The BBC shocked viewers on New Year’s Day by broadcasting a lurid storyline involving a nude woman as part of its primetime adaptation of a Sherlock Holmes mystery.
During Sunday’s show actress Lara Pulver was shown flirting with the famous detective whilst wearing only diamond earrings, lipstick and high heels. The scene was broadcast 25 minutes before the 9pm watershed.
The 31-year-old actress, who plays Sherlock’s romantic interest Irene Adler, had already been shown carrying a whip as she walked into a room where a woman was tied to a bed.
And she later tampered with Sherlock’s mobile phone so that new text messages were announced with a sensual moan.
The BBC has now received more than 100 complaints about the pre-watershed nudity.
But despite the uproar the broadcaster has said that the controversial footage will be repeated this weekend when the episode is repeated at 19.00 on one of the broadcaster’s digital channels.
Viewers have also vented their opposition to the episode online.
One wrote on Twitter: “Dominatrix?! Watershed anyone? My ten-year-old was watching that.”
Another said: “I don’t think the storyline in Sherlock is pre-watershed suitable”
The offending episode, entitled A Scandal in Belgravia, was screened at 20.10 on BBC1 and was watched by millions of viewers.
Last September it emerged that hundreds of viewers had complained to the BBC about explicit homosexual sex on one of its flagship programmes.
More than 500 viewers complained to the broadcaster about scenes in an episode of the popular sci-fi show Torchwood, branding the scenes as “pointless” and irrelevant.
Viewers also expressed their opinions online. One viewer said: “This show is meant to be a sci-fi show. I had to turn it off as my grandson, an avid sci-fi fan, was in the room.
“I am sure both myself and others are disgusted at last night’s show.”