341 Dancing On Ice viewers have contacted Ofcom to complain about the first episode of the 2020 series, which saw comedian Rufus Hound criticise the government.
On Sunday night’s opening show, Rufus, 41, launched an attack on the government’s handling of the free school meals scheme after performing his first routine on the ice.
Television watchdog Ofcom has disclosed that 341 complaints have been made against the ITV programme after its first episode. It has not yet revealed the specific number of complaints about Rufus’ comments or whether an investigation will follow.
Criticism: Dancing On Ice got political during the action-packed launch show as Rufus Hound slammed the Government over the recent free meals scandal
The ITV skating contest got political during the action-packed launch show as Rufus slammed the Government over the recent free school meals scandal.
The comedian received the first Golden Ticket of the series, giving him and his professional partner Robin Johnston a free pass into musicals week.
And speaking about how he felt to have secured the ticket, Rufus told hosts Phillip Schofield and Holly Willough that it was the ‘least mad thing’ to have happened as he referenced the free meals controversy.
‘I’ve spent most of this year not emotionally stable because the world does not make sense and this does not make more sense of it,’ Rufus said.
Free meals scandal: After being given the first Golden Ticket, Rufus said it was the ‘least mad thing’ to have happened as he said that political leaders ‘don’t want to feed hungry children’
‘We live in a world where the people we elect don’t want to feed hungry children, this is the least mad thing that has happened to me in a long time.’
Ofcom stated that there were 341 complaints made about Sunday’s programme, with the majority about Hound’s comments about the government.
Complaints were also received about presenter Holly’s dress and the set-up of the programme given Corona rules.
‘What a totally inappropriate outfit!’ Complaints were also received about presenter Holly Willoughby’s £6,240 dress, which some viewers tweeted was ‘inappropriate’
Comments: Some viewers thought the garment’s plunging neckline was inappropriate, as Dancing On Ice is a ‘family show’
Holly, 39, opted for a revealing couture dress by Dany Atrache from his Fall/Winter 2020-2021 collection, along with René Caovilla heels and Berganza jewellery.
Viewers quickly took to Twitter to express their discomfort surrounding the ‘inappropriate’ fashion choice, which saw Holly go braless underneath – it retails for £6,240 ($7,000).
MailOnline has contacted a spokesperson for Dancing On Ice for comment.
‘Legend’: Rufus’ comment caused a stir on Twitter as viewers of the family show were quick to praise Rufus for his political comment
Rufus’ comment caused a stir on Twitter on Sunday night as many viewers of the family show were quick to praise him for his political comment.
One impressed viewer penned: ‘Legend! Thanks for calling this despicable government out’
While another wrote: ‘@RufusHound has just become my favourite celebrity’
But the comment divided viewers, as some viewers criticised the presenter for using the ITV show to make a political statement.
‘No need for political statements on prime time entertainment. Get rid of Rufus. Bloody leftie. #DancingOnIce’,’ wrote one disgruntled viewer.
Critics: But the comment divided viewers, as some viewers criticised the presenter for using the ITV show to make a political statement
Another wrote, ‘Rufus should be struck off for making the show political- disgusting man #dancingonice’.
After taking to the ice, Rufus took to Twitter to respond to the thank those who had sent him ‘loving messages’ while saying that those who were ‘cross’ with him were ‘never going to be’ his friend’.
He penned: ‘To the people who want to be cross with me – you were never going to be my friend. I wish it were different, but such is the world we now live in.
‘I wish it were different’: Rufus took to Twitter to respond to the thank those who had sent him ‘loving messages’ while saying that those who were ‘cross’ were ‘never going to be’ his friend’
‘To everyone else, thanks for all your lovely messages. I will try to keep doing funny ice dances for you x’
His comments come after one school meals provider’s fare was branded as ‘appalling’ after the contents of one of its food hampers went viral.
Catering firm Chartwells announced it will start including breakfast in free school meal deliveries in response to the fierce criticism of its meagre parcels.
The breakfast will include bloomer, bagel, butter, yoghurts, juice, milk, oats and fruit.
