BBC criticised for Catherine Tate Christmas show’s ‘insulting’ Muslim joke

Tate's character Nan reportedly insinuates that a Muslim man carrying a grey bag is a terrorist

The BBC is facing criticism for reportedly including a controversial joke about a Muslim man in Catherine Tate’s Christmas special.

The festive special features scenes in which “Nan” – Tate’s notoriously bigoted comic character – attends a series of anger management classes after attacking a blind charity collector.

According to the Daily Star, one session sees a Muslim man in a prayer cap enter the room carrying a grey bag, which prompts Nan to say: “Alright. No sudden movements. If this one has got anger problems, we’re all in trouble. I think we all just stay calm.”

The chairman of Birmingham Central Mosque, Mohammed Afzal, has branded the rumoured joke “insulting in the current climate”, predicting: “People will not find this funny. It is tarnishing Muslims with the same brush as terrorists. It’s disgusting.”

A representative for the Islamic Centre of England has also spoken critically about the rumoured joke, saying: “This is very sensitive issue and will not be taken in a favourable way. It can just add unnecessarily to the problems.”

However, when contacted by the Daily Star, a BBC spokesperson appeared to defend the rumoured joke’s inclusion in the Christmas special. “Nan is a comedy character well known to BBC audiences for her outrageous views, language and behaviour,” the spokesperson said. “Her views do not hold accord with a more enlightened world as the programme makes clear.”