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British 'Celebrity Big Brother' apologizes for phone glitch "mistake"

UPI News Service, 01/25/2007 

The British show "Celebrity Big Brother," reeling from complaints of racism, apologized for seeming to favor the person about whom the comments were made.

The "reality" show's producers apologized after appearing to favor keeping on the show Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty, one of five housemates up for eviction, which is determined by phone-in voting, Sky News said.

In Wednesday' voting, the telephone number given for four housemates was to evict. The number given for Shetty was to allow her to continue.

Channel 4, which airs the show, said the phone listing was a "genuine mistake" caused by a technical error.

"We would like to make clear that this week it's a vote to evict," the network said in a statement. "Channel 4 would like to apologize for any confusion that may have been caused."

More than 45,000 complaints by viewers have been lodged against "Celebrity Big Brother," after an episode in which several housemates made derogatory remarks directed to Shetty, a star in Indian.

In another development, Channel 4 said the controversy saved the show from being "the most boring in years." Director of television Kevin Lygo made the comment in an interview with Broadcast magazine.

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Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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