And how did Nick Griffin spend his first morning as an MEP? Complaining on the Today programme that Friar Tuck, in the BBC children’s series Robin Hood, is played by a black man. This amounts to “race-obsessed craziness”, apparently.
David Harewood, the actor in question, can be seen in interview here. Turns out he’s from Small Heath, hurrah! The RADA graduate has played Nelson Mandela for the BBC, will appear in Doctor Who later this year, and would have been a footballer had he not become an actor: his U16 team won the All-England Championship. He also played Lord Asriel in the stage version of Phillip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy.
We used to get letters of complaint at the RSC when occasional patrons couldn’t cope with colour-blind casting in Shakespeare’s plays. They received, in turn, a very stinging letter explaining RSC artistic policy. I think some of them had honestly expected a refund.
I know the BNP got fewer votes than at the last elections. But they’ve got two MEPs now. I don’t want the two prevailing sentiments in any part of this country to be racism and apathy.
Dr Sophie Duncan is Fellow in English at Christ Church, University of Oxford. She works regularly as a historical advisor and as a dramaturg for theatre, TV, radio and film. She likes theatre, detective fiction and cocktails.