Ranj Singh claims 'white guest' made 'racist' joke at Curry Awards

TV doctor Ranj Singh claims ‘white guest presenter’ made a ‘racist’ joke at British Curry Awards as he slams organisers for having a white judging panel and actor Hugh Dennis as host

  • Dr Ranj Singh urged the British Curry Awards to ‘do better’ as he criticised hosts
  • Criticised the ‘all-white judging panel’ and use of ’90 per cent white performers’  
  • This Morning star also hit out at event for auctioning a work by Winston Churchill

A TV doctor has criticised a ‘racist’ joke at the British Curry Awards which saw a ‘white guest presenter’ say, ‘Why has India never won the World Cup? Because every time they get a corner, they build a shop on it.’   

Dr Ranj Singh – who said he was ‘paraphrasing slightly’ – urged the British Curry Awards to ‘do better’ as he also criticised the decision to use Hugh Dennis, who is white, an ‘all-white judging panel’ and ’90 per cent white performers’.

The 43-year-old, who stars on This Morning, also hit out at organisers for auctioning a work by Winston Churchill due to his ‘problematic’ relationship with Indian people and Bengalis ‘in particular’. 

Dr Ranj Singh has criticised a ‘racist’ joke at the British Curry Awards which saw a ‘white guest presenter’ say, ‘Why has India never won the World Cup? Because every time they get a corner, they build a shop on it’

Dr Singh, who’s also an NHS doctor, felt compelled to speak out on Twitter while attending the glitzy do on Monday night at Evolution in London

Critics of the legendary wartime Prime Minister blame his policies for causing the Bengal famine of 1943, which killed up to four million people. He also once described Indians as a ‘beastly people with a beastly religion’. 

Comedian Hugh Dennis hosted the annual awards – dubbed the ‘Curry Oscars’ by former PM David Cameron – while other attendees included Chris Tarrant, former footballer David Seaman and the MP Chris Grayling. 

Also present were former Apprentice contestant Saira Khan, actors James Cosmo and Nina Wadia, cricketer Phil Tufnell and reality TV stars Nadia Essex and Farah Sattaur. 

There is no suggestion any of those mentioned above made the joke. 

Dr Singh, who’s also an NHS doctor, felt compelled to speak out on Twitter while attending the glitzy do on Monday night at Evolution in London.  

During the ceremony, he shared a quick clip of his table, the stage and other guests, writing : ‘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!’

He added the hashtag ‘representation matters’ and tagged main sponsor Just Eat.

Dr Singh said the ‘racist’ joke was made by a guest presenter rather than the host, Hugh Dennis 

After the event, Dr Singh published an open letter to the British Curry Awards in which he claimed he was ‘not the only person that felt uncomfortable tonight’.

He continued: ‘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?

‘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.’

In the caption, he wrote: ‘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.’

After the event, Dr Singh published an open letter to the British Curry Awards in which he claimed he was ‘not the only person that felt uncomfortable tonight’

The former Strictly Come Dancing contestant added in a later post: ‘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.’

Mentioning the ‘racist joke’, he wrote: ‘Paraphrased slightly, but this is a joke made on stage at the @BritCurryAwards by a white person tonight: ‘Why has India never won the World Cup? Because every time they get a corner, they build a shop on it.’

‘I’m sorry but how is this OK?’ he asked.    

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak sent in a video message for the ceremony in which he voiced his support for the curry industry. 

MailOnline has contacted the British Curry Awards, Just Eat and Hugh Dennis’ agent for comment.  

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