des David Tennant

Des: ITV’s David Tennant drama hit with more complaints as viewers moan series made them feel ‘ill’

It featured A LOT of smoking

Des, ITV’s David Tennant drama, has been hit by more viewer complaints.

Yesterday, ED! told how a number of viewers had complained to broadcasting regular Ofcom.

They moaned about the grisly content of the show, which featured serial killer Des – Dennis Nilsen – revealing how he killed up to 15 teenagers and men in the 1980s.

Based on a real-life story, David Tennant‘s portrayal was so good, even Gogglebox star Abby confused him for a killer in real life.

des David Tennant
Des star David Tennant smoked 14 cigarettes on screen and viewers weren’t best pleased (Credit: ITV)

Viewers are still talking about the three-part ITV drama days after it finished.

However, not all of it’s good.

Read more: Gogglebox star thinks David Tennant is a real-life killer

What are Des viewers complaining about?

A number of viewers have been complaining about the amount of cigarettes smoked on screen.

Des was set in the 1980s, before it was illegal to light up indoors.

However, that hasn’t stopped some from saying ITV shouldn’t have featured as many smoking scenes as it did.

And some even said the scenes made them feel “ill”.

des David Tennant
Daniel Mays was rarely seen without a cigarette in hand (Credit: ITV)

One tweeted: “I feel like I can smell the smoke from all this smoking they’re doing, making me feel ill.”

Another agreed: “As a former smoker, it’s genuinely upsetting me how much these actors are smoking in #Des. It’s making my lungs hurt just watching.”

“I think I got bronchitis from second-hand-smoking,” another commented.

“There’s so much smoking going on in #Des,” commented another. “I feel as though I’ve passive smoked my way through a packet of cigarettes each night it’s been on.”

Well, if viewers felt like that, spare a thought for the actors.

How much did they actually smoke on screen?

Both David Tennant and Daniel Mays were rarely seen without a cigarette in hand.

In fact, cigarettes featured in 46 scenes and had a combined airtime of 13 minutes and 47 seconds over the course of the three hours of TV.

As a former smoker, it’s genuinely upsetting me how much these actors are smoking in #Des. It’s making my lungs hurt just watching.

Des actor David was seen smoking 14 cigarettes.

Copper DCI Peter Jay, played by Mays, smoked 23.

In real life, the policeman died of cancer at the age of 79 in 2018.

Viewers complained to Ofcom and moaned on Twitter about the show (Credit: ITV)

“When I met Peter’s widow, she said he was on 50 to 60 cigarettes a day so he was a really, really heavy smoker,” Mays revealed before the series aired.

On screen, however, the actors don’t smoke tobacco, but “horrible herbal things”, Mays said.

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