BBC viewers have called for a re-think to television schedules as The Shipman Files: A Very British Crime Story aired on Monday night.

The documentary, looking back at Harold Shipman's murder spree in which he killed more than 250 people, aired in the wake of other dark dramas and docu-series, such as ITV's Des, which looked at the Dennis Nilsen case.

Viewers took to Twitter as they watched the unsettling show, which was the first of three episodes.

One said: "Shipman documentary, Panorama Covid, and Honour killing drama. Cheery for a Monday night. Maybe we need to re-think TV schedules in these times," adding the hashtag "send help".

LONDON - JANUARY 13: (UNDATED FILE PHOTO) Dr Harold Shipman is pictured in this undated Greater Manchester Police file photo. Shipman was found hanging dead in his cell on January 13, 2004, the day before his 58th birthday. Shipman, nicknamed Dr.

Another wrote: "Nilsen, the Wests, Myra, now Shipman. We're being spoiled for TV entertainment, aren't we?"

A third tweeted: "In the last fortnight we've had Nilsen dramatisation, Nilsen documentary and Rose West and Myra Hindley Sir Trev documentary on ITV. Now Shipman doc on BBC. Channel 5's been away ahead of its time."

Someone else said: "We've been treated to some really cheerful telly recently, in these difficult and challenging times. Harold Shipman, Myra Hindley, Rose West and Des."

Dr Harold Shipman-Murder Charges.Express Photograph by Tony Spencer.8th September 1998.Neg No 98/4244. ----- DR HAROLD SHIPMAN, MURDER CHARGES - SEPT 1998

A fifth continued: "Shipman documentary tonight. It's one from the BBC's British Crime Story strand and will probably be insightful into the bigger societal elements of how the crimes occurred. But it does feel a bit much just after Des."

While a sixth added: "Do I watch a dramatisation of an 'honour' killing or one about the serial murderer Harold Shipman. More light relief after Des last week and a repeat of the Fred West drama."

Harold Shipman a whole life order sentence for murder, as well as four years for forgery.

He was charged with killing 15 women with lethal injections of diamorphine between 1995 and 1998.

However a two-year long inquiry into all deaths certified by Shipman identified 215 victims, with an estimate that his total victim count was around 250.

The sick killer died in prison aged 57 just four years into his sentence in January 2004.