Contrite Christopher Biggins says he was already planning Auschwitz trip before Big Brother incident


Christopher Biggins, who was kicked out of Celebrity Big Brother for making a joke about the Holocaust, has revealed that he was planning to visit Auschwitz even before his appearance on the reality TV show.

The actor told the the Sun that he had already decided to go to the Nazi death camp in Poland in October.

He said: "Before I went into the house, my partner Neil and I were talking about it because we just feel the whole scenario of the Jewish annihilation is so horrific that we wanted to experience it for ourselves."

He said he was looking forward to seeing the camp - where over a million Jews were murdered - especially after what had happened on Big Brother.

Mr Biggins had told Jewish fellow contestant Katie Waissel, as she waited for the bathroom: “You better be careful or they’ll be putting you in a shower and taking you to a room.” The comment was not broadcast.

Channel 5 bosses decided to remove Mr Biggins – a former winner of I’m a Celebrity, Get me Out of Here - after what they termed as a “number of comments capable of causing great offence to housemates and the viewing public.”

Viewers had complained about his reference to bisexuals as “the worst type” and his claim that AIDS was a “bisexual” disease.

The 67-year-old said later that he had apologised to Ms Waissel, a former X factor star, at the time.

“I found Katie and said ‘I am mortified. I would never do anything to upset you. I love you and I’m really sorry’ ”, he told the Sun on Sunday.

Mr Biggins added that he was “mortified” by what had happened, saying: “I love Jewish people. Listen, my best friend is Lesley Joseph. You can’t get much more Jewish than that.”

However, Ms Waissel’s family were not pacified.

Speaking out about the incident, Ms Waissel’s mother told The Mirror: “If his comments are as bad as we’re led to believe, they constitute a hate crime – police should be called in to investigate.

“Our whole family have a proud Jewish heritage and are absolutely disgusted by Biggins.

“But he’s not just hurt my daughter. It sounds like he’s said things offensive to most Jews. He was a national treasure but now he’s not fit for TV. He should be banned – he’s a liability.”

Diana Waissel said that she had been worried about her daughter having to be in the house with someone who would express those views.

“I’ve been in tears. I just wish I could give her a big hug to comfort her.”

Mrs Waissel added: “Katie’s great grandparents, Sidney and Katie, were in Auschwitz in the Holocaust. They survived, but what went on there is incomprehensible.

“Katie went to Poland when she was 17. It was a really moving trip for her, as it is for most people. For Biggins to insult Jewish people beggars belief.”

Mrs Waissel said her daughter had originally been excited about being in the house with the theatre favourite.
She said: “She told me, ‘He’ll be such a laugh.’ He was one of the ones she was most excited about.”

Mr Biggins' agent Jonathan Shalit, who is Jewish, said his client did not mean to 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."

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