Page last updated at 11:29 GMT, Sunday, 19 April 2009 12:29 UK

Unrepentant Thatcher back on BBC

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Lord Kinnock and Carol Thatcher clash over the use of the word 'golliwog'

Carol Thatcher has insisted she does not regret referring to a black tennis player as a "golliwog" - despite her sacking from a BBC television show.

Ms Thatcher, 55, appearing on BBC One's Andrew Marr Show, defended her off-air use of the word.

She said the current obsession with political correctness needed to be addressed with common sense.

It was her first appearance on the BBC since she was sacked from The One Show in February.

The one thing that struck me is astonishment
Lord Kinnock

Asked whether she regretted using the word "golliwog", Ms Thatcher said: "No, because I used it in a context which wasn't actually appreciated at the time."

She went on: "The point about the mail was today's obsession about political correctness - and that remains a topic that has to be addressed and some common sense injected to it."

Ms Thatcher added she has received many letters of support: "My store of golliwog fridge magnets has actually now gone up because people have sent them to me."

Common courtesy

But she was criticised by fellow guest, former Labour leader Neil Kinnock.

He said: "The one thing that struck me when I heard you had used that word - and stuck by the word - is astonishment.

"I did not think someone like you would consciously use the word. Not because of political correctness - but merely out of common courtesy."

The BBC has previously defended its decision to drop Baroness Thatcher's daughter from The One Show over the remark, saying she was given "ample opportunity to apologise".

More than 3,000 people complained about the decision to sack Ms Thatcher.

During the ensuing controversy she was backed by Mayor of London Boris Johnson and pop star Will Young - although Communities Secretary Hazel Blears supported the BBC's action.



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