Complaints assessed under the Broadcasting Code.
Viewers and listeners in the UK have long enjoyed a rich heritage of broadcasting and quality programming. But sometimes you may see something on TV – or hear a programme on radio – which you find offensive or think is harmful.
Every time Ofcom receives a complaint from a viewer or listener, we assess it under the Broadcasting Code to see if it needs further investigation. The Code sets standards for television and radio shows and broadcasters have to follow these rules.
These rules not only cover harm and offence, but also other areas like impartiality and accuracy, sponsorship and commercial references as well as fairness and privacy.
For example, the Code has rules on what can be screened on TV before the 9pm watershed.
If we find a programme has broken these rules, then it will be found in breach of the Code and Ofcom will publish this decision.
In very serious cases, we will consider further action (e.g. fining a broadcaster).
Every fortnight Ofcom publishes its Broadcast and On Demand Bulletin. This includes the latest decisions about the complaints we've received.
It is not possible for us to list every complaint we have received – but here is a list in chronological order of those programmes that received more than 50 standards complaints last week (we do not include fairness and privacy complaints in this list)*.
|Programme||Service||Transmission date||Number of complaints|
|Oprah with Meghan and Harry||ITV||8 March 2021||570**|
* Since 1 January 2021, Ofcom publishes a list of programmes that received more than 50 standards complaints on a weekly basis.
** The cumulative total for complaints about this programme is 5,949.
If Ofcom considers that a broadcast may have breached its codes, it will start an investigation.
Older audience complaints can be accessed via the National Archives.