UPDATE: Ofcom has now received 245 complaints over the clash between Gemma Collins and Dancing On Ice judge Jason Gardiner from Sunday night.
The TV watchdog said that 106 were objections to the judges and presenters’ behaviour towards Collins, as well as Gardiner referring to her weight.
The remaining 139 were over Collins’ outburst, during which The Only Way Is Essex star accused Gardiner live on ITV of ‘selling stories’ about her to the press.
“We are assessing these complaints against our broadcasting rules, before deciding whether or not to investigate,” an Ofcom spokesperson told Yahoo UK.
“I know you were channelling Marilyn but we ended up with Anna Nicole Smith,” Gardiner said, in response to her routine, for which she’d been styled as Marilyn Monroe, and performed to the song Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend.
Collins then let rip at Gardiner, alleging that he’d sold stories to the press and that the resulting headlines had upset her, leading to a poor performance.
“Can I just say one thing?” she said. “Maybe if you didn’t sell stories on me, maybe I wouldn’t have been so upset this week. So take that. Boring. Next. Don’t sell stories on me. Don’t sell stories on me. Please don’t sell stories on me.”
Matt Evers, Collins’ pro-ice skating partner on the show, also appeared to accuse Gardiner of speaking to the press independently of ITV’s press office.
In an interview with Heart Radio, Evers said: “When it comes to Dancing On Ice, you have a choice to go through the ITV press office to release interviews and statements. It’s in house. On Thursday, the story came out that she was a disgrace to humanity.
“ITV came to us, as she was really upset by it, to say that it came from Jason himself. It sounds like [he has been selling stories on her].”
The interview in question found Gardiner speaking to The Sun, saying: “I can always see who’s lazy. Gemma is lazy. She doesn’t look like her heart is in it at all. I do despair at the state of our society today and also the entertainment industry.
“When I grew up people were bloody good at what they did. They were exceptional at something, so you were inspired by people on TV.
“Now we celebrate mediocre in this country. That, it seems, has become the new celebrity.”
However, clarifying the situation, a representative for Gardiner told MailOnline: “Jason did an interview to promote Dancing On Ice with The Sun last week. Within this interview he was asked about Gemma Collins and all the contestants. He gave his opinion. This interview was not done ‘behind ITV’s back’. ITV were fully aware the interview was running.”
An ITV spokesperson added: “To avoid any further speculation and untruths around this, Gemma’s comments were in relation to an interview Jason gave with a newspaper at the weekend. There is nothing more to it.”
Still, Collins appears to be railing against Gardiner, posting a screenshot of a story about the Ofcom complaints (despite most of them being aimed at her), a clip of Piers Morgan coming to her defence on Good Morning Britain, and a clip of Ariana Grande’s thank u, next on her Instagram story.