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Angie Bowie CBB Ofcom

Celebrity Big Brother sparks hundreds of Ofcom complaints over handling of David Bowie's death


By John McCarthy, Opinion editor

January 13, 2016 | 2 min read

Hundreds of complaints have been issued to Ofcom regarding how Celebrity Big Brother has handled its content around the death of David Bowie.

Earlier this week, CBB producers had to inform David Bowie’s former wife Angie Bowie, who remained isolated in the house, of the musician’s death. This resulted in the show’s producers having to turn off the livestream from the house on Monday morning.

Angie Bowie on Monday afternoon decided to remain on the show but CBB came under fire for using Diary Room footage of her grieving her ex husband in a teaser for the next episode.

The latest incident to emerge from the house, on Tuesday morning was a misunderstanding between housemates when Ms Bowie told the others that ‘David’ was dead. Angie Bowie told Pollard: “You gotta do me a favour, you can’t say a word. David’s dead.”

US TV reality star Tiffany Pollard misinterpreted the announcement, thinking contestant David Gest had died, resulting in yet another morbid piece of candid TV which ultimately sparked complaints to the UK media watchdog.

A total of 208 covered general complaints about how the initial coverage was handled around Bowie’s death. More than 150 of these branded Angie Bowie’s Diary Room segment as bad taste.

Another 40 related to alleged “bullying” of Pollard following the misunderstanding and 16 more over Bowie’s “hysterical” reaction to the Gest gaffe.

If you must watch the gaffe, it can be viewed below.

Angie Bowie CBB Ofcom

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