Prince Philip death: BBC sets up specialist complaints page over ‘too much’ coverage of late royal

Corporation cancelled all regular programming in wake of royal death, and replaced BBC Four with a blank screen

Adam White@__adamwhite
Saturday 10 April 2021 11:22
The moment the BBC announced Prince Philip had died

The BBC has set up a specialist complaints page after being inundated with criticism over its coverage of Prince Philip’s death.

The corporation pulled the entirety of BBC One and BBC Two’s scheduled line-up on Friday (9 April) following the announcement that the Duke of Edinburgh, 99, had died.

It also pulled advertising from BBC-owned channels, largely halted upbeat music on the station’s radio services in favour of repeated news bulletins, and suspended all programming on BBC Four. The latter instead broadcast hours of a blank screen urging viewers to “switch to BBC One for a major news report”.

Children’s programming on CBBC was also interrupted with a similar message.

The programming switch was met with hostility by many viewers, particularly the cancellation of EastEnders, Gardeners World and the final of MasterChef.

As a result, the BBC’s website has created a new page solely dedicated to complaints about the coverage, while acknowledging that many viewers were upset by their editorial decision-making.

“We’re receiving complaints about too much TV coverage of the death of HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh,” a statement on the page reads. “Please enter your email address below to register a complaint about this – we’ll then send you the BBC’s response as soon as it is available.”

BBC Four was replaced by a blank screen urging viewers to switch over

Both BBC One and BBC Two broadcast the same Duke of Edinburgh coverage at the same time. Programmes included a tribute to the royal, as well as two showings of a documentary that included interviews with Prince Charles and Princess Anne.

Channel 4 and Channel 5 were the only major broadcasters to buck wall-to-wall Prince Philip coverage, instead keeping their regular schedules intact.

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