Funnygirl Whoopi Goldberg is poised to stir controversy on her upcoming sitcom - by tackling issues concerning Middle Eastern people in America.

Goldberg's self-titled comedy, which debuts this autumn (03), will for the first time since the atrocities of 11 September (01) shine a spotlight on the particular problems facing people of Middle Eastern descent visiting or living in America.

She says, "We are going to tackle as many things as we can. People may not like it, but they will talk about it, kind of like 'ARCHIE BUNKER of 2003'.

"There isn't anything we don't feel we could do."

In WHOOPI, Goldberg will star as a small hotel owner in New York, with actor Omid Djalili playing her Arab handyman NASIM. Many of the jokes about terrorism and being from the Middle East will come from Djalili's character.

The show has already come under fire from anti-smoking groups who are upset that Goldberg's character smokes.

29/07/2003 02:34