Margaret Thatcher distressed over BBC's treatment of daughter Carol

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London, Feb.6 (ANI): Former British Prime Minister Baroness Margaret Thatcher has expressed her distress over the BBC's decision to sack her journalist daughter Carol after likening a black tennis player to a "golliwog". The Daily Telegraph disclosed that the former Prime Minister believes the furore over her daughter's remarks in a BBC Green Room is a form of political correctness gone mad.

The BBC, which has received 2,250 messages of support for Thatcher and only 60 against, refused yesterday to reinstate her in her roving reporter's role on the One Show after she referred to a tennis player as a "golliwog" during a backstage discussion about the Australian Open.

With many critics accusing the BBC of a vendetta against Thatcher, 55, because of her mother, a close friend of the former Prime Minister said: "Lady Thatcher feels sad for Carol who has been hurt by all the accusations against her. But she thinks the whole row is a load of nonsense."

The friend, in a clear reference to Jonathan Ross who was only suspended from the BBC after the obscene telephone calls to the veteran actor Andrews Sachs, said: "Certain highly paid presenters keep their large BBC salaries while Carol is vilified for a private remark, which was not broadcast. This is the BBC at its absolute worse."

Despite public opinion swinging massively in favour of Thatcher, judging by the number of messages to the BBC, the corporation insisted the dismissal stood.

An unrepentant Jay Hunt, the controller of BBC One, dismissed claims that they had overreacted to the remark in the presence of Adrian Chiles, the presenter of The One Show, the comedian Jo Brand, and a senior unnamed charity worker from Comic Relief.

"What Carol decides to say in the privacy of her own home or in a private conversation with friends is one thing. What she says in a greenroom space, when there are 12 people [there], in her capacity as a roving reporter for the One Show is a rather different thing," Ms Hunt told Radio 4's Today programme.

Thatcher, whose sacking was raised by Tory MPs in the Commons yesterday, will continue to work for the BBC on other programmes - she has been recording material this week for a radio feature on her mother - but Hunt said that she would no longer work on The One Show.

An apology offered by Thatcher, in which she repudiated racism and expressed regret for any offence caused, was rejected by the BBC which demanded written apologies to Brand, Chiles, and the charity worker.

Thatcher refused. The golliwog remark was made about the French-Congolese tennis player Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. (ANI)

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