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Last Updated: Friday, 8 June 2007, 21:16 GMT 22:16 UK
BB housemate denies being racist
Emily Parr
Emily is a drama student from Bristol

Big Brother contestant Emily Parr has denied she is a racist, a day after being removed from the Channel 4 show for using a racially offensive word.

The Bristol drama student, 19, told the programme's sister show, Big Brother's Little Brother, she had been "completely wrong" and was "so sorry".

Emily had earlier said the word was "a friendly term" where she came from.

Channel 4 said it had been important to show her using the word to a housemate to demonstrate its "unacceptability".

On Friday, Emily told Big Brother's Little Brother's presenter Dermot O'Leary she understood why she had been removed from the house following the remark to Charley Uchea.

People can take from it what they want, but at the end of the day I didn't mean it, I am not a racist
Emily Parr

"[What I said] was completely wrong," she said. "There is no denying that whatsoever. I am so sorry."

She said she was not a racist, explaining she had "plenty of friends from different backgrounds" and that what she had said had been "a word that gets chucked back and forth in everyday life".

She added she was "devastated and ashamed" about what had happened.

Charley Uchea
Charley Uchea is the cousin of footballer Kieran Richardson

"I am very much aware there are people all over the country who have taken offence to it.

"People can take from it what they want, but at the end of the day I didn't mean it, I am not a racist. Charley is a great person, as are all my black friends."

About 4.6m people tuned in to see the incident screened on Thursday night, according to unofficial overnight figures, prompting 140 complaints to Ofcom.

Emily was seen saying: "You're pushing it out, you nigger," to Charley while they were sitting in the garden on Wednesday evening.

When called to the show's diary room to explain what had happened, Emily said she and Charley, together with fellow housemate Nicky Maxwell, had been joking around.

HAVE YOUR SAY
If the situation with Shilpa Shetty had not occurred earlier this year this current furore would not be treated with such seriousness
PO Sullivan, London

She said it was a "friendly term" where she came from, "not a hurtful word" and that she had not meant it in an offensive way.

Channel 4 boss Andy Duncan later defended the decision to show what happened.

"This was an important issue that was raised by this, the complete unacceptability of the word used," he said on BBC Radio 4's Today.

This week's eviction, in which Emily was nominated alongside fellow contestant Shabnam Paryani, has been suspended.

Channel 4 has offered to refund viewers who have already called telephone lines to evict either housemate.

In place of the eviction, two new housemates will be introduced to the show on Friday.

THE EDITORS' BLOG
'The Editors' logo
Why did some parts of the BBC transmit the word, while some did not?
Simon Waldman,
Morning editor, BBC News 24

The decision to remove Emily was taken in the wake of the alleged racist bullying of Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty on Celebrity Big Brother earlier this year.

The Commission for Racial Equality said Channel 4 was right to react because most people found the word offensive, even if some did not.

But pressure group Mediawatch condemned Channel 4's decision to broadcast the word.

National spokesman Dave Turtle said: "They shouldn't broadcast any material which is racially offensive."




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