Prince Philip: Westminster Abbey tenor bell begins tolling
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Since Buckingham Palace’s statement announcing the prince’s passing at around noon today, the Beeb has carried non-stop coverage of reaction to the historic news. BBC One and BBC Two have cancelled their schedule of programmes for Friday night to continue covering the loss of the Queen’s husband.
After viewers hounded the Beeb over its extensive coverage of Philip’s death, the broadcaster set up a dedicated page on its website to cater for complaints.
A message on the BBC website read: “We’re receiving complaints about too much TV coverage of the death of HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
“Please enter your email address below to register a complaint about this – we’ll then send you the BBC’s response as soon as it is available.”
Jim Waterson, media editor of the Guardian, said: “The BBC, having adopted wall-to-wall Prince Philip coverage to avoid being criticised in parts of the media and politics has now received so many complaints about their wall-to-wall coverage they’ve set up a streamlined form to complain about it.”
Viewers were quick to react, with some saying they found the coverage too much to handle.
One man wrote on Twitter: “If we had extended news and special programmes I might have watched them.
“But wall to wall coverage for a non developing story is ridiculous.”
A second viewer disagreed and said the BBC should “absolutely” broadcast non-stop coverage of Prince Philip’s death and reaction “on a single channel”.
They added: “In my opinion, the other channels should continue ‘business as usual’.
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“Some programming may be inappropriate and need to be replaced / rescheduled.”
BBC One and BBC Two aired special tribute programmes tonight in place of their scheduled shows.
They focused on Philip’s long life of service and his milestones.
EastEnders and MasterChef were among the programmes to be replaced.
The Beeb said it was replacing the shows with “special coverage across all BBC networks to mark his life of extraordinary public service”.
Prince Philip was the Queen’s husband for more than 73 years and is credited for helping to modernise the monarchy.
He had been by his wife’s side throughout her 69-year reign, the longest in British history.
During that time he earned a reputation for a tough, no-nonsense attitude and a propensity for occasional gaffes.
A statement released by the palace read: “It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen announces the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
“His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle. The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss.”
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