BGT’s biggest Ofcom rows – Amanda Holden racy outfits to BLM dance

The explosive talent show has never been far from scandal throughout its 14 seasons.

Millions of Brits across the nation tune in every year to watch incredible acts and sensational performances as the judges seek out the nation's best talent.

But such a wide array of talent and glamour is not without its controversy.

As judges demand attention with outrageous outfits and performers seek controversial ways to get noticed, soaring numbers of viewers have been sharing their disapproval.

Popular dance act Diversity's sparked one of the biggest complaint hauls in the show’s history with a powerful political statement and Amanda Holden secured a slew of complaints over her revealing outfits.

As the new season continues, let’s take a look back some of the biggest Ofcom rows in the show’s 15-year history.


Diversity sparked a huge reaction with their Black Lives Matter performance in 2020 which contained an anti-racism inspired dance which depicted the death of George Floyd in police custody, with a white actor kneeling on Ashley Banjo's neck.

Many praised Diversity for highlighting the issue in their powerful and emotional routine, but complaints soon began pouring with Ofcom receiving a staggering 24,500 complaints.

"Take politics out of family entertainment," blasted one furious viewer.

However, the performance received the full support of ITV and the watchdog alike.

A spokesperson for Ofcom said: "We concluded that the programme did not raise issues which warranted investigation under our broadcasting rules.

"We carefully considered a large number of complaints about this artistic routine, an area where freedom of expression is particularly important.”

Ashley's fellow BGT judge Alesha Dixon furiously defended the dance – which she said had moved her to "floods of tears".

Amanda Holden’s Raunchy Outfits

The broadcasting watchdog has received thousands of complaints about judge Amanda Holden’s sexy frocks during numerous episodes of the ITV series.

Her super low-cut gown during a live show in 2017 received a massive 663 complaints – making it the most complained about moment of the year at the time.

Another navy gown worn in 2020 featured a plunging neckline and thigh-high split. Before the series kicked off, Amanda told The Sun : "I can't wait to wear my dresses. They are very flattering and feminine and a few are… what you would expect.

"Will people be complaining to Ofcom? I hope so. I really do. I haven't done my job if they aren't."

Another firestorm occurred when 235 people moaned to Ofcom that they thought they could see Amanda's nipples.

Amanda told The Sun : “There’s now a whole body of people that knock on my door and come and stare at my chest before we go on air.

“There’s a t*t committee. There are so many brilliant people, they come down, knock on the door and there’s the lady who’s the producer who said, ‘Mandy, it looks great’.”

J-Lo’s Leotard

Jennifer Lopez is known for her raunchy outfits but the singer angered viewers with her performance on the show in 2013 with her revealing leotard.

The black bodysuit and thigh-high boots led to some viewers claiming it was inappropriate for a family show.

Ofcom revealed they received 100 complaints about J-Lo’s performance, as the star entertained fans with her new single at the time, Live It Up.

However, the star’s rendition of her latest single was broadcast during the 9.30pm results show, which is 30 minutes after the 9pm watershed.

Jules and Matisse

ITV was reprimanded by Ofcom for misleading viewers in the Britain's Got Talent final back in 2015 after Jules O’Dwyer's use of a replacement dog won her the show.

Jules switched her dog Matisse for another dog called Chase for a tightrope trick during her winning performance and Ofcom Deemed it "not only had the potential to mislead but was likely to have done so".

The swap was only revealed by Jules the next morning during an interview on Lorraine which prompted a viewer outcry and 1,175 complaints to the watchdog.

BGT issued a grovelling apology at the time for not making it clearer to the judges and viewers at home that three dogs were involved in the final performance – and offered refunds to anyone who voted for them.

"During the competition viewers have seen that Jules' act involves a team of dogs, including Chase and Skippy, alongside starring dog Matisse, to perform her unique mixture of dog agility and story-telling," they said.

"We are sorry if this was not made clearer to the judges and viewers at home during their final performance."

Nabil Abdulrashid

Comedian Nabil made it through to the final of the ITV talent show after a comedy set about racism where he attacked "angry far-right guys" setting of 3000 complaints from viewers.

He said: "Angry far-white guys come out going: 'Look at that, it's terrible him doing jokes about being black and Muslim. If a white non-Muslim did that it would be racist.'

"Well, duh. That's like me saying: Look at that guy kissing his wife, it's romantic. But if I kiss her…"

He also joked about his "white, liberal, left-wing friend" saying: "We all have to have one because if I get killed, someone has to start the GoFundMe."

His set, which was heavily praised by Alesha Dixon, left many viewers laughing at home but others said it was too controversial for the show.

One said: "Alesha calling him 'brave' for tackling racism. So brave to talk about a subject that's been politicised & rammed down our throats for months by every media outlet and corporation."

Ofcom said it took freedom of expression into account when deciding not to launch an investigation.

"The comedian's satirical take on his life experiences as a black Muslim was likely to have been within audience expectations," a spokesperson said.

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