James Forsyth

One account of what was said in the One Show green room

One account of what was said in the One Show green room
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Considering the debate that the whole Carol Thatcher business has generated, it seems worth noting Adrian Chiles’ account of what happened. Chiles writes in The Sun today:

'Carol was in full flow, talking about who’d win the Australian Open. “You also have to consider the frogs,” she said. “You know, that froggy golliwog guy.”

“Ooh,” she added — waving an arm about. “If I was Prince Harry I’d get shot for saying that.”

Before I’d worked out what to do, Jo — plainly aghast — leant across and said: “Excuse me, did you just say golliwog?”

“Yes, well, he’s half-black,” Carol explained, waving her hand in front of her face.'

Obviously, this is only one participants’ version of events. But if it is accurate, it shows that the remarks were offensive, that Carol Thatcher was using golliwog as a term for black people.

There are many flaws with the BBC—not least its institutional biases and the lack of public service content in the programmes of over-paid stars such as Jonathan Ross—but it would be a huge mistake to turn Carol Thatcher into some kind of hero of the anti-BBC movement. She is, at best, someone who uses language without thinking and, at worst, someone who is happy to use terms that have racist over-tones. 

Written byJames Forsyth

James Forsyth is Political Editor of the Spectator. He is also a columnist in The Sun.

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