Another Golliwog uproar

Mention of a popular British children's soft toy of yesteryear is now "racist"
"Carol Thatcher, the daughter of the former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, is facing a possible ban from the BBC after referring to a tennis player as "a golliwog". The BBC told The Times last night that it had held urgent talks with Thatcher, 55, and was seeking a formal apology before it agreed to allow her to reappear on the network as either a contributor or presenter.

The incident occurred on Thursday night after The One Show when Thatcher, a roving reporter on the programme, was in the green room with its presenter, Adrian Chiles, and other members of the production team. During a conversation about the Australian Open tennis tournament Thatcher used the word "golliwog" in what is understood to have been a reference to a player in the men's competition.

But friends of the journalist and author said that the remarks were made jokingly during a private conversation that took place after several drinks in the green room. They said that there had been no complaint at the time and that Thatcher only became aware of having caused potential offence 48 hours later when the BBC contacted her agent.

A BBC spokesman said: "The BBC considers any language of a racist nature wholly unacceptable. We have raised the issue with the individual concerned and are discussing it as a matter of urgency."

A spokesman for Thatcher, who has been a regular contributor to The One Show for three years, said that the comment had been "an off-the-cuff remark made in jest". Her spokesman added: "Carol never intended any racist comment. She made a light aside about this tennis player and his similarity to the golliwog on the jampot when she was growing up. There's no way, obviously, that she would condone any racist comment - we would refute that entirely. It would not be in her nature to do anything like that."

Thatcher had apologised to the programme's producer for any offence but was said to be "mortified" that the content of an off-air conversation had been disclosed by a BBC employee. Her spokesman added: "This was a conversation between Adrian and Carol in the green room and the comment was meant as a joke. It is disgusting that we've had a leak of private conversations in the green room - the BBC has more leaks than Thames Water.

Neither the BBC nor representatives of Chiles and Thatcher were prepared to name the tennis player who was under discussion. Her friends said that she had been referring to the player's hairstyle and was not making a racist comment. [I'm guessing it was Spanish player Fernando Verdasco. See pic above]


Incidentally, Derek Laud is a black British political speechwriter who is quite happy with his nickname as "Golly" (The usual abbreviation of "Golliwog") . But Mr Laud and his friends are conservatives. Unlike the Left, they have a sense of humor.

Posted by John Ray. For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. For a daily survey of Australian politics, see AUSTRALIAN POLITICS Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me (John Ray) here

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