Prince Philip: BBC receives complaints about TV coverage of duke's death

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Duke of Edinburgh in summer 2020Image source, Getty Images

The BBC has received complaints about the amount of television coverage it gave to the Duke of Edinburgh's death.

The broadcaster suspended planned scheduling across BBC One and BBC Two to air special coverage after the duke died at Windsor Castle on Friday, aged 99.

The BBC later put a dedicated form on its website to allow viewers to complain about the TV coverage.

Broadcasters such as Channel 4 and ITV also adjusted schedules after the news.

The BBC declined to comment on the number of complaints it had received about its coverage.

The broadcaster publishes fortnightly complaints reports containing details and figures for any programme receiving more than 100 complaints. The next report is expected to be published on 15 April.

In an earlier statement released on Friday, the BBC said it had suspended planned scheduling and there would be "special coverage across all BBC networks" to mark the duke's "life of extraordinary public service".

BBC Radio 4 and Radio 5 Live also aired special programming charting Prince Philip's life, while BBC Four was paused and displayed a message directing viewers to switch over for a "major news report".

As a result of the rolling news coverage on Friday, the final of Masterchef, which was due to air at 20:30 BST on BBC One, was not aired.

The BBC later set up a temporary, dedicated page on its website to help viewers register their complaints about coverage of the duke's death.

On the form, it said it had received "complaints about too much TV coverage", and urged viewers to enter their email address to register a complaint.

It also made schedule changes on Saturday, with a BBC News special programme about the duke from 10:00 until 14:00, which saw shows including Saturday Kitchen Live moved to BBC Two.

The BBC's TV schedules returned to normal on Saturday afternoon.

The BBC was not the only broadcaster to make schedule changes following the news, with ITV adjusting its programming to lead up to an extended News At Ten programme at 22:00.

Meanwhile, Channel 4 showed an obituary programme at 16:00 , followed by an extended 90-minute news broadcast at 19:00 before returning to its peak schedule.