Bad korma

Brucie's curry gag falls flat

Bruce Forsyth has offended Oxford students by making a joke about curries to an Indian woman.

A few undergraduates became upset after the veteran entertainer dealt with a mobile phone that rang midway through his speech at the Oxford Union.

He took the phone from Taski Ahmed and asked who was calling. When he realised she had hung up, he asked the student to ring the caller back. She did so, but explained it had been her Bangladeshi mother calling, who spoke no English.

Forsyth, 78, took the handset and said into it: "One chicken korma."

Despite the embarrassing dressing-down, 20-year-old Ahmed kept her phone on – only for it to ring again later in the speech.

To this, Forsyth ad libbed: ". . . and some poppadoms"

Ahmed appeared unconcerned by by the remarks, telling student newspaper Chewell: ‘If you take it out of context it may sound offensive, but it was a spur of the moment thing. He didn’t mean to offend, it was a harmless joke. Everyone found it funny including me. He’s a legend.'

But other students did, apparantly, take offence. One, Howard Amos, said: ‘People laughed, but awkwardly. There was a general intake of breath.’

However, his manager Ian Wilson said: "It was an of-the-cuff comment made when someone's phone very irritatingly went off in the middle of a speech.

‘So Bruce just made the best of it in a split second. He ended up apparently offending a handful of people. Bruce is the least racist person you will ever meet.’

However the incident didn't seem to bother most of the audience, who gave Forsyth a standing ovation.


Published: 31 May 2006

We see you are using AdBlocker software. Chortle relies on advertisers to fund this website so it’s free for you, so we would ask that you disable it for this site. Our ads are non-intrusive and relevant. Help keep Chortle viable.