Ofcom ‘extremely concerned’ by Nicola Bulley family comments about Sky and ITV

‘It is shameful they have acted in this way,’ Ms Bulley’s family said

Jacob Stolworthy
Wednesday 22 February 2023 05:11 GMT
Body found in River Wyre identified as missing mother Nicola Bulley

Ofcom has expressed concern following complaints made by Nicola Bulley’s family about ITV and Sky.

Bulley’s family singled out both corporations for personally contacting them despite asking press to respect their privacy. They said they were contacted after a body, later identified as Ms Bulley’s, was discovered on Sunday (19 February).

The media watchdog has written to both ITV and Sky “to ask them to explain their actions”.

A spokesperson said: “We are extremely concerned to hear the comments made by the family of Nicola Bulley about two broadcast licensees.

“We have written to ITV and Sky to ask them to explain their actions. We will then assess whether any further action is required.”

Ms Bulley, a mother of two, went missing while walking her dog in Lancashire on 27 January. Her body was identified on Monday (20 February) after being discovered in a river in St Michael’s on Wyre the day before.

The family of Ms Bulley said that her partner, Paul Ansell, had been falsely accused of wrongdoing, and said they were “misquoted and vilified” in the media’s coverage of the police’s search.

They said in a statement: “This is absolutely appalling, they have to be held accountable. This cannot happen to another family.”

Nicola Bulley

The statement shared by Ms Bulley’s family on Monday (20 February) read: “We will never be able to comprehend what Nikki had gone through in her last moments and that will never leave us.

“We will never forget Nikki, how could we, she was the centre of our world, she was the one who made our lives so special and nothing will cast a shadow over that. Our girls will get the support they need from the people who love them the most.

“And it saddens us to think that one day we will have to explain to them that the press and members of the public accused their dad of wrongdoing, misquoted and vilified friends and family. This is absolutely appalling, they have to be held accountable this cannot happen to another family.

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“We tried last night to take in what we had been told in the day, only to have Sky News and ITV making contact with us directly when we expressly asked for privacy. They again, have taken it upon themselves to run stories about us to sell papers and increase their own profiles. It is shameful they have acted in this way. Leave us alone now.

“Do the press and other media channels and so-called professionals not know when to stop? These are our lives and our children’s lives.

Daffodils and yellow ribbons with messages for Nicola Bulley

“To those who genuinely helped and supported us, privately, we thank you. The community support in St Michael’s, friends’, neighbours and strangers has been nothing short of comforting and heart-warming. Friends you know who you are. Thank you.

“Our hearts truly break for others who have missing loved ones. Keep that hope alive.

“Finally, Nikki, you are no longer a missing person, you have been found, we can let you rest now.

“We love you, always have and always will, we’ll take it from here.”

The Independent has contacted ITV and Sky for comment.

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