Complaints over Manning joke

Sir Trevor branded 'appalling'

Whenever Bernard Manning was criticised for a racist comment, he would always claim ‘it’s only a joke – you never take a joke seriously’.

But when Sir Trevor McDonald cracked a bad-taste gag at the comic’s expense, more than 200 of his fans lodged a complaint.

In the new Sunday-night ITV1 topical comedy show, News Knight, Sir Trevor introduced an item titled: ‘This week's racist and dead.’

He said: ‘This week it's fat, narrow-minded comic Bernard Manning. I never thought he was a racist. I just thought he was a fat white bastard.’

Comedian Jim Bowen said the comment was ‘appalling’.

ITV has so far received 148 complaints and Ofcom, the television regulator, received 85, according to trade magazine Broadcast.

But an ITV source said: ‘It's a satire show. I'm sure Bernard would find the whole thing hilarious.’

The funeral of 76-year-old Manning will be held in Manchester today.

Published: 26 Jun 2007

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