"Radio 4 listeners have blasted the character Jazzer, played by Ryan Kelly, who is portrayed as a heavy-drinking, car-stealing Glaswegian
The BBC’s long-running Radio 4 soap The Archers has been accused of ‘racial stereotyping’ over the portrayal of its only Scottish character.
Listeners of the programme have objected to the behaviour of Jack ‘Jazzer’ McCreary, who is shown as a mean, heavy-drinking, car-stealing, drug-taking, womanising Glaswegian who likes to eat porridge.
But many listeners have seen the character with his strong Glasgow accent as a form of negative stereotyping about Scottish people.
They have accused the show of lazy writing and said the BBC has ‘stereotyped an entire race’. The character has been in the soap since 2000.
Mr Kelly, the actor who plays Jazzer, told Radio 4’s Feedback he enjoyed playing the part. When asked if he had met any Scottish people like the character, Mr Kelly said: ‘Some cousins I have are like that.’
He added: ‘Even Scottish people laugh at deep frying things, they tend to laugh at themselves and I think you have got to be able to laugh at yourselves.’ He said of the accent: ‘It is as authentic as I can make it.’
Scriptwriter Keri Davies said: ‘It’s important to realise that Jazzer, the one character, cannot possibly be expected to represent a whole nation. Jazzer rather represents a type of person - a lad who is fairly rough and ready, who likes a drink, likes the women, has a few redeeming features but still has a lot of rough edges to be knocked off. That’s what he represents, rather [than] Scotland as a whole.’
There's no doubt that Scots like a drink -- and porridge too. I like both myself -- and I'm an Australian! -- JR