Wendy Richard has sparked a new Big Brother 'racism' controversy after referring to "inscrutable Chinese" while talking about Kathreya Kasisopa.

The former Eastenders actress was appearing on comment show Big Brother's Little Brother when she appeared to make a racially insensitive remark about Thai housemate Kathreya.

Richard said: "I was a big fan of Kat, and we would discuss it amongst our friends and they said she is not right.

"I looked at her through different eyes, and I have to admit they were right and I was wrong.

"She is fake, and she is very cute. What is it they say about these inscrutable Chinese? And she is Thai, but it is all Oriental isn't it?

"Well, it is to me anyway."

Presenter George Lamb stepped in as the audience gasped in surprise at Richard's remark, the Daily Mirror newspaper reports, and said: "I don't think that is unique to Asian people, more to Kat."

However, Richard added: "They don't betray their emotions on their face, that is what I meant."

The 65-year-old actress' comments were edited out of the repeat on E4+1 an hour later.

The newspaper reports that broadcasting watchdog Ofcom had received a number of complaints regarding Richards' Monday night comments.

The actress' spokesman Kevin Francis issued a statement, saying: "Wendy would have not intended the comments that way, she is not racist at all.

"To be very honest with you, I think it has been blown out of all proportion."

03/09/2008 14:51:36