Belfast Telegraph

MP slams 'biased' BBC after attack on Christians broadcast live

By Jonathan Bell

BBC Northern Ireland's broadcast of an unchallenged attack on Christians during its royal wedding coverage was described as a "new low," by DUP MP Ian Paisley.

The North Antrim MP made the comment following the contribution of Belfast comedian Nuala McKeever on BBC Radio Ulster flagship programme Good Morning Ulster on Friday.

The two-and-a-half-hour show extensively covered the royal wedding including Northern Ireland people who had been invited to Windsor for the occasion as well as a group from the Shankill on their party plans for the big day. It also had a local reporter at Windsor to report on the latest preparations.

Ms McKeever was presented as giving an anti-royalist sentiment for one part of the show.

She wondered what "right wing Christians" would make of Prince Harry marrying a "black divorcee".

DUP MP Paisley described the comments as an attack on Christians and a "new low" for the "biased BBC" from a commentator who "couldn't help using it to make anti Christian comments".

He added: "It was a disgrace and an unacceptable attack on people - think if she had made an attack on people of a different faith."

Harry and Meghan Markle will tie the knot in a hotly anticipated wedding on Saturday. Ms Markle is the first mixed race person in modern history to marry a senior British royal.

Ms McKeever said that while she was not adverse to the wedding itself she thought there needed to be "perspective" on where the event sat in terms of world affairs.

The Give My Head Peace star said she would have an interest in news reports and on that dress but was not in any way "gearing up" for the day.

"I was invited to go to a party and thought 'do you know who I am,'" she said.

"For some here it's the glorious celebration for others they are asking why the BBC is leading with Meghan Markle's father and not the slaughter of 53 people in Gaza?"

Presenter Nikki Gregg pointed out it had been a "tough week on the news front" and for some it was light relief and an opportunity to celebrate something positive.

"It's always a question of priority and perspective," continued McKeever, "who am I to say don't get excited about something... each to their own.

"It highlights a little the excessive inequality in the UK. When you see the cake costs £50,000 and you just think of all these people who struggle to get by.

"And I know it has always been thus but in theory they are a modern couple and things are moving on.

"I do laugh to think 'I wonder how a lot of right wing Christians are coping with fact he is marrying a black divorcee'.

"Other than that I wish them well of course. I am just not a particular fan of the idea of us paying for the monarchy and money always being available for their things."

She added: "They also represent a system that is inherently inequal - any reform is grand but doesn't challenge the root attitude there are certain people in society deserving of being fawned over."

To which presenter Gregg cut in asking about the "mindfulness day" the comedian had planned for Saturday instead of taking in the wedding coverage.

"I am not bah humbug at all [over the wedding] good for them but there needs to be priority," she continued.

"I am more distressed by the fact that the BBC which I pay for is spending so much time covering that as opposed to things like Israel actions in Gaza. I think [the BBC] has become a little biased that way but each to their own."

To which the presenter ended the interview outlining how the public can follow the coverage with the BBC.

The BBC has been asked for a comment.

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