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Alex Kane

Danger in removing history simply because it has been 'reassessed' and deemed unacceptable to modern audience

Alex Kane


When the present and the past collide

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New era: Gone With the Wind, which has been dropped from HBO's streaming service

New era: Gone With the Wind, which has been dropped from HBO's streaming service

Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly have apologised over some of their material

Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly have apologised over some of their material

Keith Lemon has apologised

Keith Lemon has apologised

New era: Gone With the Wind, which has been dropped from HBO's streaming service

BBC4 Extra is one of my favourite radio stations, mostly because of the re-runs of comedy shows from the 1960s and 70s. Quite often, the continuity announcer will set up a programme by making reference to "humour of a different era", letting first-time listeners know they may hear words, phrases, jokes and slang they might find offensive.

One of the most popular variety programmes in the BBC's history was The Black and White Minstrel Show (it ran from 1958 to 1978 with regular audiences of over 20 million), featuring singers in blackface make-up.

As early as 1967, the Campaign Against Racial Discrimination presented the BBC with a petition accusing the programme of racism and asking for it to be removed. It was to be another decade before the programme disappeared from the schedules, yet the show continued live tours for a few years.