Blog: Olly WehringCobra leaves the Big Brother house

Olly Wehring | 19 January 2007

Indian-style premium beer brand Cobra has today (19 January) announced that it is pulling out of being a supplier of TV programme Celebrity Big Brother, following a well-documented race row in the UK this week.

Bollywood film star Shilpa Shetty has been the subject of a torrent of abuse from some housemates, deemed racially motivated by nearly 40,000 people who lodged complaints.

The debate, which has sparked a media circus, even reached Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons, with our Prime Minister claiming that he didn’t watch the frowned upon, but addictive, show (of course you don’t, Tony).

Cobra said: “Cobra Beer agreed to send some cases of beer for the Big Brother green room some weeks ago, as we have for the last few series. We are against all forms of bullying and racism and due to the recent broadcast behaviour of certain individuals on the show, we have now requested for our supplier sponsorship to be removed.”

Dining at an upmarket city curry house this week, of which we are blessed with many in this country, one thing struck me in particular. Everybody was drinking Cobra, either in its 650ml of 330ml serving. It seems that having a curry and a pint has taken a step forward in class, and fair play to Cobra for capitalising. The UK brewer, stocked by over 6,000 restaurants and most retailers, has become as synonymous to curry as Tiger is with Chinese cuisine.

I’ll be eating in tonight and watching the BB eviction show, between number one bully culprit Jade Goody and Shetty. The show is certain to have plenty of bite, even if there are no Cobras.


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