Ejected Celebrity Big Brother contestant Christopher Biggins has apologised for his Holocaust “joke” aimed at a Jewish housemate.
Biggins was booted out of the Channel 5 reality show after being given three warnings by Big Brother for remarks which included a comment about gas chambers to X Factor star Katie Waissel, who is Jewish.
As housemates queued for the bathroom on Monday in a moment which was not broadcast, Biggins admits to having said: “You better be careful or they’ll be putting you in a shower and taking you to a room.”
Biggins told Jewish News: “I am mortified by what I said. It was a stupid thing to do and I truly regret it. I apologised to Katie straight away and we cleared the air, but I’d also like to apologise to the wider Jewish community.”
Admitting that the remark was about the Nazis and gas chambers, he said: “I suppose I was, yes. But it didn’t occur to me that’s what I was referring to.”
Biggins said he had said sorry to Katie in person after being given a warning by Big Brother, and was sorry for his “trite, ridiculous remark”.
Showbiz agent Jonathan Shalit, who represents Biggins, told Jewish News: “I have been close friends and worked with Biggins for many years and can confirm that he would never intentionally cause offence. If something was said in jest which caused offence then I am certain that was not his intention. Biggins is a much loved and wonderful man.”
But in an interview in The Sun on Sunday, he stood by his comments that Aids was “a bisexual disease”, adding: “I said there were a lot of bisexuals who went to these (third world) countries and had sex and then took it back to their wives or lovers and gave them the virus. That’s what I’ve read and that’s what I believe.”
The pantomime veteran and actor, 67, received a warning on Friday after he made controversial statements on bisexuality and Aids during a conversation with house mates Aubrey O’Day and Renee Graziano.
He said that homosexuals had been blamed for the rise of the “killer disease” but he thought it “was a bisexual disease, if I’m honest”.
Graziano said she had been told by an unnamed former CIA agent that “they gave it (Aids) to kill off third world countries,” which Biggins agreed with, stating he thought it was “man-made”.
Biggins then said: “There were a lot of bisexuals who went to those countries and had sex with those people and brought it back to their own families in America and that’s how it became a worldwide disease.”
This followed an earlier incident where Biggins told Graziano: “I think the worst type is the bisexuals, what it is is people not wanting to admit they are gay.”
Speaking after his removal from the house, he commented: “I know a lot of bisexuals and they’re very nice people. But I think they do f*** up a lot of relationships.”
Big Brother called Biggins into the Diary Room on Friday and noted his third use of “unacceptable language”, which left them with “no choice” but to remove him from the house.
“I’m very sorry and I’m very sad,” he responded.
The actor could now lose out on his £150,000 appearance fee, according to reports in The Sunday Star, as he broke the rules.
After leaving the house, Biggins thanked fans on Twitter for their “kindness and support”.