A STRICTLY Come Dancing star has sparked fury after admitting he had never tried curry before because his nan called it “foreign muck”.
Appearing on the BBC’s Platinum Jubilee Event programme, Len Goodman was seen scrunching his face as he admitted to never eating the dish.
The professional dancer and Strictly judge said he’d “always been worried” about the food following his nan’s comments.
Chef John Torode was seen laughing immediately after the 78-year-old’s remarks.
BBC presenter Kirsty Young was silent as Goodman explained his thoughts on the dish, admitting he had only tried Coronation chicken for the first time on Saturday.
Asked if he was much of a cook, Goodman said: “My wife did Coronation chicken yesterday for our tea and I’ve never had it before.
“No, I’ve never had curry and curry powder and all that before. No.
“My nan used to call it all foreign muck so I’ve always been worried about it.”
After that, Goodman quickly admitted to enjoying Coronation chicken.
He said: “But I must admit it was delicious. It was so tasty.”
A dollop of old fashioned British Empire xenophobia from Len Goodman on the BBC’s Jubilee coverage:
“Curry and curry power… my nan used to call it all foreign muck”. pic.twitter.com/osDXEgIQJD
— Adam Schwarz (@AdamJSchwarz) June 5, 2022
The remarks prompted anger online, with political commentator Adam Schwarz saying: “A dollop of old fashioned British Empire xenophobia from Len Goodman on the BBC’s Jubilee coverage: ‘Curry and curry power… my nan used to call it all foreign muck’.
“Yes, Goodman was quoting his nan, who was probably born during the 19th century. But if you’re sharing a racist quote, doing it while physically wincing at the target of the racism and telling it as a supposedly humorous anecdote is no way to do it.”
Another Twitter user tweeted: “Petition to get the BBC and Len Goodman to apologise for his choice of words calling Coronation Chicken “foreign muck” in the words of his nan, apparently. Appalling and NO excuses because of his age.
“We forgive older generations for things like this too much.”
Len Goodman on BBC1 talking about how his gran called curry powder ‘foreign muck’ with a laugh. It’s casual, just normal, to talk this way. Not a shred of self-awareness.
— Liz Tray (@LizTray) June 5, 2022
User Claudia Boleyn said: “Not Len Goodman lovingly quoting how his nan referred to curry as ‘foreign muck’ and that’s why he’s nervous of it now. This on the BBC Jubilee coverage.”
One user suggested Goodman ought to brush up on his history.
She said: “Someone should tell Len Goodman that Coronation chicken is a British recipe, created for the coronation by two English chefs. It’s based on a dish created for George V in 1935 called Jubilee Chicken. Curry has been an accepted part of our national diet for over 200 years.
“Makes you wonder if Len Goodman has ever eaten pasta, or anything bought at a patisserie. And no, he’s not just reporting what his Nan said, he’s telling us why he’s never tried something. At no point has he gone, “Wait, ‘foreign’ doesn’t mean something is ‘muck’…”
Some pointed out that Goodman himself was in a BBC programme with Ainsley Harriet seven years ago in which he toured the UK in a bid to “educate his palate”.
Funny how Len Goodman is still pushing that line 7 years after literally doing a show with Ainsley Harriott going around tasting “foreign muck”
— Ginger Pirlo 🇧🇷 (@TheGingerPirlo_) June 5, 2022
And another added: “Len Goodman demonstrating another ‘British tradition ‘ casual racism and they all laughed! The arrogance and perceived superiority over other nations is truly sickening! He should apologise!”
After Goodman’s comments, fellow guest Torode said “it was interesting isn’t it”, adding that his own gran would never have used curry powder and wouldn’t have known what pasta was.
Host Young responded: “Changed days. Changed days.”
At a later point in the show, commentator Clare Balding apologised for Goodman’s remarks.
A BBC spokesperson confirmed that her apology “related to remarks made during the section of the show” where Goodman made his comments.