A FORMER BBC presenter has said that the blanket coverage of the death of Prince Philip on the network was a "mistake". 

Dan Walker, who previously hosted programmes including BBC Breakfast and Match of the Day, has spoken out since leaving the corporation and criticised its decision to clear the normal schedule in April 2021 to make way for tribute programmes to the Duke of Edinburgh upon his death. 

The coverage took over the news and radio channels, as well as BBC One and BBC Two. It attracted mass criticism, becoming the BBC's most complained about TV moment of the year

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Now Walker, who is due to begin his new presenting role with Channel 5 on Monday, has addressed the BBC's controversial decision, suggesting the broadcaster "forced" coverage on people across the country. 

He said: "When the Duke of Edinburgh did die, I do think that the BBC did make a mistake in putting the same output on BBC One on BBC Two.

"I think that’s where the balance should have come in. Because you can’t force grief upon a nation.

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"You can report on it … but you can’t make everybody feel the same way."

The extended coverage of the Duke's death across multiple BBC platforms attracted 109,741 complaints.

At the time, the broadcaster said: "We received complaints about our coverage of the passing of HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

"The passing of HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh was a significant event which generated a lot of interest both nationally and internationally.

"We acknowledge some viewers were unhappy with the level of coverage given, and impact this had on the billed TV and Radio schedules.

"We do not make such changes without careful consideration and the decisions made reflect the role the BBC plays as the national broadcaster, during moments of national significance.

"We are grateful for all feedback, and we always listen to the response from our audiences."

During a BBC board meeting in April 2022,  director-general Tim Davie said that "lessons will be learned" from the coverage and complaints.