TV watchdog launches probes into Celebrity Big Brother and Loose Women

Ryan Thomas was accused by fellow housemate Roxanne Pallett of hurting her with a punch.

TV watchdog Ofcom has launched an investigation into controversial episodes of Celebrity Big Brother and Loose Women.

The regulator said that 25,257 viewers complained about an allegation of physical abuse made by Roxanne Pallett against Ryan Thomas on Celebrity Big Brother.

Thomas, who was crowned the show’s winner, was accused by Pallett of hurting her with a punch, which many viewers defended as play-fighting in the final series of the Channel 5 show.

Winner Ryan Thomas during the live final of Celebrity Big Brother
Winner Ryan Thomas during the live final of Celebrity Big Brother (Ian West/PA)

Viewers expressed offence, distress and concern at Pallett’s allegation and the way in which it was handled by Celebrity Big Brother.

Ofcom will look at whether “appropriate information” was broadcast by Channel 5 which may have assisted “in avoiding or minimising offence” to viewers.

An Ofcom spokeswoman said: “We are investigating whether this programme broke our rules on offensive content.”

Kim Woodburn (Channel 5)
Kim Woodburn (Channel 5)

Pallett quit the show following the incident, but later publicly apologised to Thomas and said that she fears she is the most hated girl in Britain” .

On ITV, 7,900 viewers complained about the Loose Women panel’s treatment of Kim Woodburn, who eventually walked off set.

The Ofcom spokeswoman said: “We are investigating whether this programme fell short of generally accepted standards.”

Coleen Nolan
Coleen Nolan (Ian West/PA)

Coleen Nolan clashed with Woodburn on Loose Women after they had initially feuded on a previous series of Celebrity Big Brother.

Nolan was criticised following the incident and later announced she was taking a hiatus from all her work commitments, including Loose Women.

Ofcom is also investigating two shows on Talk Radio.

It is looking at whether James Whale’s programme broke rules on offensive content after listeners complained that his treatment of Nichi Hodgson, who revealed on-air that she had been a victim of a serious sexual assault, was dismissive, insensitive and offensive.

It is also investigating whether George Galloway’s show broke rules on due impartiality while discussing the Labour Party and actions on anti-Semitism.

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