Wednesday, 16 March 2011
Here’s to you Mr O’Reilly! In anticipation of St Patrick’s Day
A friend of mine recently said to me; ‘I’m just Shocked to see that on TV! I mean the racial stereotypes were disgraceful. The BBC would not get away with a TV show that mocked Irish people now. OK, it was very funny, but it was like a TV show from another world.’
She was talking about this episode from Fawlty Towers, where the builder Mr O’Reilly is called such epithets as ‘a thick Irish joke’. As an Irishwoman, I’m not that offended by this episode because it is extremely funny, and the humour is all the better for not being curtailed by a politically correct scheme. Friends of mine who watch it think it’s like something ‘from another world’ because in 2011, British television may show pornographic scenes from the sex lives of teens, but a bit of slapstick where Mrs Fawlty whacks the Irish builder with an umbrella is now considered offensive.
Everyone who has not given Fawlty Towers up for Lent can enjoy this on the eve of St Patrick’s Day.
PS – Not to put a damper on this light-hearted post, but today in 2011, the Irish people who I have seen as being actual victims of anti-Irish sentiment are Irish priests. Innocent Irish priests in clerical garb get reminded of all the grievous offences of Irish priests, and are sometimes insulted with spiteful nastiness such as “do you prefer little boys or girls?” A priest that I know was pestered by some fellow in a restaurant with that question. This is surely abuse of priests.