BBC responds after coverage of Prince Philip's death draws nearly 110,000 complaints

MARCH 4th 2021: Prince Philip The Duke of Edinburgh is recovering from heart surgery for a pre-existing condition, Buckingham Palace has announced. - FEBRUARY 17th 2021: Prince Philip The Duke of Edinburgh has been hospitalized. He was admitted to King Edward VII's Hospital in London, England as a precautionary measure after feeling unwell. - File Photo by: zz/KGC-178/STAR MAX/IPx 2020 7/22/20 Prince Philip The Duke of Edinburgh attends the transfer of the Colonel-In-Chief of The Rifles on July 22, 2020 at Windsor Castle. (Windsor, England, UK)
Prince Philip (zz/KGC-178/STAR MAX/IPx 2020 7/22/20)

The BBC has defended itself after its blanket coverage of Prince Philip’s death drew close to 110,000 complaints from viewers.

Regular programming was interrupted across BBC channels on TV and BBC radio stations when Buckingham Palace announced the death of the Duke of Edinburgh on 9 April.

The wall-to-wall coverage did not go down well with all viewers and it drew 109,741 complaints, which is thought to set a record for the most complained-about piece of programming in BBC history.

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However, responding to the complaints on Thursday, the BBC said in a statement that the death of Prince Philip “was a significant event which generated a lot of interest both nationally and internationally”.

Britain's Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall visit the gardens of Marlborough House, London, Thursday April 15, 2021, to look at the flowers and messages left by members of the public outside Buckingham Palace, following the death of Prince Philip. (Jeremy Selwyn/Pool via AP)
Britain's Prince Charles and Camilla look at the flowers left by the public following the death of Prince Philip (Pool via AP)

The statement went on: “We acknowledge some viewers were unhappy with the level of coverage given, and impact this had on the billed TV and radio schedules.

“We do not make such changes without careful consideration and the decisions made reflect the role the BBC plays as the national broadcaster, during moments of national significance.”

“We are grateful for all feedback, and we always listen to the response from our audiences,” the statement ended.

Prince Philip passed away at Windsor Castle on 9 April, at the age of 99.

TV schedules were quickly cleared and shows such as the MasterChef final were postponed.

There were so many complaints flooding in that the BBC had to create a special form online to deal with them.

Read more: Everything we know about Prince Philip's funeral

The Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral is due to take place at St George's Chapel, in the grounds of Windsor Castle, on Saturday.

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