Huge increase in BBC complaints

News and current affairs has been overtaken by entertainment as the most complained about genre on BBC television.

The number of complaints doubled last year, according to figures from the BBC programme complaints unit.

It dealt with 1,596 complaints last year, up from 794. Of these, 22 per cent concerned news and current affairs programmes, compared with 36.6 per cent in the previous 12 months.

Complaints about entertainment programmes comprised 22.5 per cent of the total, down from 33 per cent. Last year at total of 807 items brought complaints, compared with 515 the previous year. Complaints about factual programmes shot up to 16 per cent from 1.5 per cent.

Director general Greg Dyke said: “The difference is entirely due to the facility for complaints by e-mail on BBCi, which we opened last August.

“It isn’t that people are complaining about double the number of broadcasts, though there has been an increase, which I would expect when you make it easier to complain. It’s mainly that the programmes that do press a button bring in far more complaints.”

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