British TV presenter apologises over ‘potato famine’ joke
A British TV presenter has apologised for an off the cuff joke about the Irish famine.
The unfortunate gaffe occurred on ITV’s This Morning programme during an item called the Great Fridge Debate about the best way to store food.
The presenter of the section, Alice Beer, suggested it was worth putting potatoes in the fridge to make them last longer. Co-presenter Eamonn Holmes scoffed at the idea and said: “I’m from Ireland. You don‘t put potatoes in the fridge.”
Beer replied: “You want to preserve the life of your potatoes. You Irish should know that. There was a bit of a shortage once upon a time.”
Holmes looked uncomfortable with the remark but said no more.
However, many viewers then took to Twitter to complain. One viewer said: “Nothing like a bit of casual racism & making light of a million people’s deaths but it’s only the Irish so it doesn’t matter.”
Another pointed out: “Shortage of potatoes comment was a bit of a low blow.”
Beer then used Twitter to insist she meant no harm: “I apologise for the insensitivity of my comment which of course was never intended to offend. It was stupid”.
You can watch the incident on the video starting at 4.55.