Big Brother cleared by Ofcom despite 2000 complaints

  • Published
Helen Wood/Brian BeloImage source, PA
Image caption,
Helen Wood and Brian Belo are both previous Big Brother winners

Big Brother will not be investigated by watchdog Ofcom, despite more than 2,000 complaints about bullying in the 24 June episode of the Channel 5 show.

Former winner Helen Wood compared Brian Belo, another former winner, to a rapist and murderer.

Belo promptly quit the show, escaping over a wall, saying he felt "degraded".

Ofcom said it had assessed the 2,024 complaints about "offensive" language, but felt they did not warrant further investigation.

"We were satisfied that Channel 5 had broadcast clear and appropriate warnings about the potentially offensive content, and that it intervened in heated exchanges and situations at appropriate times," said a spokesperson.

"We also took into account audience expectations for this reality format and the fact that the series was broadcast after the watershed".

It is not the first time Wood's behaviour has prompted complaints over bullying. Before winning last year's series, she helped Big Brother become the most complained about show of the year, with 3,784 complaints made to Ofcom.

Image source, PA
Image caption,
Emma Willis has presented Big Brother since it moved from Channel 4 to Channel 5

Wood was given a formal warning by Big Brother producers after last month's row, which happened after she was brought back into the house along with 2007 winner Belo and another ex-Big Brother star, Nikki Grahame.

During a game involving antagonistic questions the housemates had to answer about each other, Belo described her as having "no principles, morals or self-respect".

She told him, "Brian you look like a rapist, you look like a murderer-slash-rapist."

Various contestants told Wood she was "out of order", but she continued, telling Belo "you have issues" and adding: "The men in the white coats are waiting for you, Brian."

Following his departure, Wood said she had called Belo a rapist "to get a reaction", and was glad he had left the house because he "made my skin crawl".

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