Tate accused of racism

Storm over Christmas special

Catherine Tate has been accused of bigotry and racism after portraying a Northern Irish family as ‘terrorists’.

The complaints arose from a sketch in her Christmas special I which an Ulster family exchanged gifts.

The grandmother received a balaclava, the father receives a knuckleduster, while the mum’s gift is an apron illustrated with a balaclava-clad terrorist and the words ‘Remember Everything, Forgive Nothing’. Finally, the gay son is handed a chocolate penis.

According to the Daily Star, which splashed the row on the front page of today’s paper, one caller complained: ‘She displayed a disgusting and childish interpretation of a difficult and sensitive subject. I respected Miss Tate as a talented and clever performer. I am quite happy to admit my mistake.’

The programme, which went out at 10.30pm on Christmas Day, attracted an audience of 6.4million, according to the unofficial overnight viewing figures.

A BBC spokesman said: ‘Catherine’s comedy is never meant to offend and is always based on satire and grotesque exaggeration.’

The corporation is believed to have received complaints about the incessant swearing from Tate’s Cockney grandmother, too.

Here is the offending sketch:

Published: 27 Dec 2007

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