Len Goodman has sparked a backlash after speaking on BBC One about a memory he had of his grandmother referring to curry as “foreign muck”. The former Strictly Come Dancing head judge was discussing his first time eating coronation chicken with host Kirsty Young as part of Sunday’s Jubilee Pageant.
He said he was initially “worried” about trying the dish as his grandmother had always referred to curry and curry powder as “foreign muck”. He said: “My wife did Coronation Chicken yesterday for our tea and I’ve never had it before. I’ve never had curry and curry powder, you know, my nan used to call it all foreign muck. I was always worried about it. But I must say, it was ridiculous – it was really tasty. It was so tasty. I had my first sampling of Coronation Chicken yesterday,” reports the Manchester Evening News.
Social media reacted instantly with fury: “Not Len Goodman lovingly quoting how his nan referred to curry as ‘foreign muck’ and that’s why he’s nervous of it now. This on the BBC Jubilee coverage,” fumed Claudia Boleyn.
Paul Rayment commented: “Len Goodman on the BBC says he only had Coronation Chicken yesterday, pulling a disgusted face at the idea of curry powder and reminiscing how his nan called it foreign muck. He sounds charming.”
Pablo Blanco tweeted: “Someone tell Len Goodman Coronation Chicken is a British recipe, created for the coronation by two English chefs. Based on a dish created for George V in 1935 called Jubilee Chicken. Curry has been part of our national diet for 200+ years, and I’m sure even his nan isn’t that old.”
Goodman had his supporters, with @cat186 saying: “I’m sure there’ll be some outrage about Len Goodman’s comments on curry powder. He was quoting his nan and therefore obviously referring to old fashioned attitudes.”
And You Lazy wrote: “Len Goodman saying his nan didn’t like curry or curry powder calling it foreign muck you got to chuckle. Remember Len’s Nan was raised in a time of empire xenophobia and racism hopefully times have moved on from Len’s nan’s day.”
Later in the broadcast of the Jubilee Pageant on the BBC, commentator Clare Balding apologised for the comments “made earlier”, according to the Telegraph. A BBC spokesman confirmed to the newspaper that her apology “related to remarks made during the section of the show” during which Len was speaking.
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