THE BBC has dismissed the complaints it received about bias against the SNP and Nicola Sturgeon as it doesn’t agree that interviewer Andrew Marr’s approach was “unfair”.

The corporation received more complaints about Marr’s “bias” than any other issue in the period from November 23 to December 6, 2020.

Andrew Marr, the Glasgow-born journalist and author, presented an attitude towards the First Minister which National readers compared to an “attack dog” who was aiming not for a political interview but a “character assassination”.

However, the BBC have disagreed with that assessment, saying: "We don’t agree that the approach taken was biased or unfair.”

The corporation went on: "The Andrew Marr Show is known for its rigorous and in depth interviews in which politicians and others in positions of power are held to account.

READ MORE: Was Marr ill-informed about Covid data, or trying to score points?

"The First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was asked a range of challenging questions as were the other politicians interviewed on this edition of the programme.

"Every interview is different but we believe each showed the scrutiny, detail and due impartiality the audience would expect."

Complaints on social media focused on Marr’s suggestion that Scotland had done worse than England in controlling the coronavirus in its second wave.

The two nation’s efforts over the most recent weeks before the interview were compared, which appeared to show Scotland suffering worse.

However, the National’s fact check service found: “The second wave only spread to Scotland after it had taken hold in England. Andrew Marr’s reference to the rising death toll in Scotland sidestepped the fact that a worse relapse had already occurred in England.”

The BBC said the First Minister had been heard to “respond at length” to Marr’s assertions.

They added: "Andrew Marr referred to two distinct periods in his questioning about the pandemic, the first wave in the spring and the second this autumn.

READ MORE: FACT CHECK: Has England really coped better than Scotland in second Covid wave?

"Viewers were clear that Ms Sturgeon was being questioned about Scotland’s performance in the first wave before being presented with the most recent data available at the time of the interview.”

The BBC’s figures, released on December 10, showed they had received 161 complaints about bias in the First Minister’s interview with Marr.

The figures only detailed issues which were complained about more than 100 times.

Strictly Come Dancing received 141 complaints from people who felt it was “inappropriate for male professional dancers to be dressed in drag for the opening dance”, while Have I Got News For You received 105 complaints for “offensive humour”.

In total BBC Audience Services received 4146 complaints about programmes and 9214 altogether between November 23 and December 6.