A STROUD school has issued an apology after horrified parents expressed their shock at being shown what some have referred to as a racist sketch during a school information evening.

Archway School had invited Year 9 parents to attend the hour long evening on Thursday to discuss how parents and staff could work in partnership, but some were left appalled after being shown a video of Ronnie Corbett with a “blacked up” face appearing to ridicule a foreign accent.

“A teacher giving the presentation said the clips would show us how important communication is, but we couldn’t believe it when it when it came on the screen,” one horrified parent said.

“I love the Two Ronnies but showing someone with their face blacked up in order to laugh at their accent in this day and age... I was furious.”

The clip that was shown was from the 1970s comedy sketch show the Two Ronnies which was written by, and starred, Ronnie Barker and Ronnie Corbett.

Set in a small shop the sketch opens with Barker in his familiar role as a brown-coated shop keeper, before Corbett enters the scene wearing dark make up, or ‘black face’ as it is more commonly known.

As Corbett’s assumed to be Arabic character enters the shop Barker mutters “Old Ali Baba’s a bit off course”, before turning to address him.

“Morning Abdul,” he continues.

What follows is several minutes of what some might find uncomfortable viewing as Barker repeatedly misunderstands him due to his thick ‘foreign’ accent.

Firstly he hears mouse instead of mousse, China man instead of cinnamon, Jewish instead of juice and after each misunderstanding canned laughter can be heard.

“The Two Ronnies are brilliant, but there’s just no place for this racist humour anymore,” another parent told the SNJ.

“Why not use the fork candles sketch instead? We all love that one.”

Colin Belford, Archway School said that he had personally contacted some of the parents to apologise for the inappropriate choice.

“I was contacted by some parents following a Year 9 information evening last week,” Mr Belford said.

“They were understandably and justifiably concerned and offended by a YouTube clip which was used on the evening.

“The clip was of a Two Ronnies sketch from the 1970s: the intention had been to demonstrate communication difficulties.

“I have spoken to each of the parents who contacted me to apologise for this inappropriate choice.

“I am grateful that they recognised that this is neither typical of Archway nor its inclusivity. The matter is being dealt with internally.

Results of 2016 a study by broadcasting regulator Ofcom showed that television viewers and radio listeners have become less tolerant of racist or discriminatory words.

Tony Close, director of content standards at Ofcom, said when the results were published: “People draw the line at racist and discriminatory language - participants felt this was the most unacceptable of all.”

“Most people see these words as derogatory and insulting.”

Ex-Ofcom chief Ed Richards said the trend was part of a wider backlash against all forms of discriminatory content on television, something that was borne out by audience research conducted by Ofcom.

“As a result, some programmes from a previous generation of television could no longer be shown,” he said.

“[There are] comedies from the seventies which had certain racial stereotypes in them which are unimaginable today and if they were shown people would find them offensive and that wouldn’t just be people from black and ethnic minority communities, it would be everybody.

“I think the country has moved on in a very important way there.”