No wall-to-wall coverage by the BBC of Prince Philip’s funeral after record complaints | BBC

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The BBC will not erase all of its TV and radio channels for Prince Philip’s funeral this weekend, after admitting that many viewers felt its wall-to-wall coverage of his death was excessive.

The company will show the funeral live on BBC One on Saturday afternoon, with the coverage featured by Huw Edwards repeated on BBC Two later in the evening. Radio 4, 5Live and the local BBC radio will also provide coverage between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Otherwise, the times will remain largely as planned, ensuring that the FA Cup semi-final between Chelsea and Manchester City can continue.

The BBC received a record 110,000 complaints over the past week after its decision to drop nearly all scheduled shows when news broke last Friday, with shows such as MasterChef and EastEnders scrapped in favor of coverage of the streaming news and prerecorded tributes to the queen’s husband. . BBC Two and BBC Four have cut all of their scheduled programming, prompting many viewers to either turn off television altogether or turn to streaming services.

The company acknowledged the complaints, but said the cleaning of the schedules reflected its role as the country’s main broadcaster: “The death of HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, was a significant event that sparked a lot of publicity. national and international interest. We recognize that some viewers were not satisfied with the level of coverage offered and its impact on billed TV and radio schedules.

“We don’t make such changes without careful consideration and the decisions made reflect the role the BBC plays as a national broadcaster at times of national significance. We are grateful for all comments and always listen to the response from our audience. “

People stand in front of Buckingham Palace after the death of Prince Philip.
People stand in front of Buckingham Palace after the death of Prince Philip. Photography: Facundo Arrizabalaga / EPA

The BBC has also defended the decision to broadcast a tribute from Prince Andrew about his father, despite the royal’s refusal to answer questions from the FBI about his links to the late financier Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell: “We have fully accounted for allegations against Prince Andrew, and we have also made it clear that he has not been charged with any felony. We consider that we have adequately covered his comments. “

However, he apologized for a comment made by BBC presenter Andrew Marr during the live coverage in which he said Prince Philip’s relationship with the Queen meant he was “always a stone’s throw away.” late – like an Indian bride, as they say ”.

The BBC said Marr accepted his comment “was poorly worded”.

The level of complaints about the excessive coverage appeared to have surprised the BBC, with insiders claiming the coverage was influenced by right-wing media critics who claimed it underestimated the death of the Queen Mother in 2002.

The Guardian previously revealed that the BBC had also received 116 complaints from members of the public that the company had made it too easy to complain about the extent of coverage.

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