Real Marigold Hotel's chicken killing scene angers fans

Photo credit: BBC
Photo credit: BBC

From Digital Spy

The Real Marigold Hotel has caused controversy by airing scenes of its famous pensioners disparaging Indian culture and society, in addition to showing animal slaughter without any warning.

The BBC series featured the likes of Stephanie Beacham, I'm a Celebrity favourite Stanley Johnson and the Krankies living together in an exotic Indian ashram along with Selina Scott, former EastEnders stars Peter Dean and Susan George, champion jockey Bob Champion and comedian Syd Little.

Photo credit: BBC
Photo credit: BBC

Wednesday's (August 1) series premiere got off to an auspicious start within moments of the celebrities arriving in the Indian City of Udaipur, when Beacham described her surroundings as looking "a bit grubby".

Fans were quick to criticise her for being culturally insensitive (warning: NSFW tweets below):

In her confessional segment, Beacham also ruffled feathers by promoting stereotypes that Indian society is chaotic, saying: "India is chaos, which is vibrancy, which is life."

Jimmy Krankie referred to India as a "backward country" in his own interview segment, before instantly realising that his comment would be seen as offensive.

"Is it backward to say backward? It's pretty basic," he followed up.

Digital Spy has reached out to the BBC for comment on the backlash to the episode's culturally insensitive remarks.

Other viewers were equally as offended by a graphically violent scene in which a chicken was beheaded without any on-screen warning (warning: NSFW tweets below):

Luckily, the episode wasn't entirely offensive. It's no surprise that the early fan favourite was Stanley Johnson, whose many visits to India made him a source of encouragement for the others as they adjusted to life in the ashram.

Photo credit: BBC
Photo credit: BBC

"We just need to rub along with humour and interest," he assured the others, to the delight of viewers.

Much of the first episode also focussed on Syd Little, of the classic comedy duo Little and Large. At first, Syd seemed quite reserved and unsure if he'd made the right decision to make the trip.

But experiencing the beautiful culture and meeting the local population brought Syd out of his shell, and by the end of the episode, he'd truly blossomed.

"I'm so glad I came. I wouldn't have missed it for the world," he told his housemates. "It's an exciting place to be."

Photo credit: BBC
Photo credit: BBC

Other highlights included Bob Champion trying curry for the first time. For the first time?!

There's more fun to come as the four-part Real Marigold Hotel continues next Wednesday (August 8) at 9pm on BBC One.

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