Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway has been hit with Ofcom complaints after ‘offensive’ jokes.
The iconic duo’s show racked up almost 100 Ofcom complaints with one of their most recent shows, after jokes told by the pair and others were branded as ‘offensive’ by viewers.
Ofcom confirmed the complaints and said they were about ‘a few different issues including the innuendos used and height jokes.’
During a short sketch called Double Trouble, the pair acted out a story where they had been cloned and had to enlist guest star Bear Grylls to help solve the problem.
In one clip, as reported by the Mirror, the hosts appear terrified as they chase after a man in a hooded jacket – who turns out to be Bear Grylls. Ant and Dec ask if he’s there to “rescue them”, to which Bear replied, “No, this thing is way bigger than you.”
The offending joke came as Ant gestured towards Dec and said, “Well everything’s bigger than him.”
Viewers also found issue with some interactions between the two hosts and guest star, Cat Deeley, who appeared on the show in a Chums sketch in honour of their famous segment on SM:TV Live, which was inspired by the show Friends.
This latest set of complaints comes just weeks after viewers were riled up by a comment from Gordon Ramsay. The chef insulted a guest on the show during a game of Read My Lips, saying he couldn’t understand her because of “the gap in the teeth”. Over 100 people complained to the regulator, registering their unhappiness with how the situation was handled.
The show has also received more positive attention this week though, as disruptions on popular daytime programmes such as This Morning and Loose Women have been attributed to the show. Fellow presenter Stephen Mulhern appeared unannounced at four daytime show sets and challenged the presenters to follow particular words, phrases and actions he had written on cards.
The strange moments were quickly picked up by viewers who noticed something was afoot. ‘I knew it!!! Such great fun though’, one fan wrote on Twitter as Loose Women host Charlene White confirmed the suspicions.
Despite the flurry of Ofcom complaints, the show remains incredibly popular. It’s the second highest rating show of the year, only just falling short of ITV’s The Masked Singer.