UK: Part-Indian actor called 'Paki'; sparks race row

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London:  A television dance contest watched by millions in the UK is in the midst of a race row after a professional dancer and television presenter admitted calling an actress of mixed parentage as a 'Paki'. The mother of the actress is an Indian.

Professional ballroom dancer Anton Du Beke called television actress Laila Rouass, who has a Moroccan father and Indian mother, by the insulting term a fortnight ago, The News of the World, a largely circulated tabloid reported.

The two are partners in the celebrated BBC television programme "Strictly Come Dancing" and Du Beke used the term after the former star of "Footballers' Wives" had a spray tan, the tabloid claimed.

Forty three-year-old Due Beke told Rouass: "Oh my god, you look like a Paki" in the presence of 15 other people, who were left "gobsmacked", the report said.

"Then Laila glared at Anton and just walked out as she was visibly upset. She just went to her dressing room, collected her stuff and went home. She felt totally humiliated," an eye witness said.

A BBC spokesman said: "The BBC does not condone offensive language in the workplace."

Offering an unconditional apology, Du Beke said: "I must say immediately and categorically that I am not a racist and that I do not use racist language."

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