Actress/comedienne Meera Syal has waded into the Celebrity Big Brother racism row.

The reality show has been hit by complaints about the allegedly racist treatment of Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty by some of her fellow housemates.

Appearing on the BBC Asian Network, Meera said: “I certainly wouldn’t have taken as much as Shilpa has taken, and I admire her completely. She has really held her ground.”

The Goodness Gracious Me star suggested Channel 4 should do more to address the issue. “I’m just surprised that there has been no official comment on it yet, really, with this number of complaints. They’ve made a rather bland statement about condemning racism of any kind. But I’m just wondering if on their last series, for example, the Tourette’s sufferer had been called a ‘spaz’ on a regular basis, whether they would have let that continue?”

Meera was appearing on the Anita Rani programme with C4 former commissioning editor Farrukh Dhondy. DJ Anita Rani has started up a ‘Save Shilpa’ internet campaign.

Dhondy said he didn’t actually believe there was racism on Big Brother. “I can tell you categorically that I’m not disgusted. I don’t think she’s being bullied in the house at all. I got a glimpse of it and she can absolutely defend herself.

“Three people talk rubbish, but I don’t think she has great Nietzchean words to say, she talks rubbish too. That’s what Big Brother is all about – you get the lowest common denomination of humanity together and let them talk to each other. Of course it raises hackles, but it also raises viewing figures and that’s how C4 makes its money.”