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UK star to visit Auschwitz after ‘Big Brother’ ouster

Christopher Biggins evicted from house after series of offensive comments about Holocaust and bisexuals

Christopher Biggins being evicted from Channel 5's Big Brother (Screen capture: YouTube)
Christopher Biggins being evicted from Channel 5's Big Brother (Screen capture: YouTube)

British D-list celebrity Christopher Biggins, 67, was removed from the Big Brother reality competition on Friday night for making a Holocaust joke to a Jewish housemate and insulting bisexuals. And on Monday, he announced he will making a trip to the former Auschwitz concentration camp.

Biggins, who failed to heed several warnings about inappropriate language, was asked to leave in the first week of the show, even before the first official eviction.

The star was initially warned for telling Jewish housemate Katie Waissel: “You better be careful or they’ll be putting you in a shower and taking you to a room.”

The comments were not aired but a transcript of the remarks surfaced online. He subsequently expressed deep regret for the comments.

“I found Katie and said ‘I am mortified,’” he told The Sun newspaper. “’I would never do anything to upset you. I love you and I’m really sorry.'” He also said, “Most of my friends, in fact, are Jewish. I apologized to Big Brother and Katie.”

Despite the warning, the actor, who is gay, went on to accuse bisexuals of spreading the HIV virus.

“Gays have been really badly treated and then suddenly came a period where gay people were respected, you could do things,” he said. “I wouldn’t say overnight, but then a killer disease came, which was attributed to homosexuals. I think it was a bisexual disease.”

In evicting him, the show’s producers told Biggins he had made a “number of comments capable of causing great offense to housemates and the viewing public.”

The British Board of Deputies of British Jews tweeted its support for the decision by Channel 5, which airs the popular reality show.

“I commend the leadership shown by Channel 5 in moving quickly to ensure that bigoted views do not have an outlet, particularly in an entertainment programme followed by millions of younger people across the country,” said Board vice president Marie van der Zyl.

Biggin’s agent Jonathan Shalit, who is Jewish, told the UK’s Jewish News: “I have been close friends and worked with Biggins for many years and can confirm that he would never intentionally cause offense. If something was said in jest which caused offense then I am certain that was not his intention. Biggins is a much loved and wonderful man.”

But Katie Waissel’s mother, Diana, said she was deeply hurt by Biggins’s words. “If his comments are as bad as we’re led to believe, they constitute a hate crime — police should be called in to investigate,” she told UK’s Mirror. “Our whole family have a proud Jewish heritage and are absolutely disgusted by Biggins. But he’s not just hurt my daughter. It sounds like he’s said things offensive to most Jews.”

Biggins told The Sun that he and his partner had been planning to visit the Nazi death camp in Poland before he entered the Big Brother house. “Before I went into the house, my partner Neil and I were talking about it because we just feel the whole scenario of the Jewish annihilation is so horrific that we wanted to experience it for ourselves.”

Biggins was supposed to appear live on a British morning chat show “This Morning,” on Monday to present his side of the story. But he pulled out shortly before the show was due to air. The show instead read out the following message from Biggins:

“Once again I wanted to say how very sorry and shocked I am about what’s happened. I’ve been so moved by some of the amazing, kind support I’ve been getting since being removed from the Big Brother house. Thank you. For now I’m taking some time to be with loved ones, I hope you all understand. Love Biggins.”

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