It has been confirmed that The One Show was hit with more than 100 complaints after Downton Abbey star Dan Stevens’ made a savage dig at Prime Minister Boris Johnson. The British actor appeared on the BBC One programme earlier this month to discuss his latest drama.
But before getting on to the topic of his new show based on the Watergate scandal, Dan left viewers in shock. Hosts Alex Jones and Jermaine Jenas both appeared speechless and looked visibly uncomfortable with his remarks, which came a day after the Tory leader was fined £50 for breaking lockdown rules by attending a party.
Dan, who plays Matthew Crawley in ITV period drama Downton Abbey, was on the sofa to discuss Gaslit, which is based on the scandal which involved the administration of US president Richard Nixon which led to his resignation in 1974. And Dan didn’t hold back as he made an attack on Mr Johnson.
Dan was chatting to presenters Alex and Jermaine and appeared to describe his new film when he said: “What you’ve got is a criminal for a leader who is wrapped up in a messy war, embroiled in a stupid scandal and surrounded by ambitious idiots and really should resign … I’m sorry that’s the intro to Boris Johnson, I’ve just said the intro to Boris Johnson.”
Presenter Alex gasped out loud at the swipe while co-host Jermaine looked away while stifling a laugh as Dan sat on the sofa alongside Derry Girls stars Saoirse-Monica Jackson and Jamie-Lee O’Donnell.
It has now been confirmed in the BBC’s fortnightly audience report that 102 viewers went on to complain about Dan’s choice of words while others flooded social media to share their shock.
The broadcaster previously issued a statement responding to the complaints saying the comments were ‘taken in jest’ and the hosts had ‘moved the conversation on.’ The comment on the BBC’s official website says: “We received complaints from viewers who were unhappy about comments made by the actor Dan Stevens.” And in a statement addressing the complaints the BBC responded: “The One Show is a live topical entertainment programme where the hosts are joined by a variety of guests to discuss a broad range of subjects.
“Actor Dan Stevens was a guest on Wednesday 13 April and made comments about Boris Johnson in response to a question from the hosts about his new TV project before going on to talk about the series. These comments were taken in jest and the hosts moved the conversation on to the focus of the interview.”