan .1, 2014 in Manila. Traditionally, Filipinos welcome the New Year with fireworks and firecrackers and making the loudest noise possible, including indiscriminate firing of their guns which sometimes result in injuries and deaths
Pyrotechnic show company 'Group F' performs with fireworks in the Vieux Port (Old Port) of Marseille, southern France, on December 31, 2013, as part of New Year celebrations on the last day of the Marseille-Provence 2013 European Capital of Culture
Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP/Getty Images
Fireworks explode in the sky during New Year celebrations in Moscow's Red Square
21/23 United Arab Emirates
Fireworks explode over Palm Jumeirah in Dubai on January 1, 2014 to celebrate the new year. Dubai kicked off New Year with a dazzling bid for a new world record to cap those the Gulf city state already holds for its mammoth property developments. The glittering fireworks display that lasted around six minutes spanned over 60 miles of the Dubai coast
Karim Sahib/AFP/Getty Images
22/23 United Arab Emirates
Fireworks explode in the sky over Dubai
Fireworks over Edinburgh to celebrate the New Year's Eve Edinburgh Hogmanay street party, Scotland