It is the drama that everyone is talking about and ITV's serial killer series Des has attracted its fair share of complaints this week but not for the reason you'd probably expect.

The three part drama, which centered on the atrocious crimes of Dennis Nilsen, one of the UK's most prolific serial killers, saw Doctor Who and Broadchurch star David Tennant in the leading role of the former police officer who was reported to have killed as many as 16 young men over a five year period from 1978-83 and was eventually convicted of six counts of murder and two of attempted murder.

Des aired over consecutive nights this week and gave millions of viewers plenty of chilling moments including one which saw Tennant's Nilsen try and justify having sex with the corpses of the males he killed.

However, it was something else that really angered viewers - the amount of smoking on screen. Set in a time when people could smoke freely in indoor public places, a number of characters were seen lighting up on a regular basis.

But that did little to squash people's fury at what they saw on screen. Despite hearing Nilsen's chilling confessions of his appalling crimes it was the smoking that saw furious posts flooding Twitter while Des was on TV.

Characters smoking in Des on ITV
Characters smoking in Des on ITV

One tweeted: "I feel like I can smell the smoke from all this smoking they’re doing, making me feel ill," and another posted: “As a former smoker, it’s genuinely upsetting me how much these actors are smoking in #Des. It’s making my lungs hurt just watching.”

A third reacted: "There's so much smoking going on in #Des I feel as though I've passive smoked my way through a packet of cigarettes each night it's been on."

But others couldn't fathom how a series about one of the horrific murders carried out by one of the UK's most notorious killers had people complaining about smoking.

One tweeted: "Are these people for real? Never mind the murder and dismemberment of 15 men, it’s the chain smoking that offends you," and another commented: "A show about a serialkiller-necrophiliac who murdered 14 boys and young men, and it’s the smoking that’s bothering people."