BBC defends Katherine Ryan 'straight white men' joke against viewer complaints

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:00:01 on 06/04/2021 - Programme Name: All That Glitters: Britain's Next Jewellery Star - TX: n/a - Episode: All That Glitters: Britain's Next Jewellery Star - Iconic (No. Iconic) - Picture Shows: **STRICTLY EMBARGOED NOT FOR PUBLICATION UNTIL 00:01 HRS ON TUESDAY 6TH APRIL 2021** Katherine Ryan - (C) Twenty Twenty - Photographer: n/a
The BBC has defended Katherine Ryan's joke (Photo: Twenty Twenty/BBC)

The BBC has defended comedian Katherine Ryan over a joke she made about "straight white men" while presenting jewellery contest All That Glitters: Britain's Next Jewellery Star.

Ryan made the lighthearted quip as she was giving a contestant a pep talk about having more confidence in her designs, but it sparked a flurry of complaints from viewers.

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As she spoke to Sri Lankan-born contestant Tamara about one of her designs, Ryan said: “You need to really back yourself.

“Do you know how confident a straight white man would be right now? Think about Boris Johnson, how pleased he’d be right now.”

Katherine Ryan presents All That Glitters. (BBC/Twenty Twenty Productions Ltd/Mark Bourdillon)
Katherine Ryan presents All That Glitters. (BBC/Twenty Twenty Productions Ltd/Mark Bourdillon)

But some viewers failed to see the funny side, tweeting that they were offended by her joke on the BBC Two show.

One viewer tweeted: "Think like a straight white man??? Was that really necessary??"

Another added: "Just heard the host of #AllThatGlitters telling a woman participant of Asian origin to think like a white man to be confident!! Dear @BBCOne do you realise how racist and biased this sounds?"

Someone else complained: "'Think like a straight, white man' Do i think any differently from anyone else who's not white and/or straight? Unfortunate comment there...."

But despite some complaints, the BBC backed Ryan and defended her brand of humour.

A statement said: "Many viewers of this programme will be familiar with Katherine Ryan’s well-established style of comedy after multiple appearances on BBC comedy programmes over the years.

“Comedy is one of the most subjective areas of programming and we can assure you we never set out to offend viewers with anything we show.”

The programme takes a similar format to The Great British Bake Off and The Great British Sewing Bee, with jewellery designers given a different challenge each week as one is knocked out in every round.

The Great British Sewing Bee returns to BBC One this week, on Wednesday at 9pm.

Watch: Katherine Ryan responds to sex advice from the past