So inappropriate Maureen Lipman fumes as BBC airs Nigella Lawson show after Ukraine news

Maureen Lipman discusses 'woke' culture in acting

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Dame Maureen Lipman, 75, has said she “hates cookery programmes”, and was particularly annoyed when Nigella Lawson’s show aired following a “heinous” news segment about the war in Ukraine. Maureen accepts that the BBC’s scheduling has nothing to do with Nigella, but maintains that she thought the timing was “inappropriate”.

Maureen said: “The other night, the news from the Ukraine was absolutely heinous and then the television changed… and it’s Nigella.

“Obviously, this isn’t Nigella’s fault, but there she is saying, ‘I like steak. I like to do it with double cream…’

“And I’m just thinking, this is so inappropriate.”

Maureen has previously been critical about TV chefs and claimed their shows pander to the UK’s obesity crisis by showing “uncookable food”.

In a 2019 interview, also with Radio Times, the Celebrity Gogglebox star said chefs “pile food on top of itself like edible Jenga”.

She pointed out that there is a vast amount of restaurants and takeaways on UK high streets and questioned who was cooking, “other than certain bloggers, Nigella Lawson and career vegans?”

The outspoken Coronation Street actress regularly weighs in on issues that matter to her.

Last month, she divided opinions by sharing her thoughts on “woke culture” and how it can impact casting in the acting industry.

She appeared on Love Your Weekend with Alan Titchmarsh, and the pair discussed her comments surrounding Dame Helen Mirren playing former Israili Prime Minister, Golda Meir, and the fact a non-Jewish actress would play the part.

Maureen clarified to the host: “What I’m saying is we are in an age of woke culture.

“It’s inconvenient to have to think about what pronoun you’re going to say… We have to get used to accepting that Anne Boleyn is mixed-race, that David Copperfield is Asian and all those things.

“That really now we can’t have a transgender part which isn’t played by somebody trans, and that gay men should play Russell T Davies and all of that.

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“What doesn’t it apply to? It doesn’t apply to Jewish roles and that was the whole basis of the argument.”

Maureen has had an illustrious career spanning more than five decades.

Her filmography includes roles in The Pianist, Educating Rita, Coronation Street and Jonathan Creek.

She is also renowned for her stage work following appearances with the National Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Maureen was awarded a CBE in 1999 and was made a Dame in the 2020 Queen’s Birthday Honours for her services to charity, entertainment, and the arts.

She received the award from Prince Charles at Windsor Castle in 2021, where she was accompanied by her son, Adam Rosenthal.

Maureen also shares a daughter, Amy, with her late husband Jack Rosenthal.

She was married to the dramatist from 1974 until his death in 2004 from cancer.

Read the full interview in this week’s Radio Times – out now.

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