Jeremy Vine ‘race-baiting’ discussion over Prince Philip’s funeral sparks Ofcom complaints

Prince Philip funeral: Jeremy Vine discusses attendees

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Prince Philip’s funeral took place at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle on Saturday and was attended by 30 attendees in line with current coronavirus restrictions. Ahead of the Duke of Edinburgh’s ceremonial funeral, Jeremy Vine pointed out on his Channel 5 talk show that all of those in attendance of the service would be white and this “race-baiting” comment sparked several Ofcom complaints.e

The Channel 5 broadcaster discussed the invite list with guest Shay Grewal. 

He said: “We are going to see a group of 30 people who are going to be at this very restricted funeral.

“I’m imagining it will be 30 people who are white. I’m just trying to think whether there’s anybody of colour in there and I don’t think so. Do you think that’s a problem?”

Channel 5 viewers were furious with Jeremy’s comments and vented their frustration immediately on Twitter. 

Read more: ‘It’s bonkers’ Jeremy Vine wades into ‘cheese is racist’ row

Meanwhile, television watchdog Ofcom has now confirmed 139 complaints were made about the comments. 

Following Jeremy’s question, Shay replied: “No, I don’t think it’s a problem at all.

“Look, at the end of the day the Royal Family are a family so if someone passes away you are going to have your most beloved members of your family there.

“That is the case when it comes to this funeral. I know what you may be alluding to and some people have already been speaking about it on social media and that’s the fact Meghan won’t be there.”

“Of course Prince Harry is but that’s because she’s pregnant. I think at the moment what we all need to focus on the fact that a family is mourning. 

“They have lost the patriarch of their family and for this country, of course, we have lost the Duke of Edinburgh. 

“For me, I’m not focusing on what they are wearing, I’m not focusing on who’s there, I’m thinking about Her Majesty the Queen and the fact she’s lost her long life partner and how hard that must be.

“I really admire the fact she’s being so stoic in the way she’s still coming out, she’s continuing some of her duties and that just shows the kind of woman that she is.”

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“Like everyone, I will be thinking about them as a family on the day of the funeral,” she added. 

Jeremy Vine viewers were not impressed with the host’s line of questioning as one tweeted: “What a ghastly thing to say.”

“Why does Jeremy Vine still allowed this level of race-baiting on live TV, it’s a family funeral and none of them are black so the answers obvious,” another wrote. (sic)

While a third said: “I am genuinely staggered at this statement from Jeremy Vine. It’s pure race-baiting.”

Someone else vented: “A funeral with limited numbers of FAMILY members being allowed but the RF has to invite a token unrelated person in order to not offend the WOKE generation!”

“Why did you ask this question? – Disgraceful thing to say live on TV – Funerals are never racist – You invite who you want to be there end of,” a fifth posted.

Buckingham Palace confirmed who would be attending the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral on the Thursday before the ceremony took place. 

Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward led the procession and were followed by the Duke’s grandchildren Prince William and Prince Harry, who were separated by Anne’s son Peter Phillips. 

Anne’s husband, Vice-Admiral Sir Timothy James Hamilton Laurence and The Earl of Snowdon completed the procession. 

Jeremy Vine airs on weekdays on Channel 5 at 9.15am.

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