Controversy: His comments come after school meals provider Chartwells’s fare was branded as ‘appalling’ after the contents of one of its food hampers went viral
The catering firm has been scrabbling to reassure parents since photos began emerging of lunches lacking basic components of a rounded diet.
Boris Johnson had branded the boxes of seven-day supplies ‘disgraceful’ and told senior MPs the firm had been ‘hauled over the coals’.
Chartwells is part of a £24.8billion parent company whose links to the Tory party were revealed earlier this week.
Until December, millionaire Conservative donor Paul Walsh was the chairman of Compass and gave £10,000 to the party in 2010, Electoral Commission records show.
Ministers have also bowed to a public clamour and are reintroducing the option of food vouchers for parents.
Response: Boris Johnson had branded the boxes of seven-day supplies ‘disgraceful’ and told senior MPs the firm had been ‘hauled over the coals’
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson announced that he would be reintroducing the £15 vouchers from January 18 amid the third Covid-19 lockdown.
But new guidance on the free lockdown packages has said they will stop in February half-term and families will need to use the DWP-administered Covid Winter Grant Scheme through their local council.
It has sparked fears from Unions that the process could be mired in red tape and run the risk of children going hungry.
Footballer and campaigner Marcus Rashford has also called for an urgent review of the government’s policy.
Call for action: Footballer and campaigner Marcus Rashford (pictured with his mother Melanie at a food bank last year) has also called for an urgent review of the government’s policy
Manchester United star Rashford said in an open letter to No 10 signed by 40 NGOs, charities, education bodies and celebrity chefs, the system needed looking at again.
In the letter to the Prime Minister, Rashford welcomed the ‘robustness’ of his response to the ‘inadequate’ meal parcels being provided by some private companies.
But the letter said that after a series of problems – including over vouchers and the holiday provision of meals – had arisen during the pandemic, it was the right time to ‘step back and review the policy in more depth’.
The note added: ‘It is only by working together that we will end child food poverty.’
Golden Ticket: Rufus’ political comment on Dancing On Ice came as he was awarded the first Golden Ticket of the series during the launch show
It was signed by Rashford as well as actress Emma Thompson and chefs Tom Kerridge, Jamie Oliver and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.
Rufus’ political comment on Dancing On Ice came as he was awarded the first Golden Ticket of the series during the launch show.
The presenter and pro skater Robin were awarded a free pass into musicals week in a fortnight’s time after their video game-inspired skate wowed the judges.
His debut performance was moved forwards following pro Yebin Mok and Graham Bell’s accident in rehearsals on Monday.
Covid safe: The actor was clearly overcome with emotion as he was handed the pre-sanitised Golden Ticket by host Phillip Schofield
The comedian managed to nab a 23.5 points out of 40, with Ashley Banjo declaring that the routine may have been ‘his favourite’ of the night after being impressed by the theme.
Jayne Torvill was also ‘so impressed’ with Rufus’ performance on the ice, but insisted on marking him with a mere 5.5, as she was looking closely at his moves.
Giving his verdict, judge John Barrowman said: ‘Just because it was solely a lot of fun and showed a lot of personality, I’ve decided to go for Rufus and Robin.’
As all three judges chose Rufus and Robin for the ticket, Christopher Dean didn’t need to vote but insisted that if he had, he also would have sent Rufus through.
Praise: Rufus and Robin Johnston nabbed a 23.5 points out of 40, with Ashley Banjo declaring that the routine may have been ‘his favourite’ of the night after being impressed by the theme
Rufus performed alongside five other couples during the much-anticipated launch show, including Jason Donovan and Alexandra Shauman, Joe-Warren Plant and Vanessa Baeur, Lady Leshurr and Brendyn, and Rebekah Vardy and Andy Buchanan.
While Denise Van Outen, who danced with a dislocated shoulder, and Matt Evers were bottom of the leaderboard with 19.5 points.
The remaining six contestants – Myleene Klass, Faye Brookes, Sonny Jay, Billie Shepherd, Graham Bell and Colin Jackson – also performed a group dance to ‘9 To 5’ ahead of their performance next week.
Launch show: Rufus performed alongside five other couples during the much-anticipated show, including Jason Donovan and Alexandra Shauman and Lady Leshurr and Brendyn