The case of the racist Scrabble board

The BBC has apologised after the word “Jigaboo” appeared on a Scrabble board on Jonathan Creek

Its intriguing mysteries and gentle brand of humour have proved a hit with audiences worldwide.

But fans of BBC detective series Jonathan Creek were left shocked after the latest episode of the popular drama used a highly-offensive racist word, apparently without realising its meaning.

Viewers immediately took to Twitter, revealing their disbelief that the word ‘Jigaboo’ – a derogatory term used to describe a black person – had featured in the episode which was broadcast at 9pm last Friday.

It was included in a scene in which actors John Bird and June Whitfield were playing Scrabble. A close-up of the board was shown on camera, with the word clearly visible at the top of the screen.

The characters, seemingly oblivious to the word’s meaning, are then shown innocently discussing whether it is a real word or not. The incident was unconnected to the rest of the episode, which saw the super sleuth trying to solve a kidnapping case.

Such was the level of shock among some viewers, that they immediately posted messages online questioning if they had heard correctly.

One Twitter user wrote: “Did someone just say “jigaboo” on Jonathan Creek? Is that allowed?”

Valentine Smith said: “Oh dear BBC. In Jonathan Creek one of the nonsense Scrabble words was a very offensive racist word. You must try harder to be less offensive.”

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Somehow, I got to this age (grandmother) without ever hearing this word.  And I am sick of all this crap.