Former EastEnders star Wendy Richard has made a racist comment about Big Brother housemate Kat Kasisopa, generalising about the ‘inscrutable Chinese’.

The 65-year-old actress was live on spin-off show Big Brother’s Little Brother when she said of Kat: “I was a big fan of Kat, and we would discuss it amongst our friends and they said she is not right. I looked at her through different eyes, and I have to admit they were right and I was wrong.

“She is fake, and she is very cute. What is it they say about these inscrutable Chinese? And she is Thai, but it is all Oriental isn’t it? Well it is to me anyway.”

Richard’s comments were at least the worst sort of stereotyping and, according to the Daily Mirror, the BBLB audience cried out in shock. Realising the comments could upset people, presenter George Lamb stepped in saying: “I don’t think that is unique to Asian people, more to Kat.”

But Conservative-voter Wendy added: “They don’t betray their emotions on their face, that is what I meant.”

Broadcasting watchdog Ofcom said it had received a number of complaints about Wendy’s comments. The spokesman said: “We will be looking into them in due course.”

Richard’s spokesman, Kevin Francis, said: “Wendy would have not intended the comments that way, she is not racist at all. To be very honest with you, I think it has been blown out of all proportion.”