Rageh Omaar's ITV illness sparks Ofcom row as viewers lodge complaints

ITV's Rageh Omaar
ITV's Rageh Omaar -Credit:ITV

Viewers have lodged complaints to Ofcom against ITV, after newsreader Rageh Omarr fell ill while hosting a bulletin last Friday, with critics unhappy with how the incident was handled by the broadcaster.

Respected anchor Rageh started struggling with his words at the end of the news on April 26 with him being rushed to hospital as soon as cameras stopped rolling to receive treatment. Amid reports Rageh had suffered a suspected 'mini stroke' several ITV colleagues, including fellow news host and Loose Women presenter Charlene White, took aim at people for sharing screen recordings of Rageh falling ill on social media.

While in agreement that sharing footage of his struggle was bang out of order, other people quickly took aim at ITV themselves, questioning why and how he was allowed to continue presenting after exhibiting worrying signs. And now it has been announced by Ofcom that they have received 73 complaints in relation to the news bulletin Rageh hosted.

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A statement from the broadcasting regulator confirmed: "Complaints raised concerns about Rageh Omaar's health during this broadcast."

What happened to Rageh has become a big talking point on a number of TV shows this week, with Good Morning Britain star Richard Madeley commenting: "It's a very difficult situation for him. I can remember going in the studio once or twice, thinking, 'Well I don't feel particularly 100 percent today', but usually 'Dr Studio' - if that's the right term - 'Dr Studio' takes over and you get through it.

"Apparently he wasn't terribly well the previous night either. So I suppose that my dear colleagues - and I worked at ITV for many years very, very happily - should they have stepped in and just insisted he step back?"