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Page last updated at 15:27 GMT, Thursday, 5 February 2009
Your views: Carol Thatcher's remark

Carol Thatcher
Carol Thatcher was employed as roving reporter for the show
Carol Thatcher has been fired from The One Show for "inappropriate behaviour", the BBC has confirmed.

She was dismissed as a reporter after she referred to a tennis player as a "golliwog" while backstage.

Jay Hunt, controller of BBC One, said that, despite being given ample opportunity, Miss Thatcher has refused to apologise.

And she said it was "inappropriate" to make the comment in front of "12 other people" in the show's green room area.

The interview with the BBC One controller prompted a huge response from Today listeners, who contacted the show to give their views. A representative selection of those views is published below.


While I agree that Carol Thatcher ought not to have compared a sportsperson to a "gollywog", even in jest, the remark was not made whilst broadcasting to thousands of people. It does seem that her treatment is in stark contrast to that of Jonathan Ross whose deliberate comment was made on air to thousands and was directed pointedly towards one person and their family. 
Go edit the bad language from your programmes, and leave Carol Thatcher alone

Equally, nowadays any stigma attached to gollys has long gone and it is merely thought of as a childhood toy.  However, Jonathan Ross' comments denigrated the pain and suffering of many victims of abuse and the innocent left in those families.Are the BBC victimising her because she doesn't bring in as much money as the Jonathan Ross show?  Or is it because it is only the remit of those who are 'comedians' in the BBC who are allowed to make totally inappropriate, highly offensive jokes on air and get away with them? Surely if a public apology for a public comment is good enough, then a private apology for a private comment should also be good enough. Come on BBC, stop being so unbelieveably hypocritical!
Sara Langton, Bristol

I think the BBC acted entirely appropriately in their treatment of Carol Thatcher. Racist or sexist behaviour is unacceptable in any workplace (even when in "jest") and since Carol was at her place of work the BBC were perfectly right to discipline her. Had she been an office worker in their staff canteen the same would apply.
Leigh Davies, London

By Golly, You never cease to amaze me !

In a media world where Gordon Ramsey can use the "F" word 240 times in a one hour show, where QI has become a programme full of sleeze and inuendo from start to finish, where Jo Brand, (one of the people that started all of this) has one of the sluttiest forms of "humour" on stage, and where Jonathan Ross is already back on screen earning mega bucks, you've now made an issue about a remark not even made on screen.

Poor Florence Upton had NO intent of bringing disrespect to the black population when she invented poor Gollywogg - to the contrary, he was the cute one, the hero and the best friend of all of his friends.

I have, for over 30 years, been a collector of all things Golly, including Steiff dolls, Robertson badges, Noddy books, Carltonware china etc etc.

I don't have an ounce of racism in my bones, neither do the millions of Golly collectors worldwide - GROW UP BBC - go take on the Royal family on for their openly racist remarks. Go edit the bad language from your programmes, and leave Carol Thatcher alone - check the content of what is actually broadcast and leave off screen remarks as just that!

Furious Golly lover !!!!!
gollygosh, Little Oakley Essex

Dear Sirs

I would like to thank the BBC for its quick and decisive action against Carol Thatcher following her recent racist comments off air on the One Show set.

I am of Caribbean heritage and I find use of the term "golliwog" completely unacceptable. It would destroy all credibility in the BBC if presenters who are known to hold prejudicial views (or at least incredibly poor judgment and insensitivity) were allowed to continue broadcasting without sanction.

Thank you BBC for standing up against the growing torrent of racist sentiment masquerading as a rebalancing in an overly politically correct landscape. Deeply offensive language is abhorrent in any context and Ms Thatcher should have known better than to use it.

