Celebrity Big Brother could face Ofcom fine as Christopher Biggins calls AIDS a ‘bisexual disease’
Celebrity Big Brother producers could face Ofcom fines as Christopher Biggins was removed from the show for making derogatory comments about bisexual people and a ‘joke’ about the holocaust.
Christopher Biggins apologised for calling AIDS a “bisexual disease” and for other comments which saw him removed from Celebrity Big Brother on Friday.
Producers had not revealed until last night what the comments were, but just said that the Channel 5 reality show “does not tolerate offensive language”.
The 67-year-old had been the bookmakers’ favourite to win, despite earlier controversy this week when he said bisexual people were “the worst type”, suggesting that they just don’t want “to admit they are gay.”
Details of the comments were released last night, during which he said: “There were a lot of bisexuals who went to [third world] countries and had sex with those people and brought it back to their own families in America, and that’s how it became a worldwide disease.”
Later in the conversation Renee Graziano said a CIA agent had told her AIDS was invented to “kill off” third-world countries, which Biggins said he could believe was also true.
Earlier in the week he had received a warning for a conversation he had with Katie Waissel during which he made a “joke” about the holocaust. Producers had decided not to air the conversation.
“You better be careful or they’ll be putting you in a shower and taking you to a room,” he said to her. He told the Sun newspaper that he had “begged” her for forgiveness.
But should viewers complain, Channel 5 and Big Brother producers could face a fine.
Previously the show has escaped fines, but has been the subject of thousands of complaints over conversations had on camera in the house.
In a standard response, the media regulator Ofcom said it would “assess” how to deal with any complaints as they come in.
A spokesman told the Mirror: “Ofcom will assess any complaints received against the Broadcasting Code, which sets standards for the content of TV and radio programmes, before deciding whether to investigate or not.”
On Friday Biggins had the rules read to him in the diary room.
A producer said: “The rules regarding unacceptable language and behaviour were explained to you,” he was told.
“On Monday, in a conversation with Katie, where she remarked she was not in the house to represent the Jewish community, your comment was plainly capable of causing offence to Katie and the viewing public.
“You have continued to use unacceptable language … which is capable of causing offence … do you have anything to say?”
Mr Biggins responded: “I’m very sorry and I’m very sad.”
A statement published on the CBB website reads that producers had “taken the decision to remove Christopher Biggins”.
“Since entering Big Brother, he has made a number of comments capable of causing great offence to housemates and the viewing public,” it said.
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“Big Brother does not tolerate offensive language capable of causing widespread offence.”
Two others in the house have received formal warnings for their behaviour this week.
US singer Aubrey O’Day spat in Stephen Bear’s sandwich and received a warning, while Bear also received a warning for throwing a mug and smashing a window.
This is not the first time Biggins has been criticised for his views on the LGBT community.
The entertainer – who has been in a civil partnership with Neil Sinclair since 2006 – opposed the introduction of equal marriage, claiming in 2012: “I’m very anti-marriages, because I think that is for heterosexual couples. We can’t get rid of everything”.
He re-stated his opposition to same-sex marriage last year, claiming it’s “a step too far”.
Singer and former glamour model Samantha Fox opened up about her same-sex relationship with her late manager Myra Stratton during her time in the house.