Alf Garnett was 'quite reasonable' | Sitcom reinforced bigotry, says report

Alf Garnett was 'quite reasonable'

Sitcom reinforced bigotry, says report

The bigoted views that Alf Garnett spouted on Till Death Us Do Part were meant to make him a laughing stock... but it has now been revealed that viewers found his prejudices ‘quite reasonable’.

The corporation conducted a survey into the hit sitcom in 1973, towards the end of its ten-year reign on TV, and the results caused alarm among the higher ranks. In a meeting at the time, director-general Sir Charles Curran said the report had diminished his confidence that it was possible to make ‘anti-prejudicial comedy’.

More than 700 people were quizzed about Alf’s sentiments such as: ‘Women’s lib is a load of rubbish’ and ‘Bloody foreigners come over here and sponge off us’.

The results showed that rather than exposing opinions by satire, the series ‘reinforced existing illiberal and anti-trade union attitudes’.

The BBC never made its findings public, claiming they were ‘unscientific’, but they are revealed in The Mail on Sunday today.

Published: 30 Jun 2013

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