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Sam Huntley & Aaron Morris

2022's most controversial TV moments ranked by Ofcom complaints

There's never a dull moment in the world of British television, but this year was especially controversial with Ofcom receiving thousands of complaints from vexed viewers in 2022.

The broadcast media regulator for the United Kingdom keeps tabs on TV, radio and video, upholding coveted standards. So when a punter feels a programme has crossed the line, that's usually their first port of call.

Anyone can send a complaint to the watchdog, as part of its bid to have careful eyes look over it and make a decision on whether it breaks standards set.

Read more: Rishi Sunak plans law change to have Netflix regulated by Ofcom amid Harry and Meghan row

The Daily Star reports that last year was record-breaking for Ofcom as it took a whopping 150,000 complaints, with Piers Morgan's furious Meghan Markle rant making Good Morning Britain the most complained about TV show ever. But this year hasn't been a breeze for the biggest TV shows around, because the likes of ITV's Love Island and I'm A Celebrity faced a bitter backlash.

Without further ado, here are 2022's most controversial TV moments ranked on Ofcom complaints.

Jeremy Vine's vaccine row - 761 complaints

Jeremy's Channel 5 show received 761 complaints over a vaccine segment (Channel 5)

Jeremy Vine was slapped with a ton of complaints following a debate about the Covid vaccine on his Channel 5 show. It started on January 24 when 199 Ofcom complaints came in from unhappy viewers after comments were made about unvaccinated patients in hospitals across the UK.

But grievances then sky-rocketed to 761 the following week as more disgruntled viewers reached out to the regulator. Many online users moaned that misinformation had been spread during a chat between Yasmin Alibhai Brown and Lowri Turner.

Richard Madeley death threats - 850 complaints

Richard ruffled feathers with his comments about death threats (ITV)

Good Morning Britain host Richard Madeley ruffled feathers in February when he asked if death threats made against Sir Keir Starmer were a 'big deal'. Madeley discussed the threats made to the leader of the Labour Party but appeared to question them on his show, asking whether it was 'that big a deal'.

During a chat with right-wing commentator Andrew Pierce, he said: "Now, we learned yesterday that Keir Starmer says he’s getting death threats online – people calling for his execution."

Pierce replied: "Well, I think politicians get that all the time," before Richard added: "I was going to say, actually, is it that big a deal?"

Madeley apologised for the controversy the next day, insisting death threats are not acceptable and that he didn't go into it enough.

Nude comic - Almost 1,400 complaints

Channel 4 was hit with nearly 1,400 complaints in October after a comedian got totally naked during an episode of Friday Night Live. Jordan Gray, the first ever transgender person to appear on The Voice, joined the sketch show on (October 21) and stripped off mid-way through her performance.

She removed all of her clothes and continued playing the keyboard naked during the 40th anniversary show, which was hosted by Ben Elton.

Love Island's Snog, Marry, Pie challenge - 1509 complaints

Love Island fans accused the boys of bullying Tasha (ITV)

One Love Island lowlight came during the Snog, Marry, Pie challenge, just a few days after Movie Night. Over 1,500 complaints were made following the challenge, where Tasha ended up in tears after being targeted by the boys again.

Luca and Dami made negative comments about the dancer and chose to pie her, prompting viewers to accuse them of 'bullying' her - even Tasha's mum said it was 'close to bullying'. Dami and Luca later apologised to Tasha for their behaviour, admitting they were 'out of line'.

The bullying claims came after a game of Suck and Blow on July 18 which saw the lads swipe at Tasha - prompting 351 complaints. A spokesperson for Ofcom said: "On July 19 the majority of complaints were about alleged misogynistic behaviour from the male islanders towards the female islanders, including in the aftermath of the Snog, Marry, Pie challenge.

"On July 18 the majority of complaints were about alleged misogynistic and bullying behaviour of contestants."

Matt Hancock's jungle stint - Nearly 2000 complaints

Viewers didn't like Matt Hancock's jungle stint (James Gourley/ITV/REX/Shutterstock)

Matt Hancock got a hammering from the public when he entered the jungle for this year's series of I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! The former health secretary ended up coming third place on the show after doing tons of Bushtucker Trials, but many were relieved that he missed out on the crown as England footballer Jill Scott, who grew up in Sunderland, won the show.

Ofcom received 1,968 complaints about I'm A Celeb, with most of them objecting to the MP's presence on the ITV show. Around 1,000 complained about Hancock being in camp - whereas others raised concerns about how he was being treated by his campmates.

Love Island's Movie Night - 2,648 complaints

Viewers complained about "misogynistic" behaviour from the boys (ITV/REX/Shutterstock)

Love Island became the most complained TV show of 2022, with the ITV dating show racking up nearly 7,500 complaints during the summer. But the most complained about moment came during the infamous Movie Night in July, where islanders watched clips of what their partners got up to during the Casa Amor episodes.

The notorious game on July 17 received 2,481 complaints relating to 'alleged misogynistic behaviour by some of the male contestants' in the episode. An additional 167 complained about the first episode of Movie Night which saw Ekin-Su share a bed with George.

The Movie Night episodes saw Luca Bish fume at his now-ex Gemma Owen and accuse her of flirting with Billy Brown after watching a clip of the pair on the big screen. It also saw Tasha get upset over clips of Andrew snogging Coco in Casa Amor, but despite this, the boys were hollering in excitement.

Luca's family later apologised to fans for his 'insensitive' behaviour on the show, insisting that he would be 'deeply embarrassed' when he watches himself back.

What do you think the most controversial TV moment of 2022 was? Let us know in the comments.

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