Entertainment & Arts

Ofcom to probe Channel 4's UKIP drama

Priyanga Burford in UKIP: The First 100 Days Image copyright Channel 4
Image caption Priyanga Burford starred as Deepa Kaur in UKIP: The First 100 Days

Media watchdog Ofcom says it will investigate the Channel 4 docudrama UKIP: The First 100 Days for breaches of the broadcasting code.

More than 5,000 people complained about the programme, which imagined a future where Nigel Farage won the upcoming general election.

Ofcom said it might be in breach of rules on "offensive material, misleadingness and due impartiality".

"We are also considering fairness and privacy complaints," it said.

The programme mixed real news footage with fictional scenes, focusing on the career of Deepa Kaur, a newly-elected UKIP MP for Romford, played by Priyanga Burford.

'Biased'

It also depicted rioting on the streets in the wake of the UKIP election victory, mass, forced deportations and the establishment of a new "National Pride day".

The show was broadcast outside the election period, meaning Channel 4 did not have provide balancing views from other parties.

A Channel 4 spokeswoman said: "We are confident that the programme did not breach the Ofcom code and we will be providing a response to the investigation."

It had previously said "a lot of research" went into the film and that Mr Farage had been invited to watch it before the broadcast and then to do an interview afterwards but declined.

The UKIP leader tweeted after the drama went out that it was "a biased partisan depiction" of his party.

Critics were unkind, too. The Telegraph called it "fatally flawed", saying it stereotyped UKIP supporters as "an army of bald-headed, beer-swilling thugs".

The Guardian agreed that the drama "lacked nuance", adding: "It won't aid UKIP's cause in the run up to the election, but it probably won't make much of a dent in it either."

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