Comic Relief viewers slammed the programme for airing a “Biscuit World Cup” sketch straight after a film about a baby who had died from malnutrition.
“Harrowing film – little girl dying of starvation then straight to a table of unfunny people having a biscuit competition #comicrelief”,” wrote one angry fan.
“#Comicrelief just showed a video of a girl DYING OF HUNGER minutes before debating biscuits in front a table full of treats! Unfathomable!!!” wrote another.
Another viewer described it as an “error of judgement” and the “worst Comic Relief by a mile”.
Viewers had watched a fundraising film in which comedian Russell Howard had visited Liberia, which has been struck by famine.
Russell was visibly moved as he met four-month-old Tabitha, who had been brought to hospital by her father.
“Nothing prepared me for seeing a little girl desperately ill, suffering from malnutrition,” he said.
“It’s just awful to think that still happens, there’s a little girl so malnourished that her dad had to carry her to hospital.”
Afterwards, as he struggled to contain his emotions, Russell told how Tabitha had later died but her father wanted to show the film to encourage people to donate and help other children.”
The “Biscuit World Cup” segment, hosted by Richard Osman, took place after people had voted on Twitter for their favourite treats.
A panel comprising Miranda Hart, Sally Phillips, Joel Dommett and Rob Beckett then discussed the biscuits that had made it through to the semi-finals and finals.
In front of them were plates piled high with snacks including custard creams, chocolate digestives and chocolate fingers.
“How can they show starving children and then have so many biscuits for one of these rubbish sketches,” wrote one fan. “Terrible #comicrelief.”
“A VT of a poor child who died from malnutrition, immediately followed by five rich people and a table COVERED in biscuits #comicrelief,” wrote another.
Richard Osman took to Twitter with a positive note the next day. “Thank you all for making ‘World Cup Of Biscuits’ so funny, ridiculous and heart-warming,” he wrote. “You are a lovely bunch and we are a great country.”