The BBC has become embroiled in a race row over plans to show Catherine Tate’s popular comedy character, Nan, accusing a Muslim of being a suicide bomber.
In an upcoming Christmas special called ‘Nanger Management’, Catherine Tate’s Joannie Taylor, the foul-mouthed cockney pensioner also known as Nan, finds herself in trouble with the law for attacking a blind charity collector, reports the Daily Star.
Subsequently forced to attend anger therapy classes, one session sees her interacting with a Muslim man wearing a prayer cap and carrying a holdall bag. She tells those present:
“Alright. No sudden movements. If this one has got anger problems we’re all in trouble. I think we all just stay calm.”
The man accused reveals he is in fact the caretaker, to which Nan replies: “Thank God for that. That was close.”
The Nan character 47-year-old Ms. Tate portrays — an elderly lady who constantly swears at and criticises others — is clearly intended to be a grotesque caricature, but although she has won multiple BAFTA Television and British Comedy Awards, the joke appears to be lost on some.
Islamic groups are furious that one of the BBC’s Christmas television highlights portray Muslims as terrorists. The Chairman of Birmingham Central Mosque, Mohammed Afzal, denounced the comedy as “insulting in the current climate.” He continued:
“People will not find this funny. It is tarnishing Muslims with the same brush as terrorists. It’s disgusting.”
Another comedy critic from the Islamic Centre of England said:
“This is very sensitive issue and will not be taken in a favourable way.
“It can just add unnecessarily to the problems.”
Last night a BBC spokesman explained the situation to those looking to take offence:
“Nan is a comedy character well known to BBC audiences for her outrageous views, language and behaviour.
“Her views do not hold accord with a more enlightened world as the programme makes clear.”