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Last Updated: Wednesday, 17 December, 2003, 12:11 GMT
Christ movie tops TV complaints
Willem Dafoe
Willem Dafoe starred as Christ in the controversial film
The film The Last Temptation of Christ has drawn the most complaints made about programmes on TV, the Independent Television Commission has said.

The Martin Scorsese film about the life of Jesus Christ drew 1,554 complaints, according to the ITC.

"These people, who probably hadn't seen the film at the movies, complained about it on principle," the ITC said.

Brass Eye's spoof on media coverage of paedophilia drew an equal number of complaints and compliments - 992 each.

The ITC is to make way for Ofcom, the broadcasting watchdog that will take over the commission's responsibility for regulating commercial TV on 29 December.

The Last Temptation of Christ, which starred Willem Dafoe, attracted controversy because it depicted Christ having sexual fantasies about Mary Magdalene.

1The Last Temptation of Christ (2001) - 1,554
2 Brass Eye (2001) - 992
3 Spitting Image (1992) - 341
4 UEFA Champions League trailer (2003) - 223
5 Living with Michael Jackson (2003) - 171
6 The Bill (2002) - 170
7 Queer As Folk (1999) - 163
8 Against Nature (1997) - 151
9 With Walls, Hell's Angel (1994) - 134
10 Undercover Britain (1998) - 123
11 This Morning (2001) - 117
12 Palestine is still the issue (2003) - 116
Source: ITC

In third place was a 1992 episode of puppet satire Spitting Image, which drew 341 protests about the image of God. The complaints were also upheld in part.

A trailer for UEFA Champion's League coverage got 233 complaints. It featured a boy misbehaving at a dinner table so he could be sent to his room and watch coverage on his television.

The Martin Bashir documentary Living with Michael Jackson, shown earlier this year, received 171 complaints, some of which were from viewers in the US, which were not upheld by the ITC.

Other shows that featured in the top 12 complaints included ITV1 police soap The Bill, drama Queer as Folk and Undercover Britain.

And an episode of ITV1's The Morning which featured a gay wedding drew the 11th-highest number of complaints, which were not upheld.

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