The BBC’s decision to cut into its television and radio schedule and devote wall-to-wall coverage to the death of Prince Philip last Friday led to over 110,000 complaints from the public.
The Guardian newspaper reports that a record number of people in the U.K. complained directly to the BBC over the public broadcaster’s coverage in the 24 hours after the announcement of the Duke of Edinburgh’s death at the age of 99.
Buckingham Palace released official news of the prince’s death on Friday at noon, local time, at which point the BBC cleared its schedules to cover the news with BBC One, BBC Two and BBC News all carrying the same feed and BBC Four taken completely off the air. Popular shows, such as the long-running soap Eastenders and the season finale of MasterChef, were bumped off in favor of news shows, as well as documentaries and tribute programs celebrating the prince’s life.
The vast majority of the complaints suggested that the BBC’s coverage was excessive and drowned out other news topics such as the pandemic, on top of complaints about canceled programming, The Guardian reports.
The number of complaints dwarfed the previous record holder, the BBC’s screening in 2005 of Jerry Springer: The Musical, which led to 63,000 complaints.