Ofcom sanctions London Live over David Icke interview

David Icke launches his campaign in the Haltemprice and Howden By-Election with a talk in Willerby, East Yorkshire. (Photo by Anna Gowthorpe - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)

Ofcom has ruled that local television service licensee ESTV broke broadcasting rules with a London Live interview featuring conspiracy theorist David Icke.

The broadcasting watchdog found that views expressed by Icke regarding the coronavirus pandemic could cause "significant harm" to viewers as his views "cast doubt" on the health advice given by governing bodies and health organisations in order to protect the public.

Ofcom declared his "unsubstantiated" remarks went "largely unchallenged" during the 80 minute interview which saw Icke discuss the pandemic with presenter Brian Rose.

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The programme screened a notice during ad breaks saying the views expressed were not necessarily those of the network, however, Ofcom ruled ESTV had a responsibility to ensure viewers were "protected from potential harm" by challenging Icke's views and placing them in context.

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London Live has accepted the direction to broadcast a summary of Ofcom's findings on a date and form to be decided by the watchdog, which is also considering whether to impose any sanctions beyond the Direction via the Ofcom Sanctions Panel.

Eamonn Holmes received complaints about comments he made concerning the coronavirus. (ITV)

The separate case of complaints lodged against Eamonn Holmes' coronavirus comments on This Morning were also assessed by Ofcom.

It was decided that his "ambiguous" comments surrounding a link between coronavirus and 5G technology were "ill-judged" and risked undermining viewers' trust in advice from public authorities and scientific evidence.

Taking into account the show's consumer editor Alice Beer strongly rejecting any link between the two earlier in the show and a statement delivered by Holmes the following day, Ofcom issued guidance to ITV and its presenters.