Between ripe and wrong

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 18 June, 1995, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 18 June, 1995, 12:00am

WHILE the rest of the English-speaking world grapples with the concept of political correctness, there is a corner of Hong Kong which remains refreshingly free of doublespeak, and where a spade is always, er, a spade. Step forward RTHK's Radio 3.

On last Sunday's Openline, Aileen Bridgewater (left) rang to tell host Ralph Pixton about Helping Hand's gathering for elderly folk (the chronologically challenged, as they prefer to say in the US) from around the world. Everyone seemed to be 'little' (or vertically challenged), including some little people from Ireland and some little women from Ghana who did a dance with their little legs. They were, gurgled Aileen, 'black as the ace of spades'.

While PC-listeners were reeling from this bit of colonial-speak, Radio 3 newsreaders compounded matters by referring to the rioters in Bradford as 'coloured people', a term which went out of BBC broadcasts since 1972. PR man Ted Thomas (right) obviously felt the need to drag the network into the 1990s. On a Friday tribute to Pixton's 60th birthday, he ended an anecdote with an F-word much favoured by that director of the moment, Quentin Tarantino.