Meera: ‘X Factor is like laughing at mentally ill’

Comic TV star Meera Syal has slammed reality TV as ‘freak shows’ and revealed that she has turned down several offers to appear on them.

Talking exclusively to, the Kumars star said that watching shows like The X Factor was like laughing at the mentally ill.

Meera said: “Laughing at the weirdness and misfortunes of others takes us back to the Victorians and their freak shows.”

“That’s how people used to get their entertainment then. ‘Let’s go down the loony bin and laugh at them’. It seems to me that a lot of reality TV is like that.”

Meera also questioned whether Peter Kay’s Britain’s Got the Pop Factor was funnier than shows like Britain’s Got Talent.

“The problem was that the real show is so absurd and had so many tragic people in it that it’s quite difficult to parody it,” said Meera.

Meera also revealed that she has turned down several offers to appear on celebrity reality shows.

“I have been asked several times, but the idea of being watched 24-7 while I take a wee behind a bush is a bit traumatic, frankly. I don’t think I could cope with that,” she said.

Meera has been championing the 1970s as the best comedy decade against fellow comedians Martin Freeman, Jo Brand and Frankie Boyle.

The final of When Were We Funniest is on Thursday 18th December at 10pm on G.O.L.D. To find out the winning decade after the show has aired visit

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