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Talking with the dead


ILLUSIONIST Derren Brown's controversial TV seance has become one of the most complained about programmes in history. The Channel 4 show, in which 12 people attempted to make contact with a group of teenagers who had allegedly committed suicide, drew 600 complaints from viewers.

The station said they had received 400 calls from audience members concerned over the programme's attempts to dabble in the paranormal.

Three quarters of these were received before the show was screened on Monday with a further 100 coming afterwards. Most of these were from religious groups who had not seen the show but were complaining on principle.

TV watchdog Ofcom said it had a further 200 complaints about the programme which was initially pulled last year after former regulator the Independent Television Commission objected.

Despite the protests, the late-night programme proved to be a ratings success, pulling in 2.8million viewers.

The total number of moans makes the show the third most complained about programme screened in the UK.

A showing of Martin Scorsese's The Last Temptation Of Christ nine years ago attracted a record 1554 complaints, while Brass Eye's spoof investigation into paedophilia in 2001 generated 992 complaints.

Yesterday, Channel 4 insisted they had never set out to frighten the audience.

A spokesman said: 'At the end of the day, we were looking to challenge people's assumptions rather than to spook them.

'The intention was to show that people believe what they want to believe.'

At the end, the whole stunt was shown to be fake when Derren revealed the 'dead' girl contacted during the seance was alive and sitting at the back of the studio.


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