Manford sparks row with far-right
Published 30/06/2015 | 10:31
Comedian Jason Manford has come under attack on social media from far-right political group Britain First after claiming he had deleted some old school friends for sharing their videos.
The 34-year-old tweeted that he had blocked three friends from his personal Facebook account for sharing Britain First videos, adding: "Nowt more depressing than finding out someone you know is a racist."
But Manford was quickly flooded with comments from followers claiming that right-wing group Britain First was not racist, and attacking the comedian for supporting Islam.
Britain First also responded on their own Facebook page with a photo of Manford next to comedian Ross Noble with a Nazi flag in the background, believed to be taken when the pair starred in a production of the Mel Brooks musical The Producers, which is based around a fictional play called Springtime For Hitler.
Britain First wrote: "How is it 'racist' to oppose a multi-racial religion whose adherents include black, white, Asian and Oriental people? Is it 'racist' to oppose Islamic extremism?
"Any man who thinks Nazism is funny is a disgrace."
Manford responded: "No, Nazism isn't funny, but Mel Brooks' 'The Producers Musical' is.
"As you know (because I'm, you know, a human being) I am very much against extremists of all belief systems. I also like to put Britain first (note the lack of capital letter). But my Britain is very different to their idea of Britain."
The former One Show presenter - who parted company with the BBC show after having internet sex chats with fans - also changed his profile pictures to one showing him entertaining British troops in Afghanistan and another of him enjoying a Ramadan dinner with a Muslim family last year.
It is not the first time that Manford's comments on social media have sparked controversy.
Last year he came under fire for joking that, "Jews should have been given a bit of Germany" after the Second World War, in a comment about the fighting between Israel and Hamas militants in Gaza.