Channel 4 sparks fury with comedy show on 'binge-drinking Irish'
A new Channel 4 comedy series, which depicts Irish ex-pats in Britain as binge-drinking English-haters suffering from a permanent hangover, has been accused of peddling racist stereotypes by members of the Irish community in the UK.
The show 'London Irish', which is due to air in September, is about "a hard-drinking, hard-living ex-pat community of Northern Irish 20-somethings who live in London".
It has been provoking a storm on social media, with Twitter users branding the show full of "cliches and stereotypes".
The Derry-born scriptwriter behind the show, Lisa McGee, has steadfastly defended the characters.
"Ultimately, it's a show about young people, who value having the craic above everything else," said Ms McGee.
The controversy erupted after a clip showing a woman in bed with a child aged three was released by Channel 4 this week.
"We didn't, did we?" the woman asks, as the child hands her a lighter for her cigarette after she finds him under the duvet.
The series stars 'Being Human' actress Sinead Keenan and Kerr Logan, who has appeared in 'Game of Thrones'.
The official synopsis frankly says the series is about four friends finding it tough navigating their way through London life, particularly when they're "too drunk to know where they're going, or remember where they've been".
"They have s*** jobs, no money, and are surrounded by English people. In fact, there's only one thing worse than living in London with the English. And that's living in Ireland with the Irish," the synopsis sums up.
There have already been irate comments from members of the Irish community posted online.
Padraic Graham tweeted that it "sounds like something Alan Partridge dreamed up. Are they going to include us planting bombs and tarmacing driveways too?".
Gary Dunne, artistic director of the London Irish Centre in Camden, said he would be watching the show "with interest".
"But from the publicity material they sent out, the description of London Irish people doesn't resemble the huge majority of young people I know," he said.