Jeremy Vine Sparks Ofcom Complaints After Claiming Russian Soldiers 'Probably Deserve To Die'

The presenter was met with a huge backlash on social media over comments he made during a discussion about the war in Ukraine.
Jeremy Vine on his Channel 5 show
Jeremy Vine on his Channel 5 show
Channel 5

Channel 5′s Jeremy Vine show has sparked more than 200 Ofcom complaints after the presenter claimed during a live broadcast that Russian soldiers “probably deserve to die”.

The TV watchdog has confirmed it has received 227 complaints about last Monday’s show, after the host sparked a backlash with comments he made in a discussion about Russian president Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

As part of the conversation, Jeremy spoke to a viewer who had called in, asking him: “What’s your problem with fighting Russians if they’ve invaded Ukraine?”

The caller then stated his view that “the people of Russia are not our enemies”, explaining: “Quite a number of those Russians you’ll probably find will go across… [some] were holding their hands up this morning not wanting to fight Ukrainians. They were told lies by Putin, surprise surprise.”

The presenter responded: “True. But the brutal reality is, if you put on a uniform for Putin and you go and fight his war, you probably deserve to die, don’t you?”

Clearly shocked by the host’s comments, the viewer responded: “Do you? Do kids deserve to die? 18 and 20 years old? Who are called up and conscripted? Who don’t understand it? Who don’t grasp the issues?”

“That’s life,” Jeremy then offered. “That’s the way it goes.”

“If we practice the brutality of war you never learn from that,” the caller concluded.

Ofcom will now assess the complaints it has received, as is standard procedure, before deciding whether to launch an investigation into whether the show breached the broadcasting code.

Jeremy faced much criticism on social media after a clip of his comments circulated on Twitter following last Monday’s show.

Representatives for both Jeremy Vine and Channel 5 previously had no comment when contacted by HuffPost UK.

Jeremy Vine airs weekdays at 9.15am on Channel 5.

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