Audience complaints

14 September 2016

TV remote controlViewers 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.

Broadcasting Code

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).


It is not possible for us to list every complaint we have received - but here is a list in alphabetical order of those programmes that received more than 10 standards complaints last week. (We do not include fairness and privacy complaints in this list.)

Audience complaints - Tuesday 6 September to Monday 12 September 2016 (PDF - 23kb)

Ofcom assesses all the broadcast complaints it receives, but will only investigate those which may raise issues under the Code.

Just because we have received complaints about a programme does not mean that there is a problem or Ofcom is investigating the matter.

Also, the number of complaints we receive is not an indication of how serious an issue is.

Audience complaints archive

Broadcast bulletin

There may be occasions where we have received complaints about a programme but it is not appropriate to publish it here. Every fortnight Ofcom publishes its Broadcast and On Demand Bulletins. This includes the latest decisions about the complaints we've received. If you would like to learn more you can read our current Broadcast and On Demand Bulletins.