Gogglebox has received 51 Ofcom complaints after the cast of the show reacted to Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey, mocking the royal family in the process.
Last week, the world was rocked when the Duke and Duchess of Sussex sat down with media mogul Oprah to speak candidly about their experiences as part of the royal family for an interview said to have been filmed in February.
The couple made a series of startling revelations on issues pertaining to security, family ties, mental health and race, which the cast members of Gogglebox reacted to on the latest episode of the Channel 4 programme on Friday March 12.
In its weekly broadcast report, communications regulator Ofcom revealed that 51 complaints were made about the instalment of Gogglebox aired on Friday evening, which are to be ‘assessed against the Broadcasting Code’.
During the episode, a few of the Gogglebox stars were taken aback when they watched Prince Harry tell Oprah that the royal family allegedly suggested that former Suits actor Meghan should continue her acting career so that they could foot the bill for their security after it was reportedly taken away from them.
‘What did they want her to do? Get her a part in EastEnders?’ Stephen Webb said incredulously in response.
Sophie Sandiford then quipped: ‘Stick her in the gift shop while you’re at it,’ adding: ‘You know, 30 hours a week in the gift shop should cover her funds.’
Several of the groups on the series expressed their sadness when they heard Meghan speak about how her mental health had suffered, with Elli Warner stating: ‘Nobody deserves to feel like that.’
Mary Killen added that she ‘can’t believe that if the Queen knew how upset she was, the Queen wouldn’t have insisted she have some help’, after Meghan said that when she reached out to the ‘institution’ for help with her mental health, she was supposedly told that nothing could be done.
According to The Sun, the complaints made to Ofcom about the Gogglebox segment were due to ‘anti-royalist commentary’ in the episode. Metro.co.uk has contacted Ofcom for comment.
While the stars of Gogglebox appeared riveted by Meghan and Harry’s groundbreaking interview, before the episode aired, Lee Riley revealed that his TV-watching companion Jenny Newby fell asleep while watching it.
In a hilarious video shared on Instagram, Lee captured Jenny snoozing while the interview played in the background, before he startled her awake.
In addition to Meghan and Harry’s chat with Oprah, Friday’s episode of Gogglebox also saw the cast react to the shocking moment when Piers Morgan stormed out of the Good Morning Britain studio before his decision to quit the show was announced.
‘Who knew you could let fireworks off at half six in the morning?’ Pete Sandiford joked as he and his sister watched the headline-making scenes.
Gogglebox returns on Friday at 9pm on Channel 4.
Harry and Meghan’s Oprah interview: Key moments
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have spoken to Oprah Winfrey in a bombshell interview about their decision to step back as senior working members of the Royal Family.
Here are the key points from the interview, which UK viewers can watch at 9pm on ITV on Monday, March 8.
- Meghan says it was Kate who made her cry over flower girls, not other way round
- Meghan says Harry was told there were ‘concerns how dark’ Archie would be
- Harry and Meghan reveal the gender of their baby due in summer
- Meghan sobs as she says pressures of royal life drove her to the verge of suicide
- Prince Charles stopped taking Harry’s calls after he quit Royal Family
- Harry says Meghan saved him from being ‘trapped’ like Prince Charles and Prince William are
- Princess Diana would be ‘sad and angry about how this has panned out’
- Meghan and Harry share adorable new video of son Archie at the beach
- Harry confirms terrible rift with William and says their relationship is now just ‘space’
- Queen ‘ghosted Harry during Megxit talks and got aide to say she was too busy’
What is Ofcom and what does it cover?
Ofcom is the regulator for the communications services that we use and rely on each day.
The watchdog makes sure people get the best from their broadband, home phone and mobile services, as well as keeping an eye on TV and radio.
Ofcom deals with most content on television, radio and video-on-demand services, including the BBC. However, if your complaint is about something you saw or heard in a BBC programme, you may need to complain to the BBC first.
Its rules for television and radio programmes are set out in the Broadcasting Code.
The rules in the Broadcasting Code also apply to the BBC iPlayer.
This Broadcasting Code is the rule book that broadcasters have to follow and it covers a number of areas, including; protecting the under-18s, protecting audiences from harmful and/or offensive material and ensuring that news, in whatever form, is reported with due accuracy and presented with due impartiality.
Audiences can complain to Ofcom if they believe a breach of the Broadcasting Code has been made.
Every time Ofcom receives a complaint from a viewer or listener, they assess it to see if it needs further investigation.
If Ofcom decide to investigate, they will include the case in a list of new investigations, published in the Broadcast and On Demand Bulletin.
An investigation is a formal process which can take some time depending on the complexity of the issues involved.
Ofcom can also launch investigations in the absence of a complaint from a viewer or listener.