UK

Ofcom receives 51 complaints over Gogglebox viewers watching Meghan Markle interview

The stars of Channel 4’s Gogglebox teared into Meghan Markle as they watched her blockbuster interview with Oprah Winfrey, joking that she should ‘get a job in the gift shop’ to pay for her security after it was removed. 

Many panelists were critical of the Duchess of Sussex, and TV regulator Ofcom has since had 51 complaints about comments made about the Royal Family on the show.

However this was dwarfed by the 4,398 complaints about the Oprah interview itself, and 57,121 over Piers Morgan’s criticism of Meghan on ITV’s Good Morning Britain. 

Among those reacting to the interview on Gogglebox were Blackpool-based brother and sister Pete and Sophie Sandiford, after it first aired in Britain on ITV on March 8.

They commented on claims by Prince Harry that senior royals suggested Meghan Markle should start acting again to cover their security costs after this was removed. 

Among those reacting to the interview were Blackpool-based brother and sister Pete and Sophie Sandiford. Speaking about Meghan, Miss Sandiford joked: ‘Stick her in the gift shop while you’re at it. You know, 30 hours a week in the gift shop – that should cover her funds’

London-based Mica Ven (right) told Channel 4's Gogglebox of Meghan: 'She thought it was a couple of postcards she might have to be on the front of going like that [waving]'

London-based Mica Ven (right) told Channel 4’s Gogglebox of Meghan: ‘She thought it was a couple of postcards she might have to be on the front of going like that [waving]’

And Miss Sandiford joked: ‘Stick her in the gift shop while you’re at it. You know, 30 hours a week in the gift shop – that should cover her funds.’ 

Brighton-based hairdresser Stephen Webb added: ‘What did they want her to do? Get her a part in EastEnders?’

Talking about feeling trapped, Meghan said in the interview that the ‘easiest way that now people can understand it is what we’ve all gone through in lockdown’.

But Hull-based Lee Riley said: ‘I weren’t in a f***ing 14-bedroom f***ing castle.’

Talking about Meghan's references to lockdown, Hull-based Lee Riley said: 'I weren't in a f***ing 14-bedroom f***ing castle'. Speaking from her caravan alongside him, his best friend Jenny Newby added: 'We're stuck in here love, you want to try it in here with us'

Talking about Meghan’s references to lockdown, Hull-based Lee Riley said: ‘I weren’t in a f***ing 14-bedroom f***ing castle’. Speaking from her caravan alongside him, his best friend Jenny Newby added: ‘We’re stuck in here love, you want to try it in here with us’

Reacting to Meghan's claims that she couldn't get help for her mental health, Wiltshire-based Mary Killen (right) said: 'I can't believe that if the Queen knew how upset she was, the Queen wouldn't have insisted she had some help'

Reacting to Meghan’s claims that she couldn’t get help for her mental health, Wiltshire-based Mary Killen (right) said: ‘I can’t believe that if the Queen knew how upset she was, the Queen wouldn’t have insisted she had some help’

Meghan said she went into marrying Harry 'naively' and had not researched the Royal Family, prompting Derby-based Baasit Siddiqui (right) to say: 'How can you go into it naively though?'

Meghan said she went into marrying Harry ‘naively’ and had not researched the Royal Family, prompting Derby-based Baasit Siddiqui (right) to say: ‘How can you go into it naively though?’

Speaking from her caravan alongside him, his best friend Jenny Newby added: ‘We’re stuck in here love, you want to try it in here with us.’ 

What the Gogglebox stars said about Prince Harry and Meghan 

On Prince Harry claiming that senior royals suggested Meghan Markle should start acting again to cover their security costs after this was removed.

  • Sophie Sandiford: ‘Stick her in the gift shop while you’re at it. You know, 30 hours a week in the gift shop – that should cover her funds.’
  • Stephen Webb: ‘What did they want her to do? Get her a part in EastEnders?’

On Meghan talking about being trapped and saying the ‘easiest way that now people can understand it is what we’ve all gone through in lockdown’.

  • Lee Riley: ‘I weren’t in a f***ing 14-bedroom f***ing castle.’
  • Jenny Newby: ‘We’re stuck in here love, you want to try it in here with us.’

On Meghan speaking about alleged conversations over concerns about Archie’s skin tone before he was born, accusing an unnamed royal of racism.

