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Des: David Tennant drama becomes latest ITV show to be hit with Ofcom complaints

They didn't like the show's grisly contents

ITV’s Des – starring David Tennant – has become the second ITV show in recent weeks to be hit by viewer complaints to Ofcom.

The former Doctor Who star played series killer Dennis Nilsen in the three-part ITV drama, which aired earlier this week.

However, it appears some viewers took exception to the show’s grisly content.

In Des, David‘s character details how he carried out a number of killings of young men and boys in the 1980s.

David Tennant starred as Des (Credit: ITV)

David Tennant played serial killer Des

He also revealed how he cut them up and disposed of their bodies.

The drama also starred Daniel Mays and The Crown star Jason Watkins.

However, although the show received rave reviews from critics, some viewers were left upset by the content.

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So upset, in fact, that they reported the show to broadcast regulators Ofcom.

It’s reported that it has received seven complaints from viewers horrified by details of his crimes.

ITV reported to Ofcom

It’s not the first time ITV has been reported to the regulator.

Ashley Banjo’s Diversity dance troop received tens of thousands of complaints after performing a Black Lives Matter Britain’s Got Talent dance routine.

Daniel Mays also appeared in the ITV thriller (Credit: ITV)

Viewers complained about the content of the dance, and the fact that ITV hadn’t apologised.

Ofcom, however, threw out all of the complaints.

Des breaks ratings records

Meanwhile, it’s been revealed that the first episode of Des broke a ratings record for ITV.

Despite the haters, it became the broadcaster’s biggest drama launch of 2020.

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The first episode was watched by an average audience of 5.4 million people, according to new data, which confirmed that it was ITV’s biggest drama debut since Cleaning Up in 2019.

Des also surpassed the viewer numbers of Quiz – the drama show about Charles Ingram winning Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?.

I would hate for this to go out and him be sitting in a cell imagining we were in any way glorifying him.

It attracted 5.3 million viewers earlier this year.

The thriller series peaked at 5.9 million viewers and research suggests that it was watched by nearly one-third of all TV viewers across its time slot period.

‘Relieved’ real-life Des didn’t see the show

Earlier this month, David admitted to being “relieved” that Dennis Nilsen will not get to see Des.

The actor is aware that Nilsen was obsessed with the “legend” of his murders.

He revealed he was, therefore, grateful that he won’t get to relish in his story being told following his death in 2018 at the age of 72.

David Tennant des
The Crown’s Jason Watkins played the part of Nilsen’s biographer (Credit: ITV)

The Des star said: “One of the things Nilsen became obsessed with was the legend of Des. Whenever he slipped out of public consciousness, there was almost a sense he wanted to get back into it. That’s why I’m very relieved he’s not alive.

“I would hate for this to go out and him be sitting in a cell imagining we were in any way glorifying him.

“I’m sure he would have complained about everything we said and did. But at the same time would have been rather smugly pleased he was on television. So I think it’s right and proper this is transmitting after he’s gone.”

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