The former Good Morning Britain star’s rant against Meghan Markle in March sparked a wave of backlash when he said he didn’t believe that the Duchess of Sussex struggled with her mental health in the Royal family.
Viewers turned to the TV watchdog in droves with the scenes attracting almost 55,000 complaints, and the presenter left his post on the ITV series hours later.
Taking to Twitter, the 56-year-old addressed reports which stated that Ofcom saw an ‘unprecedented’ number of complaints in 2020 / 2021, with his rant accounting for a large number of those.
Quoting a tweet of the article, he said: ‘What this doesn’t say is that NONE of the Govt-related complaints against me were upheld, and I don’t expect the complaints relating to Princess Pinocchio to be either.
‘How can @Ofcom possibly conclude I must believe a proven liar…?’
His comments come after Ofcom confirmed the complaints it received quadrupled in 2020/21 from 34,545 in the previous year to 142,660.
‘We’re a nation of TV lovers, and it’s kept us entertained and informed like never before during lockdown,’ a spokesperson said.
‘But, from time to time, viewers see things that trouble them, and that’s where we come in.
‘We assess every complaint we receive, and while we don’t step in lightly given the importance of free speech we take strong action where we find serious harm to audiences.’
Elsewhere, dance troupe Diversity received the second most complaints with their routine on Britain’s Got Talent, which sparked 25,017 complaints, despite going on to win a Bafta TV Award.
While I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! attracted 11,516 complaints over the welfare of animals used in trials on the show.
Ofcom’s report said it is ‘unusual’ to receive such a large volume of complaints about individual broadcasts, stating there was an ‘increase in the number of complaints specifically about potentially racially offensive broadcast content’ and the pandemic.
‘Most of these complaints did not raise issues warranting investigation under our rules,’ the report said.
‘However, when they did, we expedited investigations due to the serious nature of some of the content.
‘We recorded eight breaches of our rules in this area including on the service Loveworld, which featured highly misleading statements about the pandemic without providing adequate protection to the audience.’
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