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Last Updated: Sunday, 21 January 2007, 14:41 GMT
Channel 4 denies coaching Goody
Jade Goody on Big Brother
There was no crowd when Goody emerged because of security fears
Channel 4 has denied warning Jade Goody about the racism storm surrounding Big Brother and coaching her before she left the show to minimise the damage.

There is speculation that she was briefed about the anger she caused in rows with Indian actress Shilpa Shetty.

But a spokeswoman said Goody "was not coached by [production company] Endemol or Channel 4" before her eviction.

The broadcaster's board will discuss the show on Monday amid criticism of the way it handled the furore.

HAVE YOUR SAY
She has brought this all on herself - I hope she takes some time out to think about her actions
Brenda, Essex

Goody was accused of leading alleged racist bullying against Shetty.

About 40,000 people complained to media regulator Ofcom, while politicians in the UK and India were also drawn into the debate.

Goody has denied being racist but told the News of the World newspaper she did make racist comments and she was "shocked and disgusted" by her own behaviour.

Before being evicted on Friday, Goody and other housemates were questioned in the diary room by Big Brother about the disputes and whether they were racially motivated.

But there have been claims that Goody was also told about the public reaction and how to respond to it.

Big Brother protest Bhopal, India, on Thursday
Shetty's treatment sparked protests in India last week

Goody made up with Shetty before leaving and the usual crowd was not present when Goody emerged because of security fears.

According to press reports, Goody said before she left: "I know why there's no noise." When Shilpa asked why, Jade replied: "I know but I can't tell you."

The Channel 4 spokeswoman denied that Goody had been tipped off.

"Jade's diary room conversations that were broadcast represent the conversations between Big Brother and Jade," she said.

Meanwhile, the Sunday Times has reported that the board will consider the show's future at Monday's board meeting.

'Got it wrong'

The Commission for Equality and Human Rights chairman Trevor Phillips said Channel 4 chairman Luke Johnson should be censured for failing to deal properly with the crisis.

After the board meeting, they must "make clear that they got it wrong, they intervened too little too late", he told BBC One's Sunday AM programme.

"They should censure Luke Johnson, they should wash their hands of the money - Keith Vaz the MP says give it to charity and I think that's a good idea.

"And they should think about what they can do to illuminate the reality we have now seen of contemporary racism."

Mr Johnson's future in the job was "a matter for his board and for his contract", Mr Phillips continued.

Mr Johnson refused to answer questions about the issue on BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Thursday.

Government intervention

After the meeting, Channel 4 should admit "Johnson was wrong not to talk about it last week, that his executives were wrong to say that there was no racism involved", Mr Phillips said.

"If the board does not take that stand then I think [Culture Secretary] Tessa Jowell has to step in and ask if this is a board that is capable of holding a public asset in trust for us.

"I think it is that serious."

The Channel 4 spokeswoman said Big Brother would be on the agenda at the board meeting.

"It was a planned meeting prior to all the Big Brother stuff kicking off so that wasn't the reason it was called," she said.

"No doubt it will be discussed but whether it's a big agenda item I don't know."


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