Why 'Celebrity Big Brother' Was The Most Complained About TV Show Of The Decade

by Aoife Hanna
Originally Published: 
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In data released by Ofcom, it has been revealed that Celebrity Big Brother was the most-complained-about TV show of the last decade (2010-2019).

The show has long been adored by fans, but back in 2018, Celebrity Big Brother season 22 had one incident that sparked an astounding 25,327 complaints, according to the BBC.

The incident in question involved contestants Roxanne Pallet and Ryan Thomas when former Emmerdale star Pallet accused Thomas of punching her "like a boxer would punch a bag." Pallet later went on to state her reaction was "an overreaction to what wasn’t a malicious act." Pallet faced a huge backlash after the incident, and it seems that has been reflected in today's Ofcom report.

The second most-complained-about TV moment was reality star Kim Woodburn's appearance on Loose Women in which, according to the BBC, many viewers believed she was being bullied.

Speaking to the BBC about the results, Tony Close, Ofcom's director of content standards, said: "Overwhelmingly, the most contentious programmes of the 2010s were either reality shows — like Love Island, Big Brother and The X Factor — or news and current affairs."

Offering an explanation as to why this could be, Close continued: "One important reason might be the rise of social media over the decade. We know people like to discuss reality shows online. And in a time of political change, social media has also shaped increasingly passionate debate around news coverage."


The list in full is as follows:

  1. Celebrity Big Brother's incident with Roxanne Pallet and Ryan Thomas (25,327 complaints)
  2. Loose Women's interview with Kim Woodburn (8,002 complaints)
  3. UKIP: The First 100 Days documentary on Channel 4 for an alleged "misleading, offensive and biased" portrayal of the party (6,187 complaints)
  4. Sky News for alleged bias and defamation in the editing of an interview with Tommy Robinson (3,463 complaints)
  5. The X Factor for performances from Rihanna and Christina Aguilera that were deemed too explicit (2,868 complaints)
  6. Channel 4 News for Jon Snow's comment that he'd "never seen so many white people in one place" when talking about a Brexit rally (2,717 complaints)
  7. Love Island for allegedly causing emotional distress to contestants, specifically Dani Dyer (2,644 complaints)
  8. The Wright Stuff for allegedly making light of a murder in the Hebrides (2,358 complaints)
  9. Big Brother for comments made by Helen Wood about fellow contestant Brian Belo (2,024 complaints)
  10. Sky News for the tone of Kay Burley's interview with Merlin Entertainment Chief Executive Nick Varney after the Alton Towers rollercoaster crash (1,838 complaints)

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