Programme has attracted 4,500 complaints about alleged racist bullying

Celebrity Big Brother has received 4,500 complaints about alleged racist bullying of housemate Shilpa Shetty.

Media watchdog Ofcom has received 3,500 – the highest number of complaints ever made about the show – and Channel 4 has had 1,000 emails and calls.

Viewers have claimed Bollywood actress Shilpa, 29, is being victimised by fellow housemates Jade Goody, Danielle Lloyd and Jo O’Meara.

In last night’s episode, Jo declared that Indians are thin because they are always ill as a result of undercooking their food.

Other housemates also complained that Shilpa had touched other housemates’ food with her hands. Danielle sneered: ‘You don’t know where those hands have been.’

Allegations of racism first surfaced when Jade’s mum Jackiey moved into the house. She repeatedly referred to Shilpa as ‘the Indian’ and refused to pronounce her name properly.

Channel 4 was forced to step into the debate and said it was monitoring the housemates for any signs of racism or bullying.

The broadcaster said in a statement: ‘Big Brother does not tolerate bullying or racist abuse in any form. Big Brother is closely monitoring all the housemates and will take appropriate measures to reprimand such behaviour where necessary.’

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