Most complained about TV moments of 2017: Piers Morgan interviewing so-called 'gay cure therapist' tops list

Good Morning Britain was named twice as an interview with EDL co-founder Tommy Robinson after the Finsbury Park mosque attack was also criticised

Roisin O'Connor@Roisin_OConnor
Friday 29 December 2017 10:43
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Most complained about TV moments of 2017

Piers Morgan celebrated as Ofcom revealed its most complained-about TV shows of the year, with Good Morning Britain coming out on top.

While most TV viewers will just change the channel or post a disgruntled comment on Twitter or Facebook – some audience members go so far as to actually report a TV moment to the communications watchdog.

“To help us protect standards on television, we always assess every complain we receive from viewers,” a spokesperson told i. “In 2017 we have investigated 187 programmes, and found 97 of these in breach of our broadcasting rules.”

Unsurprisingly to many, Good Morning Britain was revealed as the most complained-about show of 2017, thanks to a controversial broadcast on 5 September which saw a so-called “gay conversion therapist” invited on to the show. Dr Michael Davidson claiming he could offer a “cure” for homosexuality was the most-complained about moment of television of the past 12 months.

“BOOM! No1” Morgan tweeted in response to the news.

The presenter challenged Davidson’s views at the time, telling him: ‘You know what we call these people [who offer ‘conversion therapy’]? We call them horrible little bigots in the modern world,” he said. “Bigoted people who talk complete claptrap and, in my view, a malevolent and dangerous part of our society.”

Ofcom recorded 1,142 complaints as viewers condemned ITV for providing Davidson with a platform. It was just one of two broadcasts which topped 1,000 complaints in the past 12 months. Good Morning Britain was also the only show to feature twice on the 2017 list, with a further 176 complaints for providing English Defence League co-founder Tommy Robinson with a platform.

The “gay cure therapist” interview, along with an episode of Press Preview on Sky News featuring journalist Melanie Phillips’s views on Muslims, surpassed what had recently been the most-complained about TV moment of the year: Amanda Holden’s choice of outfit on an episode of Britain’s Got Talent.

Amanda Holden’s BGT getup made the list at number three

The most complained-about TV moments of 2017:

1) Good Morning Britain, ITV, 5 September – 1,142 complaints

2) Press Preview, Sky News, 20 June – 1,063 complaints about Melanie Phillips’s views on Muslims

3) Britain’s Got Talent, ITV, 1 June – 665 complaints about a dress worn by judge Amanda Holden

4) Coronation Street, ITV, 27 October – 541 complaints over violent scenes featuring Pat Phelan broadcast before the watershed

5) Comic Relief 2017, BBC 1, 24 March – 339 complaints about swearing and sexual innuendo

6) Emmerdale, ITV, 6 March – 275 complaints over prison scenes featuring violence and abuse

7) I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! ITV, 7 December – 243 complaints about alleged bullying towards Iain Lee

8) This Morning, ITV, 13 November – 181 complaints about interviewee’s comments on transgender issues

9) Good Morning Britain, ITV, 20 June – 176 complaints following an interview with English Defence League co-founder Tommy Robinson

10) Benidorm, ITV, 3 May – 137 complaints about comments made about a character with a cleft lip

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