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Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen ‘knew he was famous’ after Royle Family gay slur

Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen has revealed he knew he was famous when he was made the subject of a homophobic slur on The Royle Family.

The flamboyant interior designer was famously hurled barbs at by grumpy dad Jim while watching BBC homes makeover show Changing Rooms in one episode of the iconic show.

The popular sitcom, which ran from 1998 to 2012, followed the life of television-obsessed Manchester family The Royles, with the humour provided by their old-fashioned opinions.

It was recently hit with a language warning over homophobic slurs and other offensive remarks.

In the third episode of the second series, fans see Jim Royle – who is played by actor Ricky Tomlinson – watching an episode of DIY show Changing Rooms, where he calls Llewelyn-Bowen a “nancy boy”.

The flamboyant interior designer was famously hurled barbs at by grumpy dad Jim while watching BBC homes makeover show Changing Rooms in one episode of the iconic show

After causing uproar, it is the latest TV series to have been given a “contains discriminatory language which some viewers may find offensive” tag, following the backlash from Dad’s Army, Allo Allo! and Fawlty Towers.

But Laurence has revealed that watching the controversial episode of the comedy when it first aired was a breakthrough for him.

He told the Sun that it was the moment he realised he was famous.

“That was an iconic moment to me. Jackie and I were just watching television and suddenly I was on it without any kind of warning.

“The Royle Family then was huge. Everyone was obsessed with it. Suddenly there I was and I was like, ‘Oh my god, I’m famous now!’”

Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen 'knew he was famous' after Royle Family gay slur
Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen has revealed he knew he was famous when he was made the subject of a homophobic slur on The Royle Family

Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen 'knew he was famous' after Royle Family gay slur
In series two, episode three, Jim calls Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen a ‘nancy boy’

After causing a stir, news of the offensive remark warning hit the Llewelyn-Bowen household, causing some confusion with Laurence’s daughters who asked him: “Why is Prince Charles calling you a Nancy Boy?”

Laurence, 55, said: “Both my daughters saw that and got the wrong end of the stick. They thought it was the Royal Family because they are a generation who didn’t watch The Royle Family. I had to clear that one up.”

The dad-of-two, who has been married to wife Jackie for 31 years, went on to explain that the “Nancy Boy” line was indicative of the times.

“Of course that’s what he’s going to say,” Laurence said. “That’s probably what most fathers said when I appeared on their screen.

“I’m completely and utterly realistic about that. It was very much part of its era.

Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen 'knew he was famous' after Royle Family gay slur
The Royle Family has been given a “contains discriminatory language which some viewers may find offensive” tag

“It is a very dangerous thing to remove anything we feel is contentious from history. But you do need to go, ‘Well, OK, that happened, let’s make sure it doesn’t happen again’.”

The Royle Family initially had an “adult humour” tag, but it has been extended to make fans aware of the offensive terms used throughout.

A statement from the BBC said: “Older programmes contain language that some viewers find offensive, inappropriate or which have now fallen out of use.

“For that reason, we do make that clear on iPlayer and elsewhere.”


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