A MIDLAND shop manager says Golliwog dolls are selling out in the wake of last week’s BBC racism storm.
TV star Carol Thatcher, 53, was suspended by the Beeb earlier this week after comparing a male tennis player to the controversial black dolls.
But Georgie Haywood, manager of The Pied Piper in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, says she is still selling the toys and demand is higher than ever.
“Our customers have all been really supportive and we’re doing a great trade in Gollies,” she said.
“They are collectable but not cheap as they go for anywhere between £38 and £140. We’ve sold at least 10 this week because so many people want them.”
Thatcher, daughter of former Prime Minister Maggie, was crowned Queen of the Jungle three years ago after winning ITV show I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here.
But she was dropped from her roving reporter role on BBC’s The One Show after making her “golliwog” comments backstage.
The dolls, which used to feature on the front of Robinson jam jars, were popular toys in the 50s and 60s but have since come under fire from anti-racism campaigners.
Yet Ms Haywood, 33, said she believed the controversial dolls still made great gifts.
“We do sell a lot of gollies anyway, but this week in particular some people were worried that they might be taken off the shelves, so we sold more,” she said.
“They’re just nice black dolls. Why have a white toy and not a black one?
“I think it would be more racist not to sell them and we only ever get good reactions from black customers. We’ve sold lots of the dolls to black customers and they have no problem with them.
“It’s political correctness gone mad.”
One Show presenter Adrian Chiles yesterday revealed what the ex-PM’s daughter had actually said and claimed her comments referred to French tennis player, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
“Carol was in full flow, talking about who’d win the Australian Open,” Midland-born Chiles said.
“‘You also have to consider the Frogs,’ she said. ‘You know, that Froggy golliwog guy.’”
He added that Thatcher went on to say: “If I was Prince Harry, I’d get shot for saying that.”
Last night her brother Mark Thatcher was quoted as saying that his sister “hasn’t a racist bone in her body” and accused the BBC of “behaving like the Stasi”.
It is not the first time that the dolls have sparked controversy.
In 2006 we told how a Midland artist ignored the threat of prosecution by creating an Asian Gollywog with the blessing of Muslims.
Stuart Redfern, of Worcester, had designed a new range of the controversial toys, which also included gay, chav and convict dolls.
He said: “I don’t believe Gollies are racist at all. The people who find them offensive are usually white and middle-class.”