Reality TV shows Love Island and I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here received the most complaints by viewers according to Ofcom.
Data from UK communications regulator Ofcom noted that British viewers were upset by the content broadcasted by the two reality TV shows. While complaints about Love Island focused on alleged bullying behaviour by contestants, former health secretary Matt Hancock‘s appearance on I’m a Celebrity led to irate viewers.
Launched in 2015, Love Island remains one of the most watched shows on ITV. Its finale had a peak of 3.4m people tuning in to watch the show, while its latest season garnered a total viewership of over 250m. 43 per cent of the shows viewers are under the age of 30.
I’m a Celebrity, on the other hand attracted over 11.4m viewers, which remained the highest peak for any entertainment show in 2022. The 2022 season attracted more viewers than the previous four seasons of the show. This was in part due to the news and furore caused by Hancock’s appearance on the reality show. Hancock remains a controversial figure following his role as Health Secretary during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ofcom, the media watchdog received over 3600 complaints this year. In most cases it determined that the broadcasting companies and shows were not in breach of any regulation. With both Love Island and I’m a Celebrity, Ofcom concluded that there was no breach of the broadcasting code, given the context provided and broadcaster’s right to freedom of expression.
Commenting on the flurry of complaints, Adam Baxter, Ofcom’s director for standards and audience protection said “People might think that because a programme has prompted a high number of complaints it must automatically mean our rules have been broken. But that’s not the case. We carefully assessed complaints about both of these programmes and found that neither warranted further investigation under our rules.”