BBC’s Christian Eriksen collapse coverage becomes one of most complained-about TV moments

Footage receives more than 6,000 complaints

Zoe Tidman
Thursday 24 June 2021 17:57
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BBC apologises for coverage of Christian Eriksen’s on-field treatment

The BBC’s coverage of footballer Christian Eriksen’s collapse and medical treatment on pitch has become one of the most complained-about TV moments in UK history.

The broadcaster has received backlash over footage from the Euro 2020 game, during which Danish player Eriksen suffered a cardiac arrest.

It has received 6,417 complaints over the decision to keep broadcasting as the 29-year-old midfielder received emergency treatment.

Cameras showed medics desperately trying to stabilise the former Tottenham player as his teammates formed a protective circle around where he was lying on the pitch.

The BBC said viewers had complained over coverage showing “intrusive footage of player receiving medical treatment”.

Just a few months ago, the BBC’s coverage of Prince Philip’s death - which saw the broadcaster clear schedules and dedicate entire channels to rolling tributes - became the most complained-about event in UK TV history, receiving more than 110,000 complaints.

Other TV events that saw tens of thousands of complaints roll in include Piers Morgan’s comments over Meghan Markle’s mental health, Jerry Springer: The Opera and Russell Brand’s prank call to actor Andrew Sachs.

Tommy Robinson’s interview on Sky news, Kim Woodburn’s interview on ITV’s Loose Women in the same year and a “punch” row on Celebrity Big Brother - all in 2018 - also raked in thousands of complaints to become some of the most-complained about TV events in British history.

A Channel 4 UKIP documentary in 2015 also joined the ranks receiving more than 6,000 complaints.

The BBC has apologised over the broadcast from the match following Eriksen’s collapse and said the footage was controlled by Uefa.

“We apologise to anyone who was upset by the images broadcast,” a company statement said.

“In-stadium coverage is controlled by Uefa as the host broadcaster, and as soon as the match was suspended, we took our coverage off air as quickly as possible.”

Eriksen is to be fitted with a defibrillator implant, which his doctor said was necessary after “cardiac attack due to rhythm disturbances”.

He was discharged from a hospital in Copenhagen last week following a successful operation.

Additional reporting by Press Association

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