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NRI human rights lawyer to review Big Brother
H S Rao in London | January 24, 2007 09:24 IST
Channel 4 has appointed non resident Indian human rights lawyer Rabinder Singh QC to join its review of the reality show Big Brother, which came under flak after Jade Goody and other housemates were accused of racist bullying of Indian actress Shilpa Shetty.
Rabinder Singh, a barrister at Matrix Chambers, which he co-founded with the Prime Minister Tony Blair's wife Cherie, will sit as the independent member on a three member-strong panel commissioned in the wake of the race row that erupted last week.
He will be joined on the review panel by Channel 4 group finance director Anne Bulford and non-executive director Tony Hall, chief executive of the Royal Opera House and a former chief executive of BBC News.
"I hope to be able to offer a robust and independent perspective to the process," said Singh on Tuesday night.
In 2003, he became the first high court judge to wear a turban instead of a wig.
He has experience in advocacy at all levels, from the Employment Tribunal to the House of Lords, the Privy Council, the European Court of Justice and the European Court of Human rights. He has experience of public enquiries as well as court work.
Channel 4 chairman Luke Johnson and chief executive Andy Duncanboard commissioned a review of the 'editorial and compliance processes' of Big Brother on Tuesday following the outcry against racial abuses shown in the show. There was even a demand for axing the show.
"Andy and I are delighted Rabinder has agreed to assist the channel in its review," Johnson said, adding, "He is hugely respected in his field and demonstrably independent from Channel 4. I believe his help and expertise will be invaluable."
Media watchdog Ofcom has received more than 40,000 complaints about Celebrity Big Brother. Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty is now odds-on favourite to win the show, which concludes on Sunday.
Jade Goody, who was booted out of the show last week, told a talk show on Tuesday that she was living in 'fear,' and that her home ha been 'vandalised.'
"I haven't been staying at home because, as you can imagine, things haven't been great," she said during an appearance on Television Five talk show The Wright Stuff.
"I went home this morning to get a change of clothes and my house windows had been smashed," she said.She has been staying in a hotel since she was evicted from the show on Friday. Essex police said later that pane of glass at Goody's home in Ongar had been cracked but there were no smashed windows. The incident has been logged as criminal damage.