UK: Indian complains of rude calls, texts after quiz show telecast

Close on the heels of an Indian-origin picture researcher receiving annoying calls and SMSes after his cell number was inadvertently broadcast on a Channel 4 show, the UK's broadcasting watchdog Ofcom has said it was "assessing" over 160 complaints made in reference to the programme.

Rakesh Sagar, 27, has complained to Ofcom, and is also seeking legal advice after he received around 300 calls and text messages, some abusive in nature.

Ofcom said that it was "assessing" over 160 complaints made in reference to Channel 4's Big Fat Quiz of the Year, telecast on December 30, and a decision on launching a further investigation would be taken following the assessment process.

Well-known British comedian Jack Whitehall wrote down the number for TV audiences on the pre-recorded show, claiming it belonged to fellow panelist and controversial UK media personality Jonathan Ross, and invited viewers to "call him whenever you want".

Sagar did not watch the programme and was perplexed when he started receiving phone calls from people who thought he was Ross.

He said: "On the night it was shown I started getting calls with abuse from people who hate Jonathan Ross... Ofcom said they would look into it and suggested I change my number, but I paid a lot of money for it because it is a very easy number to remember so I'm not doing that".

Channel 4 has apologised to him for the calls but insists viewers must have "guessed" his number because it was partially obscured onscreen. A Channel 4 spokesman said: "An illegible and non-functional number which contained more digits than a standard mobile number was shown very briefly".

The comic quiz show had already attracted complaints because of "disgraceful" jokes made about the Queen and US President Barack Obama.

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