Viewers have slammed BBC2’s latest comedy Tonight With Vladimir Putin as ‘tone deaf’ and ‘dire’ after the show portrayed Meghan Markle as ‘trailer trash’.
One disappointed watcher even said the two-minute clip they managed to get through was the ‘worst two minutes of my life’.
The new spoof show lampoons well-known figures using 3D technology in front of a live audience.
One segment titled ‘Meghan Markle’s Royal Sparkle’ sees a version of the actress-turned-royal take questions from people in the studio in order to ‘get to know you, the United British of Kingdom people’.
Other parts of the show featured eclectic mix of guests – ranging from Labour spin-doctor Alastair Campbell, former EastEnders actor Joe Swash and broadcaster June Sarpong.
Viewers have slammed BBC2’s latest comedy Tonight With Vladimir Putin as ‘tone deaf’ and ‘dire’ after the show portrayed Meghan Markle as ‘trailer trash’
The new spoof show lampoons well-known figures using 3D technology in front of a live audience, with Russian despot Vladimir Putin as its host
One disappointed watcher even said the two-minute clip they managed to get through was the ‘worst two minutes of my life’, while others slammed it for ‘celebrating the world’s biggest gangster’
At one point, Putin joked with Ms Sarpong about political correctness gone mad – adding that he could no longer call his son ‘handicapped’, and had to instead say ‘I have a daughter’.
Despite the wide array of guests, BBC viewers weren’t amused by the show which was filmed earlier this year.
One Twitter user wrote: ‘You boys and girls aren’t exactly covering yourselves in glory right now anyway, but Tonight with Vladimir Putin is just about the worst thing I’ve seen in ages… and that’s despite the latest Top Gear!’
Meghan’s relationship with her father Thomas Markle is also openly mocked
Another tweeted: ‘I’m actually shocked by how terrible this is, in both concept and execution.’
Alex added: ‘Terrible, please do not spend anymore of my TV licence on this!’
In the show, the outlandish version of Duchess of Sussex develops a violent rage towards her sister-in-law, the Duchess of Cambridge.
‘What makes you angry?’ an audience member asks the Duchess, voiced by actress and writer Gbemisola Ikunelo.
She replies by talking about how Kate asked to borrow her hairbrush.
‘I say no because that’s gross and then I leave my room and come back and I can tell she’s used my hairbrush anyway because it’s covered in skanky hair that’s going grey and I say, “Stay the f*** out of my trailer or I’ll cut you, Kate”,’ she shouts back.
Meghan’s relationship with her father Thomas Markle is also openly mocked.
‘I’d just like to know, how’s your dad?,’ says another questioner.
The character bluntly replies: ‘Great question, next!’
Other disappointed viewers compared the show to Black Mirror – the satirical show by Charlie Brooker, which often features dystopias created out of the misuse of current technologies.
Gavin Winters said: ‘What is this weird BBC2 chat show with a CGI Vladimir Putin? It’s giving me serious vibes of #BlackMirror’s “The Waldo Moment”.’
Myles Cheshire commented: ‘Tonight with Vladimir Putin is like something straight out of black mirror wtf.’
At one point, Putin joked with June Sarpong about political correctness gone mad – adding that he could no longer call his son ‘handicapped’, and had to instead say ‘I have a daughter’
Others compared it to the satirical show Black Mirror, which often features dystopias created out of the misuse of current technologies
Michael JH added: ‘Tonight with Vladimir Putin genuinely feels like we’ve gone back to the 50s and are being brainwashed with propaganda. Jesus christ, it’s like Black Mirror.’
Actress Ikunelo defended her portrayal of the new royal, telling the Telegraph that she had written it to be the opposite to the ‘incredibly agreeable and friendly’ Meghan.
‘I was interested in finding humour in the ridiculous… What if somebody who seems super lovely in public actually has a really mean streak? What would that look like?’, she explained.
A BBC spokesperson said: ‘Viewers will clearly recognise this performance as a spoof and highly satirical, within the context of a programme which lampoons a wide range of public figures and the public’s perception of them.’
Reaction to the inclusion of Meghan as a ‘trailer trash’ American has been roundly criticised on social media.
Anita Singh said: ‘This genuinely might be the worst thing the BBC has ever put on TV. Apart from the baffling decision to include the Meghan Markle stuff, it is less funny than Mrs Brown’s Boys.’
Georgia-Lee Cleland wrote: ‘@BBC so darker skin equals trash? Even though it’s the white side of her family that exemplify ‘trailer trash’ narrative.’
Ronald James Wallace slammed the BBC, calling for the licence fee to be scrapped.
‘Yet more evidence of the poor standards we have to put up with from the BBC. The sooner the licence fee is scrapped and they have to raise their own funds the better!,’ he said.