BBC 'offers staff grief counselling' over Prince Philip's death and won't reveal number of complaints as figures plunge

THE BBC has reportedly offered counselling to its staff over Prince Phillip's death as the broadcaster's viewing figures plummet following its coverage of his passing.

According to an internal email, reported in The Sunday Times, the Beeb has set up online grief counselling for any employees struggling to deal with the death of the 99-year-old.

🔵 Read our live blog for the very latest news on Prince Philip's death

Meanwhile, BBC Two's viewing figures reportedly plunged by 64 per cent compared to last week following their relentless coverage of the Duke.

BBC One's numbers also suffered, falling by six per cent from 2.56m last Friday to 2.41m on Friday evening, reports say.

This comes as the BBC refused to reveal how many complaints it received over its blanket coverage of the royal.

The corporation was forced to launch an online complaints form after disgruntled viewers hit out at wall-to-wall tribute shows.

BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Scotland, BBC News, and BBC Alba were all broadcasting identical feeds with a number of scheduled programmes pulled.

On Saturday, the Beeb again made changes, with BBC One featuring a BBC News special on Philip from 10am until 2pm.

However, the exact number of people who officially complained about the blanket coverage has not been revealed, reports the Mail Online.

In the complaints tab of its website, the Beeb said: 'We're receiving complaints about too much TV coverage of the death of HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

Among those to complain on Twitter was former BBC newsreader Simon McCoy who is set to join new channel GB News after quitting the corporation last month.

He wrote: "BBC1 and BBC2 showing the same thing.

"And presumably the News Channel too. Why? I know this is a huge event. But surely the public deserve a choice of programming?"

Others branded the widespread coverage as "completely over the top".

Another said that the rolling reporting which started on Friday made them "feel uneasy".

Yet, others rushed to the BBC's defence.

One user shared praise for the broadcaster, saying: "Have to give credit to the BBC for their coverage of Prince Philip.

"They’ve finally managed to capture the mood of the country."

BBC declined to comment about the complaints when contacted by The Sun.

Both the BBC and ITV interrupted programming on Friday to announce the passing of the Duke – who died just two months short of his 100th birthday.

The rolling coverage meant the hotly anticipated MasterChef final, which was due to air on BBC One, was not shown.

BBC radio stations also immediately interrupted broadcasts with the news of his death.

The Beeb said on Friday: “With the sad news that HRH Prince Philip has died, there is now special coverage across all BBC networks to mark his life of extraordinary public service and planned scheduling has been suspended.”

Source: Read Full Article