Expressing its profound regret for any offence caused to viewers, Channel 4 has said it was launching a review into its Big Brother reality show following racist bullying of Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty by fellow contestants that sparked an international row.
Speaking outside Channel 4's offices following a board meeting to discuss the future of the show last night, its Chairman Luke Johnson said Celebrity Big Brother would remain on air until its completion next week, but it has commissioned a review of the "editorial and compliance processes" which support it.
"Clearly many people were worried and offended by what they saw. I want to reassure them that we take the views of our audience very seriously and profoundly regret any offence that may have been caused."
"All board members of Channel 4 abhor racism. We are also committed to ensuring that the Channel continues to fulfil its remit to explore important social issues," he said.
The statement came as senior managers briefed the board's eight non-executive members on the network's handling of the damaging row about racist bullying of Shilpa Shetty.
Johnson said the board would receive a full report and would seek to identify lessons that could be learned for the future. The broadcaster had been facing calls to axe the show completely.