PREVIEW The Politically Incorrect Show

Channel 4, Mon l7—Fri 21 May, various times around 1 1pm.

With few exceptions - punk rock, Teletubbies, Fergie perhaps the UK is more of a recipient than a sender of cultural and social trends when it comes to the USA. Of course, many of the things our friends over the Atlantic have given us have been either unhelpful (the frisbee), unnecessary (Married With Children) or downright pointless (Billy Ray Cyrus). The notion of political correctness pretty much traverses all three.

Bill Maher, US stand-up and sitcom veteran, clearly saw the chance to cash in on people's respect or loathing for a term whose coinage became regular currency in the US in 1984. The Politically Incorrect Show first came to American small screens on the ABC network six years ago and has continued to

enthral and appall viewers with lively and comedic

debate on the issues of the day.

’If I don't get one letter a day saying, "I will never watch your show again" then I'm not doing my job,’ insists Maher. ’Recently, I kind of took off on the hoopla we were making about the three American POWs being released from Yugoslavia. It was just a bit like the Lady Diana funeral, things were just getting so out of proportion. There were guys in stinking hell-holes after World War II and Vietnam for years here we had a guy with a scratch on his face and people are doing the yellow ribbon thing and chanting "free at last". They were being treated like tourists who had had a bad experience. They're soldiers! They're supposed to have

bad experiences!!’ You get the idea.

Among those who have faced up to Maher's charmingly savage technique are Quentin Tarantino, OJ.


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Time for tease: The Politically Incorrect Bill Maher



Simpson and Joan Rivers while those entering the lions'

den over here include Emma Samms, Jeremy Irons and

with Nixon.’

David Frost. 'When I was a kid, David Frost was a big star here and I thought he was really cool, so British and very dapper,’ nostalgises Maher. ’Then he did interviews

So, who's better (or worse) at the un-PC game the US or us? 'I would have to say Britain is less PC because you don't have our tyranny of the sensitive,’ insists your 43- year-old host. ’A woman was breast-feeding her baby in a store and they told her she couldn't because it was scaring children. She sued and won. People in LA are campaigning that if they don't get a seat on a bus they shouldn’t have to pay the fare. Another woman is suing

because she was told to get her dog out of a store.‘ But

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