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BBC defends Mandela coverage after receiving more than 1,000 complaints

By Rachel Banning-Lover

Despite the BBC receiving more than 1,000 complaints about its coverage of Nelson Mandela’s death, it has defended its coverage.

So far, 1350 complaints have been received to date, with viewers saying the emphasis on Mandela’s death led to poor coverage of the storm battering UK homes the same day.

According to the Guardian, BBC News director James Harding apologised to anyone who thought the corporation did not do enough about the weather on its BBC1 10pm bulletin on Thursday night but said Mandela was a man of "singular significance" and the "most significant statesman of the last 100 years".

Viewers also contacted the BBC to complain about programme chiefs breaking into a repeat of the sitcom Mrs Brown’s Boys on BBC One to deliver the news when there were only ten minutes left until the ten o’clock news bulletin.

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Some viewers also pointed out the amount of time the BBC spent on its coverage was unnecessary considering Mandela’s death was not unexpected.

However, since news of the number of complaints the BBC received was announced, many have taken to Twitter to show support for the BBC’s coverage.

It is not the first time the BBC has received complaints about its Mandela coverage. In 1990, more than 500 Antiques Roadshow viewers complained after the BBC cut away to news of Mandela's release from prison.

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