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Channel 4 defends decision to show Gogglebox last night after Prince Philip’s death

The channel said it has a duty to offer an alternative

Channel 4 has defended its decision to press on with shows like Gogglebox last night (April 9), despite the death of Prince Philip.

BBC and ITV wiped a chunk of their schedules to provide news coverage and special programming after the Duke of Edinburgh passed away at the age of 99 on Friday (9 April).

But Channel 4 still aired the likes of Gogglebox and The Circle, which some people said on Twitter was “insensitive”.

Pete and Sophie on Gogglebox
Pete and Sophie on Gogglebox, which aired last night (Credit: Channel 4)

Channel 4 responds to Gogglebox complaints

However, Louisa Compton, Channel 4’s Head of News and Current Affairs and Sport, has explained why.

She said on Twitter that the channel did cover the sad death but also had “a duty to offer an alternative”.

Read more: Harry and Meghan’s tribute to Prince Philip as he ‘prepares to return to the UK for his funeral’

“Today on Channel 4 we broadcast a 30-minute news special shortly after the Duke of Edinburgh’s death was announced; an in-depth obituary at 4pm and there’ll be an extended @Channel4News at 7,” she tweeted.

“C4 also has a duty to offer an alternative to other channels – hence a return to schedule.”

C4 also has a duty to offer an alternative to other channels – hence a return to schedule.

The channel told Metro that it would also be airing a number of documentaries about the life of the prince and extended news bulletins over the weekend.

Mixed reaction after Channel 4 continues with schedule

There was a mixed reaction to the way the channel continued with its peak time schedule on Friday.

While there were those who criticised the move, many people said it was the right decision.

“Thank You Channel 4,” one viewer tweeted.

“Although very sad news about the royal, a lot need to escape further sadness when getting home from very difficult jobs and need normal TV to be able to switch off. Gogglebox gave me the giggle lift I needed,” they added.

“Well done Channel 4 for keeping to your concept of providing an alternative,” said another pleased viewer. “Gogglebox was a great antidote to everything else on tonight.”

Read more: Prince Philip death: Prince Charles, Princess Anne and Prince Edward pay tribute

“Thank goodness for Channel 4,” tweeted one person. “A Place In the Sun and Gogglebox are the only things I’ve watched on terrestrial telly since the announcement.

“Not even the most ardent royalist could have stood to watch all day, surely?”

Gogglebox aired last night despite royal death

Buckingham Palace announced the death of Prince Philip around lunchtime on Friday.

A post on the official Instagram account said that the royal passed away “peacefully” at Windsor Castle.

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