Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 30 August 2014

Fury over Angie Best’s Holocaust remark on TV show

The ex-wife of late football legend George Best has provoked fury after a tasteless remark about there being “no overweight people in Auschwitz”.

Angie Best stunned television viewers with her comments on BBC’s Nolan Live show on Monday night.

In a statement BBC Northern Ireland confirmed they had received complaints about Ms Best, adding that they understand how the remarks “may have upset some viewers”.

The ex-model, who had gone on the TV show to discuss obesity, attempted to defend her comments on the Nolan radio programme yesterday morning and was forced to field complaints from a series of furious listeners, some of whom were told to “lighten up” by Ms Best.

She said she was only trying to say the reason behind the vast majority of people becoming overweight is because they eat too much.

However, Ms Best said she regretted the way she had made her point.

Speaking on the radio she said: “I've been hung, drawn and quartered” and accused many of the people criticising her of being unneccessarily “venomous”.

“It was a slip of the tongue, but what I meant was that there's no reason to be unhealthy — to be overweight and unhealthy — there's no excuse, that's what I meant. That the fewer calories you put in... you know.”

However Castlereagh UUP councillor Michael Copeland said her comments on the television show were nothing short of “distasteful”.

“While some of the comments made by Angie Best are accurate the analogy that she chose was distasteful,” he said.

“Places like Auschwitz, Dachau and Bergen Belsen are very sensitive for very real and horrific reasons. I do not think they should be held up as examples for comment on anything.

“There were a lot of fat people in Auschwitz but unfortunately they were all SS guards — that just shows the foolishness of the comment made by Angie Best.”

He added: “A lot of people, including myself, struggle with their weight. I was relatively physically fit and the correct weight until I contracted a virus 25 years ago and almost overnight my weight shot up overnight.

“It has been a tremendous battle.

“No doubt in today’s society of fast food and fizzy drinks and with couch potato pastimes people are more inclined to gain weight.”

The comments made by Ms Best, who is based in the US, were also noted on her online Wikipedia entry.

A BBC NI spokesman confirmed they had received two complaints about the comments.

“When appearing as a contributor on Monday night's Nolan Live, Angie Best made remarks on the issue of weight.

“We understand how her comments may have upset some viewers.

“Angie Best sought to clarify her comments on the television programme and was given another opportunity to do so on today's Stephen Nolan Show on BBC Radio Ulster.

“BBC Northern Ireland has received two complaints,” he said.

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