BBC apologises after complaints over lack of St George's Day coverage

Julia Hunt
·Contributor
·3-min read
Members of the public during St George's Day celebrations at the Mayor of London's annual Feast of St George in Trafalgar Square, central London.
Members of the public during St George's Day celebrations in 2017. (PA)

The BBC has apologised after viewers complained that there was a “disgusting” lack of coverage of St George’s Day this year.

The day is celebrated on 23 April but many people felt there wasn’t enough done to mark it on TV and took to social media to make their feelings known.

“@BBCTheOneShow Big deal made of St David’s day & St Patrick’s day. And no mention at all of St George’s day. Typical BBC. Disgusting!” one person tweeted, while another viewer said the general lack of coverage was "absolutely disgusting", posting: “Wow, can’t believe it’s St George’s day. Not a thing on the radio, I’ve not seen TV today but if I was a betting man I’m guessing not."

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The BBC has now responded, saying it did receive complaints but that the coronavirus pandemic meant there were less St George’s Day events to cover.

Entertainers during St George's Day celebrations at the Mayor of London's annual Feast of St George in Trafalgar Square, central London.
Celebrations at the Mayor of London's annual Feast of St George. (PA)

The broadcaster said in a statement: “We've received complaints from viewers who feel there has been insufficient coverage of St George's Day.

“Normally there would have been traditional parades and celebrations, however, with public gatherings prohibited, due to the coronavirus pandemic, this year's celebrations will have been much more subdued and limited to people’s homes, therefore resulting in fewer events to cover.

“However it was referenced on BBC Radio 5 Live Breakfast, and on our CBeebies programming. BBC Four also put together a special St George’s Day music programme which is available to watch in full on BBC iPlayer."

The statement continued: "Inevitably there may be disagreements about the level of prominence we give to stories. 

"We’re sorry you were disappointed on this occasion.”

General view of the Broadcasting House, BBC headquarters in Central London. (Photo by Vuk Valcic / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
Broadcasting House, the BBC's headquarters in central London. (SOPA Images/Sipa USA)

The BBC's apology comes shortly after it defended itself over the blanket coverage of Prince Philip’s death.

Regular programming was interrupted across BBC channels on TV and BBC radio stations when Buckingham Palace announced the death of the Duke of Edinburgh on 9 April.

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The wall-to-wall coverage did not go down well with all viewers and it drew 109,741 complaints, which is thought to set a record for the most complained-about piece of programming in BBC history.

Responding to the complaints in a statement, the BBC said that the death of Prince Philip “was a significant event which generated a lot of interest both nationally and internationally”.

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