Channel 4's alternative Queen's speech receives over 200 complaints

·Entertainment reporter, Yahoo UK
·2-min read

Watch: Channel 4’s deepfake ‘Queen’ delivers an alternative Christmas address

Channel 4’s alternative Christmas address – delivered by a “deepfake’ dancing version of The Queen – has sparked over 200 complaints to Ofcom.

The regulator confirmed it had received 214 complaints about the digitally created parody, broadcast on Channel 4 on Christmas Day, which mentioned Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s departure from the Royal family and Prince Andrew’s connections to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

A spokesperson for Ofcom confirmed: "We are assessing these complaints against our broadcasting rules, but are yet to decide whether or not to investigate."

A deepfake version of The Queen appeared in the Alternative Christmas Message 2020 (Channel 4/PA)
A deepfake version of The Queen appeared in the Alternative Christmas Message 2020. (Channel 4/PA)

Channel 4 has been broadcasting a comedy alternative to the Queen’s Christmas address since 1993.

Read more: Mariah Carey responds to Gogglebox stars' comments on her Christmas special

This year’s alternative speech aimed to highlight the issue of fake news by using technological special effects to show an image of The Queen herself, voiced by former Coronation Street actor Debra Stephenson, who plays Her Majesty in the new series of Spitting Image.

The fake Queen told viewers: “On the BBC, I haven’t always been able speak plainly and from the heart.

“So I am grateful to Channel 4 for giving me the opportunity to say whatever I like, without anyone putting words in my mouth.”

LONDON - SEPTEMBER 10:  Debra Stephenson Launches The Radox Great British Mud Runs 2007 on September 10, 2007 in London England. (Photo by Ferdaus Shamim/WireImage)
Actor Debra Stephenson, pictured in 2007, voiced The Queen. (Getty Images)

After appearing to give her views on several controversial issues surrounding the Royal Family, the deepfake Queen then jumped on her desk and performed a TikTok dance.

Deepfake technology – which has risen to prominence in recent years – can be used to create completely manufactured videos of famous people that are then circulated online and purported as genuine.

Former US president Barack Obama is among those to have been subjected to the technique.

Watch: The real Queen’s 2020 Christmas Day speech offers a message of hope

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