Big Brother 2014
Danielle was struggling to cope after a heated row with Helen Wood.Channel 5

The bosses at Big Brother are under scrutiny from broadcasting watchdogs following allegations of blasphemy, bullying and racism in the new series of the Channel 5 reality TV show.

Ofcom has received 209 complaints about Big Brother in its first seven days following an explosive row between housemates Helen Wood and Danielle McMahon.

Helen, 27, a former prostitute who came to fame after allegedly having a threesome with footballer Wayne Rooney, criticised 25-year-old Danielle, Catholic lingerie model for her staunch religious views. It is alleged that Helen made offensive and blasphemous references to Jesus during the dispute.

The argument, which was watched by 1.3million viewers, attracted 166 complaints with viewers on social media criticising programme makers for their failure to intervene and issue warnings to the housemates.

Big Brother 2014
Helen Wood has come under fire for alleged bullying in the house.Channel 5

‏@JimmyPara1 said: "If #bigbrother don't take action against what Helen said about Jesus, that would be a major error on their part."

@xTigz tweeted: "Helen on big brother is actually such a massive bully, why have they not removed her? Vile human #bbuk."

And @julianhilaire tweeted: "What Helen, said about Jesus was quite offensive she should apologise to Danielle and Catholics in general #BBBits."

There have also been complaints about Danielle who is accused of making homophobic comments.

When discussing same-sex marriage, she told fellow housemates: "The Catholic church don't believe in it and I go by what the Pope says."

The content of the argument and the use of expletives prompted Channel 5 to pull the daytime repeat from the schedules for the first time in the show's history.

The housemates have seemingly been selected for their diametrically opposed viewpoints and belief systems, with the programme makers appearing to fuel controversies and conflict for the show, which this year has the theme, the Big Brother Power Trip

Ofcom is assessing the complaints and deciding whether or not to open a formal investigation into the comments made.

It's not the first time Big Brother has been at the centre of controversy following heated disputes and accusations of the bullying in the house. The most complained about series was the 2008 Celebrity Big Brother, in which Ofcom received 44,500 complaints following a race row between Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty and Jade Goody.

Shetty was the target of racial abuse and bullying by three of the female housemates.

Goody later apologised for her behaviour.