Dr Ranj Singh
Dr Ranj Singh has urged the British Curry Awards to “do better” over its lack of Asian representation at this year’s ceremony and a “racist joke” made on stage.
The daytime TV medic was in attendance at Monday’s awards, where he noted that “the entire judging panel, host, and even most of the performers” were white.
Dr Ranj also called out an offensive joke made during the event and questioned the inclusion of an auction item connected to Winston Churchill in a series of posts on Twitter.
During the ceremony, the This Morning and Morning Live star posted: “It’s so wonderful being at the #BritishCurryAwards tonight… celebrating the best of Asian cuisine! However, how is it that the entire judging panel, host, and even most of the performers on stage so far have all been white? We can do better! #represenationmatters.”
Following the event, he posted a lengthier statement on social media, which read: “I was honoured and privileged to be invited as a guest for the British Curry Awards tonight. Firstly, thank you to this brilliant organisation for doing their best to celebrate our Asian community.
“However, when the host is white, the judging panel is entirely white, the performers onstage are over 90% white, are we really representing our community fairly? And to top it off, we have a racist joke on stage, and are auctioning off a piece by Winston Churchill whose relationship with India (and Bengali people specifically) is problematic?”
The former Strictly Come Dancing star continued: “We are better than this. We are a magnificent people. We have done so much and still have so much to offer. Let’s do better together.”
Dr Ranj also wrote in the caption: “I cannot stay silent… Dear @BritCurryAwards… please, let’s talk about this. I’m not berating you as I know you have good intentions and are doing your best. And you have raised so much for charity. But we are better than this.”
He later added: “I am so proud of my heritage, my community and those who have come before me to allow me to do what I do. That’s why I cannot be silent on things that really matter.
“We are not beyond criticism (and that includes me). But we are open to learn and grow.”
He also shared a paraphrased version of the offensive joke from an unnamed guest presenter, writing: “I’m sorry but how is this OK?”
HuffPost UK has contacted The British Curry Awards and sponsors Just Eat for comment, and is awaiting responses.