The new series of the BBC’s long-running crime show is giving TV bosses a headache after viewers were angered by its use of a soap-style cliffhanger during the reconstruction of a murder case.
The show, which appeals to the public for help in solving high-profile crimes, has been given a slick new look to go with new presenters Jeremy Vine and Tina Daheley. But the producers’ bid to inject a little more drama into the show may be a little misguided.
The first episode of the new series, which aired on Monday September 5, was blasted by viewers for its report on the murder of 17-year-old Melanie Road, who was sexually assaulted and died from multiple stab wounds following a night out in 1984.
Crimewatch dramatised the inside story of how police finally caught Melanie’s killer 31 years after her death - but the decision to leave the report on a ‘cliffhanger’ - with the audience having to tune into the next episode to find out what happened next - has been described as ‘disgusting’ and ‘insensitive’.
😧😯😶 #Crimewatch Absolutely shameful turning a young girls murder into a cliffhanger for people to tune into next week. 👎
— Danny Emerton (@DannyEmerton) September 5, 2016
feel very uneasy about #Crimewatch using that poor girl’s murder as a ‘tune in next week’ cliffhanger wtf this ain’t a sodding soap opera
— Sarah Jones (@sazmeister88) September 5, 2016
Another simply described it as “disgusting”.
“It is one of the most powerful programmes the BBC has ever broadcast, with the power to change and save lives, and of course to solve crimes,” new presenter Jeremy Vine said ahead of his debut on the show.
Whether its new format will continue to give the BBC nightmares remains to be seen.
A BBC spokesman told the Press Association: “Crimewatch worked closely with the police on this item which was made with the cooperation of Melanie Road’s family.
“The story of Melanie’s brutal murder and how detectives eventually caught her killer spanned decades, involving hundreds of police officers and multiple investigation teams.
“To do full justice to Melanie’s story it was necessary to tell it across two programmes.”