Brit TV Pundit Thrusts Head in Ethnic Lion’s Mouth

29 September 2003

Many promising careers, political and commercial, have already been sacrificed to the Moloch of political correctness and another respected public figure may well be on his way into the maw.

Sir Ludovic Kennedy – war hero, historian, author, erstwhile BBC TV presenter, freedom campaigner, Liberal-Democrat politician and champion of minority causes – has dared to denounce the increasing number of black faces appearing on TV programmes as “political correctness [that] has got completely out of hand”.

He will not be unaware of the vitriol likely to come his way as a result of overstepping the ever-broadening line of racial PC in his magazine review of former BBC colleague Will Wyatt'sautobiography.

Wrote Kennedy: “I’d like to take issue with Will when he says it was his aim to bring more blacks to the screen, in which it seems he has more than succeeded. I am all in favour of black advancement, but there's now hardly a TV pub, police station, soap, vox pop or ad without rather more than its fair share of black participation.”

Moving deeper into the lion’s jaws, Kennedy continued: “The [National] Statistical Office tells me that the proportion of all ethnic groups (blacks, Indians, Pakistanis, Asians) to whites in this country is no more than 7.5%. Political correctness has got completely out of hand and now requires that the imbalance be readjusted.”

The criticism was dutifully dismissed by a BBC spokesperson. “Although ethnic minorities make up 9% of the UK population … some of our programmes [quasi-realistic soaps] … do have more than this representation. This is because these dramas are set in urban areas where people from ethnic minority backgrounds make up as much as 30% of the population.”

Continued the mouthpiece: “We are proud that there is a fair representation of modern society across the BBC, but whilst we are very committed to diversity and fairness, we are primarily in the business of developing acting, presenting and journalistic talent regardless of background, not playing ‘politically correct’ numbers games.”

Perhaps at the age of 83, Kennedy feels he has little to lose by speaking out – but right or wrong, few would dare risk the orchestrated opprobrium now likely to come his way.

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff