Entertainment & Arts

Jamaica Inn: Complaints mount over sound

Matthew McNulty and Jessica Brown Findlay in Jamaica Inn
Image caption Jamaica Inn tells of a young woman, played by Jessica Brown Findlay (r), who gets involved with smugglers

The number of viewer complaints over the audibility of BBC One drama Jamaica Inn has escalated, with the second episode seeing a decline in ratings.

A total of 252 people complained after the second episode on Tuesday, following the 546 who complained after Monday night's opening episode.

Episode two drew an average audience of 4.5 million, down on the 6.1 million who tuned in for the first instalment.

The three-part adaptation of Daphne du Maurier's novel concludes later.

The BBC apologised on Tuesday, attributing problems viewers had understanding the dialogue to "issues with the sound levels".

Some viewers said they had to use subtitles to understand the actors' apparent "mumbling", which one complainant said "was the worst [ever] heard in a TV drama".

Comedian Al Murray and Only Fools and Horses actor John Challis were among those to voice their displeasure on Twitter.

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Media captionWatch clips from the programme and listen to a sound expert's view

In a statement, the BBC apologised to viewers and said it would be "adjusting the dialogue levels in episode two and three to address audience concerns".

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 live on Tuesday, director Philippa Lowthorpe said she was more "sad" than angry that the sound issues "may have disturbed a few people's enjoyment".

Set in 1821, Jamaica Inn tells of a young woman, played by former Downton Abbey actress Jessica Brown Findlay, who gets mixed up with smugglers in Cornwall.

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