Alan Davies’ TV show ‘made Debden look racist’

RESIDENTS and businesses have blasted part of a TV programme about the teenage memories of Loughton-born comedian Alan Davies, saying it makes the community look racist.

Mr Davies’ Teenage Revolution showed the Jonathan Creek and QI star reminiscing about his years growing up in the town.

The last section of the programme was set outside The Sir Winston Churchill in Broadway, where he interviewed Ian Bonner, a former member of the Debden Skins – a gang which the TV funnyman remembered for their tendency to start fights and who were often affiliated with the National Front.

Landlord James Cosentino said he was not told his pub would be linked to a racist gang in the show.

He said: “I wasn’t happy. It made my pub look bad. We’re a family-orientated pub, open to everyone.

“If I’d have known they were going to interview a former skinhead here, I’d have said no.

“That guy’s never drank in this pub.”

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Customer Geoff Boughton, of Colson Road, Loughton, said: “I quite like Alan Davies and if you watch the whole show in context, it is about an issue from 20 or 30 years ago.

“But it did give the impression that it’s all BNP in Debden.

“A lot of the BNP votes here were protest votes and when people did get an alternative they kicked them out.”

Dave Stannard, of the Loughton Broadway Town Centre partnership, said: “I enjoyed the programme, it’s really a shame about the last 10 minutes.

“It worries us that people will think this is a racist area.

“It’s a shame he didn’t hang around long enough to see the BNP obliterated at the general election.”

A spokesman for programme broadcasters Channel 4 said: “This series follows Alan’s personal journey into his past, revisiting a period in which race and class tensions were widespread.

“The series reflects Britain 25 years ago and serves to illustrate how much has changed in the intervening years.”