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Red Nose Day: Ofcom considering investigation into show

Vic Reeves, Bob Mortimer and Susanna ReidImage copyright
Gary Moyes/BBC

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Susanna Reid faced a series of awkward questions from Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer

Some viewers were not amused by the BBC’s Red Nose Day broadcast, with 150 people complaining to TV watchdog Ofcom about the Comic Relief telethon.

Most complained about the content of Friday’s show and Ofcom is considering whether to launch an investigation.

Language used before the watershed by Steve Coogan, a game of Innuendo Bingo and a sketch by Reeves and Mortimer have come in for particular criticism.

The BBC pointed to the fact that the event has raised more than £73m so far.

One of the most controversial moments saw comedy duo Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer interview TV presenter Susanna Reid – with Reeves apparently brandishing a prosthetic penis from under a kilt.

Reid later tweeted: “Well. That was an experience” – complete with a red-faced emoji.

She added that she “wasn’t looking” when Reeves sat with his legs open while asking innuendo-laden questions about whether or not she had seen new film Kong.

‘An experience’

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Terence Patrick/BBC

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Take That joined James Corden for Carpool Karaoke

Another moment that sparked social media complaints was comic Russell Brand swearing live on air after a technical glitch.

Others complained about sound problems – but Ofcom said most complaints it had received were about the content of the broadcast, rather than technical issues.

Image copyright
Nick Briggs/BBC

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Andrew Lincoln reprised his Love Actually character – complete with his trademark placards

Highlights of the show included a 12-minute “sequel” to Love Actually, showing what the characters – played by stars including Keira Knightley and Andrew Lincoln – had been doing since the original film.

Take That joined James Corden for Carpool Karaoke, Ed Balls was seen reprising his Strictly Come Dancing routine to Gangnam Style, and there were previews of Mrs Brown’s new chat show and the second series of Peter Kay’s Car Share.

‘Improving lives’

Press reviews described the show as being “dreadful and unfunny” – with the Love Actually special accused of having “lousy jokes” and “texted-in performances”.

Ofcom said: “We have received 151 complaints about Comic Relief 2017 on the BBC. We will assess these complaints before deciding whether or not to investigate.”

The BBC declined to say how many people had complained directly to the corporation.

A BBC spokesperson said: “The Red Nose Day 2017 broadcast was a live studio environment enjoyed by a peak audience of 7.6 million which raised over £73m.

“This will go a huge way to help improve the lives of many people both here in the UK and in some of the world’s poorest countries.”

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