The broadcasting watchdog confirmed today that it received 8,371 complaints from viewers about Andoh’s comments during the live broadcast in London on May 6.
Ofcom said it accepted viewers had ‘strong feelings’ about her comments, but it was a ‘personal observation’ in a ‘wide-ranging panel discussion which also touched on other diversity-related topics, and which contained a range of viewpoints’.
The incident became the most complained-about TV moment of the year so far and prompted an apology on the BBC from the actress, who plays Lady Agatha Danbury.
The watchdog said viewers also objected to ITV News presenters Tom Bradby and Chris Ship referring to the remark.
Andoh, 60, said at the time: ‘Looking at all those young people, there is a bit of me that has gone from the rich diversity of the Abbey to the terribly white balcony.