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.”
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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