Channel 5 has come under fire after David Bowie fans accused the broadcaster of exploiting his death for ratings.
On Monday night they showed footage from Celebrity Big Brother (CBB) of his former wife Angie Bowie reacting to the sad news, reports the Telegraph.
The former model was seen breaking down in tears in front of the cameras as she mourned the ‘end of an era’.
The couple were married for ten years, and an obviously emotional Angie can be heard saying:
I haven’t seen him in so many years I can’t make a big drama about it.
But I feel an era has ended. It’s so very sad, Stardust has gone.
The 66-year-old was comforted by fellow housemates John Partridge and David Gest as she broke down in tears.
Despite producers claiming she had been informed of Bowie’s death in private, viewers accused Channel 5 of using her grief in a ‘shameful’ bid for ratings.
Thousands took to social media to express their outrage:
Wow can't believe #CBB just showed the moment Angie Bowie found out as a 'preview' for tomorrow's show. Using a death for viewing figures..Advertisement
— Becki McKeown (@beckimckeown) January 11, 2016
Still can't believe C5 – even C5 – did a "Coming up tomorrow, David Bowie's ex-wife weeps in the diary room at the news of his death." #CBB
— Ian Hyland (@HylandIan) January 11, 2016
Really low and degrading from Channel 5 in broadcasting Angie Bowie's reaction to hearing her ex-husband's death.
— Daniel Jenks (@DanielJenks89) January 11, 2016
— Hannah Griffiths (@hannah_kg) January 11, 2016
A spokesman for Channel 5 said Ms Bowie had been told of her former husband’s death off camera and had been given the option to leave:
We can confirm that Angie Bowie has been informed off camera by her representatives. She has taken the decision to continue in the programme.
The decision to remain in the house is entirely her choice, and she has been given the option to leave at any time if she changes her mind. Appropriate support will be available to Angie at any time if needed.
I don’t think I would be comfortable sharing such a sad moment with millions of viewers, but each to their own I suppose…