Gay Tory to star in TV comedy
A former Big Brother contestant who was once a Conservative parliamentary candidate may star in a remake of a controversial 1970s television programme.
Derek Laud, who also worked as a speechwriter for several leading Tories and as a lobbyist at Westminster, is an unusual figure in the party, a black, camp and openly gay man.
He was a contestant in the sixth series of reality show Big Brother, which was eventually won by Anthony Hutton.
Regeneration and Renewal magazine reports that Laud will be starring in a remake of ITV comedy Love Thy Neighbour.
The show featured a black couple who move in next door to a white racist man and his long-suffering wife.
It dealt with race relations in a way that has come to be regarded as so offensive that it has never been shown again.
The new six-part series, being made by Airedale TV, will be broadcast on Channel 4.
“In the new version, the roles will be reversed: Laud could play a country squire struggling to tolerate a working class couple living next door,” reports Regeneration and Renewal
The Daily Mail reported in September that Laud would play the role of an upwardly-mobile barrister and his architect wife who are horrified when a white working-class family move in next door.
Laud recently appeared on Webcameron, the video blog site of the Conservative party leader David Cameron, and said he would like to stand for Parliament again at the next election.
In 1997 he was chosen to contest the safe Labour seat of Tottenham but withdrew after a conviction for drink-driving in the US.
He became the first black master of foxhounds in 1999 and is close friends with eccentric former boxer Chris Eubank.