  • Pete Sandiford: ‘I mean, this is going to have massive ramifications now for the Royal Family, because our perception of them is changing.’

On Meghan’s claims that she couldn’t get help for her mental health.

  • Mary Killen: ‘I can’t believe that if the Queen knew how upset she was, the Queen wouldn’t have insisted she had some help.’

On Meghan saying she went into marrying Harry ‘naively’ and had not researched the Royal Family.

  • Baasit Siddiqui: ‘How can you go into it naively though?’
  • Mica Ven: ‘She thought it was a couple of postcards she might have to be on the front of going like that [waving].’

On the statement issued from Buckingham Palace on behalf of the Queen.

  • Sophie Sandiford: ‘I wonder if they’ve actually watched it? I wonder if the Queen has sat down and watched Oprah?’
  • Mica Ven: ‘It’s a start, but the problem I have is alright, you’re going to address it privately, but I kind of feel there’s something you might need to let us know publicly.’ 

Meghan also spoke about alleged conversations over concerns about Archie’s skin tone before he was born, accusing an unnamed royal of racism.

And Mr Sandiford said: ‘I mean, this is going to have massive ramifications now for the Royal Family, because our perception of them is changing.’

Reacting to Meghan’s claims that she couldn’t get help for her mental health, Wiltshire-based Mary Killen said: ‘I can’t believe that if the Queen knew how upset she was, the Queen wouldn’t have insisted she had some help.’ 

Meghan said she went into marrying Harry ‘naively’ and had not researched the Royal Family, prompting Derby-based Baasit Siddiqui to say: ‘How can you go into it naively though?’ 

And London-based Mica Ven said: ‘She thought it was a couple of postcards she might have to be on the front of going like that [waving].’ 

The viewers then watched a BBC News report the following evening, March 9, which shared the statement issued from Buckingham Palace on behalf of the Queen.

Miss Sandiford said: ‘I wonder if they’ve actually watched it? I wonder if the Queen has sat down and watched Oprah?’

Speaking about the Queen promising to ‘address’ the claims made by Meghan, Ms Ven added: ‘It’s a start, but the problem I have is alright, you’re going to address it privately, but I kind of feel there’s something you might need to let us know publicly.’ 

An Ofcom spokesman said today of Gogglebox: ‘We are assessing the complaints against our broadcasting rules, but are yet to decide whether or not to investigate.’ 

She added: ‘The complaints were about comments made about the Royal Family from participants whilst watching Oprah with Meghan and Harry.’ 

The monarchy was plunged into crisis following the shocking allegations of racism made by the Sussexes in their interview with chat show host Oprah.

Harry and Meghan accused an unnamed royal, not the Queen nor Philip, of raising concerns about how dark their son Archie’s skin tone would be before he was born.

Meghan also told of how she begged for help when she was suicidal, but said the institution gave her no support. The show first aired on CBS in the US on March 7.  

Piers Morgan’s comments about the interview led to the highest number of complaints in Ofcom’s history. The episodes of ITV’s Good Morning Britain on March 8 and 9 sparked 57,121 complaints.

A statement from the regulator said: ‘We can confirm that this issue has attracted the highest number of complaints since our reporting began.’

Morgan responded on Twitter yesterday, writing: ‘Only 57,000? I’ve had more people than that come up and congratulate me in the street for what I said. The vast majority of Britons are right behind me.’

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex speak to Oprah Winfrey in an interview first aired on March 7

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex speak to Oprah Winfrey in an interview first aired on March 7

ITV announced Morgan had left the show on the evening of March 9, shortly after Ofcom said it had launched an investigation under its harm and offence rules after receiving more than 41,000 complaints in two days.

It later emerged that Meghan also made a formal complaint to Ofcom about the TV host after he dismissed her account of suffering suicidal thoughts and experiencing racism at the hands of the royal family.

Morgan said on-air that he ‘didn’t believe a word’ of her interview with chat show host Oprah when she laid bare her struggles. 

Morgan has stood by his controversial comments and said his departure from Good Morning Britain was caused by the ‘cancel culture that is permeating our country’. 

The controversy with Shilpa Shetty on Celebrity Big Brother in 2007 was previously the most complained about issue, attracting 44,500 complaints.


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