Gavin & Stacey attacked for Shipman gag

Victim's son hits out

The son of one of Harold Shipman’s victims has criticised the creators of Gavin and Stacey for naming characters after the serial killer.

In the BBC One sitcom, Gavin’s surname is Shipman, while Stacey’s maiden name was West, after the Gloucester serial killers.

The series is written by two of its stars, James Corden and Ruth Jones. She has said: ‘I suppose we were hoping that people wouldn't realise and then when it does come to light, it's even more delicious… I'm sorry, that's a terrible word to use in conjunction with two murderers’

Joe Kitchen, whose 70-year-old mother Chrissy was one of more than 200 people killed by Shipman in Hyde, Greater Manchester, told the Daily Mail: ‘The whole thing is pretty sickening.

‘When they gave these characters their names, they were certainly not thinking about our feeling.

‘He murdered hundreds of people, which affected thousands of others. It is upsetting.’

The newspaper has linked the complaints to its ongoing campaign against bad taste in the BBC, following the phone calls made by Jonathan Ross and comedian Russell Brand to Andrew Sachs.

Another supporting character in Gavin and Stacey is Pete Sutcliffe, named after the Yorkshire Ripper.

Published: 1 Jan 2009

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