Sunday 11 December 2016

Ofcom to probe comments about bisexuality by Christopher Biggins in CBB house

Published 26/09/2016 | 12:31

Christopher Biggins caused a stir during his stint in the Celebrity Big Brother house
Christopher Biggins caused a stir during his stint in the Celebrity Big Brother house

Broadcasting watchdog Ofcom has launched an investigation into axed housemate Christopher Biggins's comments about bisexuality on Celebrity Big Brother.

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The pantomime star, 67, was booted out of the Channel 5 show in August after being given three warnings by Big Brother for his remarks on bisexuality and for a comment - which was not broadcast - about gas chambers.

During a conversation about homosexuality, the openly gay star said: "The worst type though is, I'm afraid to say, the bisexuals... what it is is people not wanting to admit they are gay."

He was then seen agreeing with fellow contestant Renee Graziano's comment that "You have to pick a team".

Biggins claimed HIV had been spread by bisexuals who had sex with infected people abroad "and brought it back to their own families in America, and that's how it became a worldwide disease".

Ofcom said it had received 20 complaints.

"We're investigating whether a contestant's comments about bisexual people were offensive and breached generally accepted standards," a spokesperson said.

The watchdog is not investigating Biggins' comments about the Holocaust as it is unable to consider complaints about material that has not been broadcast.

While in the house, Biggins had said to housemate Katie Waissel, who is Jewish: "You better be careful or they'll be putting you in a shower and taking you to a room", as the celebrities queued for the bathroom.

He later apologised to Waissel and Big Brother for the "trite, ridiculous remark".

Ofcom has also "resolved" a complaint about Harry Hill's TV Burp, which was broadcast on Dave, in May.

Hill sparked a complaint with a comment about a clip from a Channel 4 documentary, The Pregnant Man.

A viewer complained that the remark was "offensive and discriminatory towards the transgender community".

An Ofcom spokesperson: "We investigated potentially offensive comments Harry Hill made about a transgender man.

"The broadcaster made edits to the programme, which was first broadcast in 2008, to remove potentially offensive comments from future broadcasts. We consider the matter to be resolved."

Press Association

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