Peter Kay’s Car Share has sparked outrage on social media after the bank holiday special featured a ‘cruel’ joke about a transgender man.
The return of the hit BBC One comedy show saw the 44-year-old funnyman ad-libbing alongside co-star Sian Gibson, 41, in the 30-minute episode that sees two unlucky-in-love colleagues sharing a ride.
However, many branded a gag about a man called Gordon who came out as transgender and was beaten up by thugs because he couldn’t ‘run in heels’ as deeply offensive.
The BBC has declined to comment on the story.
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The return of Car Share to screens was celebrated by many but a joke about a transgender man called Gordon left some viewers accusing the show’s stars Peter Kay and Sian Gibson, pictured, of transphobia
The pair, who play colleagues John and Kayleigh, listen to a radio presenter recounting the tragic tale of trans man Gordon, who is beaten up because he can’t run in heels, before the song More than a Woman is belted out
The show is famed for its humorous dialogue between John – played by Peter Kay – and Kayleigh – portrayed by Sian Gibson.
The sketch featuring the transgender joke appeared around 20 minutes into the programme, which aired at 10pm last night, and saw the couple reacting to the phone-in tale of transgender Gordon and an accompanying song request – More than a Woman – on the radio.
The presenter is heard recounting how Gordon came out to his wife, who had suspected him of having an affair after finding women’s clothing amongst their laundry.
Car Share’s main characters are seen pouring scorn on Gordon, with Kayleigh branding Gordon’s wife’s new lover a ‘real man’ and John making a V sign on his cheek.
On Twitter, the joke left many questioning whether the BBC should be airing such comedy.
Kay’s character John is left wide-mouthed at the story of how ‘Gordon became Jordan’
As the tale, which John listens to on the radio, comes to an end, the Car Share character is seen offering a two-fingered salute
The character of Kayleigh responds to the news that Gordon’s wife has met another man with the line… ‘a real man!’
One viewer said the gag was ‘cheap’ and ‘so ill judged’ that it had ‘tainted the brilliant previous episodes’
@phil_marriott commented: ‘I’m a massive fan of Car Share, but the unscripted show tonight just didn’t work. The cheap gag at the expense of trans people was so ill judged and has tainted the brilliant previous episodes. Shame.’
@jackalanwells added: ‘Don’t like how @peterkay_co_uk is speaking about Transgender people on his Peter Kay Car Share. @BBCOne should be ashamed to even let this Trans bashing air.’
@SerenKestrel wrote: ‘And meanwhile Peter Kay demonstrates his 1970s comedy roots with a trans piece on Car Share. F***ing awful.
@adamsill_86 said: ‘Gone from watching a programme about acceptance and understanding of the trans and LGBTQ+ community to a bit of casual transphobia on Car Share.’
Peter Kay rejoined his co-star Sian Gibson, 41, for a new episode showing the pair ad-libbing their way through an entire car journey
Fans are rejoicing Kay’s return after millions tuned in to watch the show’s debut on BBC IPlayer and with the second series attracting 10 million viewers on BBC1
Elsewhere, many were delighted to see Kay back on screens. The comic comes after the star cancelled his live tour due to ‘unforeseen family circumstances’ in December.
The show’s second series attracted 10 million viewers on BBC1. One viewer tweeted: ‘Have missed Peter Kay #CarShareUnscripted just about genius!’
Others said: ‘Great to have Car Share back on TV’ and ‘Love Car Share, miss you Peter Kay – so funny.’
‘Great to see Peter Kay back on the telly. Never fails to crack me up. So naturally funny.’
Back on the box: Many fans couldn’t hide their delight at the show’s return and took to social media to share their excitement
Other viewers were quick to point out how amusing the comedian would have been if he had continued with his tour – with one saying: ‘This new Car Share makes me sad that Peter Kay cancelled when I had tickets.’
TThe pair also enjoy a sing along to tunes played on fictional radio station Forever FM, with their interaction with music forming the backbone of the unscripted special.
Twitter users found one highlight of the show to be the moment the duo discussed what the U in club sandwich stands for.
One wrote: ‘How many people went and googled what club sandwich meant after watching Car Share Unscripted?’
Last night’s improvised scenes will be followed by the show’s last-ever episode later this month.
At the end of the second series Kayleigh got out of John’s car and walked away after he failed to reply to her declaration of love for him – not giving fans the romantic ending they had hoped for.
Another prominent scene for viewers came not from the actors themselves but instead from the comedy’s background features.
As John and Kayleigh drove through the show’s setting, audiences at home couldn’t help but notice the peculiar and highly amusing shop signs that the pair passed by.
Another prominent scene for viewers came not from the actors themselves but instead from the comedy’s background features
One in particular stood out – a sign for an Aldi knock off shop called Halaldi.
After noticing the humorous shop, viewers on Twitter wrote: ‘Some of the background shots on car share are superb.’
‘Sorry but this is the best knock off shop name in history,’ and ‘They’ve just passed Halaldi. Always watch the background in Car Share.’
Despite its success, Kay admitted he wasn’t sure anyone would want to watch it when they began on the venture.
‘I worried viewers may not have the patience to stay with a simple idea of two people commuting,’ he admitted. ‘Especially when they have so many other things to watch.’
Peter Kay’s Car Share began without any fanfare in 2015 but word of mouth soon started with the show becoming increasingly popular.
In 2016, the show won two BAFTAs, and a National Television Award – which it scooped up again this year.