Britain’s Got Talent Becomes Most Complained About Show Of Past Decade

by : Cameron Frew on : 06 Oct 2020 11:52
Britain's Got Talent Becomes Most Complained About Show Of Past DecadeITV

Britain’s Got Talent has become the UK’s most complained about TV show of the past decade. 

The current series of the ITV talent programme has been racking up the Ofcom complaints, as people continually take issue with performances or outfits across each instalment.


Prior to this year’s season, the 2018 series of Celebrity Big Brother held the previous record for complaints, amassing a huge 25,327. Somewhat insanely, Britain’s Got Talent has soared ahead.

Ant and Dec’s hit series has managed to attract 27,898 official Ofcom complaints this year alone. The majority of the grievances were aimed at Diversity’s Black Lives Matter performance earlier in September, referencing the death of George Floyd, which racked up more than 24,500 complaints, the Mirror reports.

Despite such numbers, Ofcom previously announced it wouldn’t investigate the broadcast. ‘We carefully considered a large number of complaints about this artistic routine, an area where freedom of expression is particularly important,’ the TV regulator said in a statement, as per Radio Times.

Diversity Britain's Got TalentITV

It explained: 

Diversity’s performance referred to challenging and potentially controversial subjects, and in our view, its central message was a call for social cohesion and unity. Any depictions of violence by the performers were highly stylised and symbolic of recent global events, and there was no explicit reference to any particular political organisation – but rather a message that the lives of Black people matter.

Ofcom added: ‘Given the heightened awareness and discussion of issues related to race and racism following the recent worldwide anti-racism protests, Ofcom considered that featuring these subjects in the programme would have been in line with audience expectations.’


ITV also said: ‘Ashley and the group are a great example of the talent, creativity and diversity of modern Britain and their performance was an authentic, heartfelt response to many of the issues and events which have affected society in 2020.’

The following week, presenter Alesha Dixon wore a Black Lives Matter necklace in solidarity with Diversity, which also attracted more than 1,900 complaints.

Ofcom earlier said: ‘We are assessing these complaints against our broadcasting rules but are yet to decide whether or not to investigate.’


There’s been no further update regarding an investigation into Dixon. Amanda Holden’s outfits have also been the subject of hundreds of complaints, with one show amassing 235 separate grievances.

More than 730 viewers also got in touch with Ofcom to raise concerns about the material used by comedian Nabil Abdulrashid, which covered racism and fatphobia.

If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact Stop Hate UK by visiting their website www.stophateuk.org/talk

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Cameron Frew

After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BJTC-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He's now left his Scottish homelands and taken up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.

Topics: Film and TV, Black Lives Matter, Diversity, ITV, TV, UK


Mirror Online and 1 other
  1. Mirror Online

    Britain's Got Talent becomes most complained about TV show of the decade amid controversy

  2. Radio Times

    Ofcom issues statement on Diversity’s Britain’s Got Talent performance following complaints