‘You’re not really allergic’: Alan Carr sparks outrage after stuffing coriander into allergic woman’s mouth as ‘joke’

12 June 2023, 15:18

The Chatty Man presenter has faced backlash.
The Chatty Man presenter has faced backlash. Picture: Alamy

By Jenny Medlicott

An allergy campaigner hit out at the comedian after he forced coriander into an allergic woman’s mouth because he didn’t believe she was allergic.

Alan Carr has faced backlash from a woman who lost her daughter to a fatal allergic reaction after an interview he had with Charlotte Edwardes, a journalist for the Guardian, published her interview with the Chatty Man presenter in May.

Tanya Ednan-Laperouse’s, 46, daughter died aged 15 after she suffered an allergic reaction to sesame in a Pret A Manger sandwich.

Ms Ednan-Laperouse then read about the comedian’s refusal to believe one of his own team members had an allergy coriander, sparking fury in the now-campaigner.

Mr Carr's staff member was picking bits of coriander out of her salad, but in disbelief at her behaviour, he stuffed the coriander into the allergic woman’s mouth, refusing to believe she had an allergy, Ms Edwardes said.

“See!”, he told her. “You’re not really allergic. If you were, you’d be dead by now.”

Charlotte, documenting the incident, said his ‘joke’ was followed by roars of ‘witch-like’ laughter.

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It was reported he stuffed coriander into the woman's mouth after she said she was allergic to it.
It was reported he stuffed coriander into the woman's mouth after she said she was allergic to it. Picture: Alamy

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But Ms Ednan-Laperouse is all too aware of the devastating consequences an allergy like can have and has now hit out at the comedian after coming across the interview.

She told The Mail on Sunday: “'It is really depressing that in this day and age we have to point out that food allergies are not funny. We are contacted by families who have lost loved ones from food allergy and the conversations we have, I can promise, are anything but funny.

"More people have food allergies than ever before, and they disproportionately affect children.

"Almost any food including coriander can trigger an allergic reaction. It is, potentially, incredibly dangerous of Alan Carr to feed someone – as a joke – with food they might be allergic to. It is also irresponsible of The Guardian to repeat and trivialise his behaviour.

"Far too many children grow up dealing with the ignorance that belittles their condition and fuels bullying in the school playground.

"If Alan would like to meet families who have suffered this way, we would introduce him to the reality of how difficult living with food allergies is. He would not find it funny."

The 46-year-old set up The Natasha Allergy Research Foundation with her husband after their daughter died and even fought for Natasha’s Law, which now means food retailers must display the full list of ingredients and allergens on all items.

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