'Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway' receives 29 complaints after ‘infect the human scum’ joke

Ant and Dec's 'Men In Brown' sketch about an alien virus upset some viewers. (ITV)
Ant and Dec's 'Men In Brown' sketch about an alien virus upset some viewers. (ITV)

Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway upset viewers after airing a sketch about humans being infected with an alien virus.

The ITV show - which usually airs live in front of a studio audience - was presented by hosts Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly from their individual homes via videolink on Saturday (March 28) due to the government lockdown amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The episode featured several pre-recorded sketches including sci-fi parody Men In Brown, with celebrity cameos from Great British Bake Off judge Paul Hollywood and Britain’s Got Talent’s Amanda Holden.

Television star Amanda Holden appears at a photo call with fellow celebrities Ant and Dec (Anthony McPartlin and Decland Donnelly) at the start of the Edinburgh International Television Festival. The annual festival was staged at the city's conference center and attracted media personalities from across the industry. (Photo by Colin McPherson/Corbis via Getty Images)
Amanda Holden featured in the comedy sketch saying, 'Infect the human scum! (Getty Images)

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In the skit Hollywood’s body was taken over by an alien who revealed he had the power to infect the whole world.

He laughed: “Now we have the Universal Collider we can open up portal zero-zero and give the whole world the squits."

After Holden was under the alien’s power she declared: "Infect the human scum."

Some viewers felt this was inapproriate during the current coronavirus crisis which has seen multiple deaths around the world and the population confined to their homes to prevent spreading the disease.

Broadcasting regulator Ofcom confirmed it had received a total of 29 complaints about the show, with 22 relating to the Men In Brown sketch.

The other objections from viewers related to scenes of people licking their fingers and the perceived treatment of Ant's dog Hurley.

An Ofcom spokesperson told Metro.co.uk: "We are assessing the complaints against our broadcasting rules, but are yet to decide whether or not to investigate.”

Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway heavily relies on its live audience (ITV)
Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway has continued without a live audience (ITV)

A previous episode of the show sparked 36 complainted for featuring a passionate kiss between a couple in the audience which some felt was inappropriate for a family show.

Read more: 'Saturday Night Takeaway' lands ratings record without studio audience

TV were forced to issue an apology after McPartlin and Donnelly wore karate outfits featuring Japan's Rising Sun flag during another episode of the show. The flag has been said to be a symbol of the country's imperialist past.

And a raunchy performance by the Pussycat Dolls on the show is also said to have prompted 67 complaints to Ofcom.