C Daniel, London, E2

Who was that pompous woman lecturing us about Carol Thatcher on Today? If I choose to find it deeply offensive that Carol Thatcher was not allowed to use the childish word "golliwog" in an off air conversation may I have all those who disagree with me banned from Radio 4?
Nigel Hall-Wright, Suffolk

As a Christian I am offended nearly every day by comments that have been allowed on air by programme makers at the BBC
I was disgusted with the woman representing the BBC this morning! I suggest that several of you on the Today programme watch the One Show broadcast on the night Jo Brand was on & have a good look at the BODY LANGUAGE!!! I wonder if that had anything to do with what happened in the Green room. Do we have a RECORDING of the conversation? Then we can make our own decision of how the conversation went.
Sandra Webb, Cheshire

The Carol Thatcher sacking is outrageous! Jo Brand is about as offensive as so-called comedians come, attacking the elderly, the confused and the incontinent among others. What a hypocrite! Just waiting for her chance, ably assisted by the BBC.
J. Anstice, Abernethy, Scotland

I thought the interview concerning the Carol Thatcher remark's summed up the BBC and the attitude of so many programme presenters and officials; pompous. The BBC is always right.
James Cobley, Ottery St Mary, Devon

As a Christian I am offended nearly every day by comments that have been allowed on air by program makers at the BBC. The 'excuse' given is that 'most' people think it is OK. Carol Thatcher or someone else in the green room with the'group of 12' may well be offended by, for example, Jo Brand's vulgar so called jokes so would a request for an apology from her have equal coverage? Be real and stop jumping on the 'racist' band wagon.
Jennifer Williams, Cardiff. South Wales

I am most offended by a person in the public eye using such references, and dismissal is appropriate
I have to express my support for the BBC's decision to dismiss Carole Thatcher. As a white male, I am most offended by a person in the public eye using such references, and dismissal is appropriate - the issue of privacy is not relevant. How utterly ridiculous for somebody to make a comparison with the Stasi. This is not witty - it is ignorant, and should not have even been broadcast as this is a serious issue. Jay Hunt was refreshingly robust. Ross, Gaza, and Carole - why is the outrageous campaign against the BBC not making headline news? Ms. Hunt is obviously the person for the job. Fantastic!
Peter Atherton, London

Good morning, I was listening to the discussion with Jay Hunt about the Carol Thatcher incident. I was surprised that a most pertinent question was not asked, for the benefit of the listener: What exactly is a Green Room? It may not be private, but is it not a place for BBC staff and guests to drink, relax and let their guard down? With that in mind, the investigation into Ms Thatcher's comments appears to have been started by an act of malicious denounciation, for who knows what reasons. Under these circumstances, the BBC's response appears downright fascistic, contemptuous of free speech and yet again exhibiting a paranoia over matters of 'offense' and accusation'. Please ask the witnesses: what is the nature of this offense you claim to be experiencing?
Philip Constantine, Surrey, United Kingdom

Carol and that word..... I work for and International Oil Company and I can assure Carol that there would be no space in any building in that company where that word she used would be acceptable. Why? because they are public buildings, as is the BBC. Should I ever use such a word and, be overheard and, had I not apologized soonest, I would have been dismissed. Carol is so lucky, she may no longer work for the One Show but, can still work for the BBC.
Ray Prior, Whitechapel London

Carole Thatcher,a good excuse for the BBC with the approval of New Labour to air brush out another intelligent, articulate, woman whose only fault is to be aged over 50. Overpaid yobs who make really offensive remarks rule OK.
pauline Breen, Newport South Wales

Another own goal from the BBC. I like Carol Thatcher and think she should be forgiven for making a thoughtless remark. How come Chris Moyles gets away with it every day, and in public too.
sally ronaldson, norwich, norfolk

We would like to register our absolute disgust that the BBC has removed Carol Thatcher from THE ONE SHOW. What double standards!(Jonathan Ross??) By talking about it on air the BBC have brought a remark made in jest in private into the public domain themselves.PC has gone raving mad.
Mr & Mrs V.Buchanan, Frodsham,Cheshire

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