The BBC has been under fire for appearing to blur Ricky Wilson’s pro-trans rights t-shirt.
On Michael McIntyre’s Big Show on Friday night (February 3), the Kaiser Chiefs frontman boldly wore a shirt with the phrase ‘Trans rights are human rights.’
Understandably, the wardrobe choice sparked a lot of conversation online, with social media users thanking Ricky for his allyship.
However, several others noted that the writing appeared hazy from some camera angles, sparking controversy about whether it was purposely concealed.
Ricky, 46, had no clue he’d be appearing on national television.
Instead, comedian Michael pranked him in his customary crazy way.
This just drew further appreciation from fans, who appreciated how Ricky was clearly not wearing the tee for the cameras, but rather while going about his normal business.
Transgender journalist and activist India Willoughby praised him on X, writing, ‘Nice one, Ricky Wilson!’
She also called out the BBC for seemingly censoring the slogan: ‘Shocking. BBC blurring out “Trans Rights Are Human Rights” on Ricky Wilson’s tshirt when in full view on #MichaelMcIntyresBigShow #BigShow #MichaelMcIntyre . Institutionally transphobic.’
User c_m_land wrote: ‘Ricky Wilson, what a legend. Shame that the producers decided it needed to be blurred out mind’.
‘I see the BBC blurring Ricky Wilson’s “trans rights are human rights shirt” on the Michael McIntyre thing. Does the BBC not believe trans people deserve to have rights everyone else has?’, agreed KaskaJessica.
‘Ricky Wilson appears on #MichaelMcIntyre’s #BigShow wearing a “Trans Rights Are Human Rights” shirt in a climate where trans people are literally killed for being themselves…and the BBC *blur out the shirt*. Jesus Christ. Seriously, get complaining. Hell needs raising here’, wrote TrilbeeReviews.
‘It’s a disgrace, I’ll be complaining, not that it will make a difference!’, noted RainbowandCoUK.
Others felt that the ‘blurring’ was not purposeful, given how easily the phrase could be seen once Ricky was on stage.
‘seeing lots of people complain about the bbc blurring ricky wilson’s t-shirt here but to me it looks like it’s just poor camera quality ? it doesn’t look blurred it just looks low res’, wrote lgbtqiadhdoid.
Regardless, Ricky received a lot of praise online, with many hailing him as ‘a true ally’.
The artist was astonished during his Virgin Radio UK drivetime programme, which began with a phone from Michael with a phoney Bristolian accent, purporting to be a listener named Richard Dickinson who was entering a competition to win £1000 and tickets to a Kaiser Chiefs concert.
To win, ‘Richard’ just had to answer just one question: ‘What did the band predict was going to happen in 2004?’
Shocking. BBC blurring out “Trans Rights Are Human Rights” on Ricky Wilson’s tshirt when in full view on #MichaelMcIntyresBigShow #BigShow #MichaelMcIntyre . Institutionally transphobic. pic.twitter.com/ekOyxUy23Q
— India Willoughby (@IndiaWilloughby) February 3, 2024
I see the BBC blurring Ricky Wilson's "trans rights are human rights shirt" on the Michael McIntyre thing.
Does the BBC not believe trans people deserve to have rights everyone else has? pic.twitter.com/fMQhYEJdRD
— Kăskă 🏳️⚧️🐀 (@KaskaJessica) February 3, 2024
Let’s just take a moment to shout out Ricky Wilson for unexpectedly wearing a Trans Rights Are Human Rights t-shirt on Saturday night primetime BBC One. A proper ally 🏳️⚧️
— Leigh Kirkham (@LeighKirkham) February 3, 2024
Ricky Wilson wearing a “Trans Rights Are Human Rights” t-shirt I knew he’d never let me down ❤️
— Alex McMillan (@UndeniablyAlex) February 3, 2024
Of course, the answer was plainly about their hit song I Predict A Riot, but Richard said that the group prophesied a volcanic explosion.
Disguised as Richard, Michael told Ricky: ‘I didn’t know you did predictions.’
Ricky was perplexed during the conversation, and even after the contact ended, he had no idea he was being videotaped for a BBC series.
But the fun didn’t end there, no. Michael hadn’t finished.
Ricky had planned to test out a funhouse for Virgin Radio towards the end of his show.
After jumping over inflatables and down a massive slide into a ball pit, he landed on the main stage of the Big Show to a roaring audience and a very happy Michael.
His Kaiser Chiefs bandmates had been in on the prank the entire time, and they began playing I Predict A Riot while Ricky stared out to the roaring crowd, completely perplexed.
But he quickly caught on and returned to frontman mode, finished the song and impressing the studio crowd.
Following the performance, Ricky deduced that the mysterious caller was Michael himself.
When asked by Michael how he gave such a great impromptu performance of his hit song, Ricky joked: ‘I could sing that in a hurricane.’
Michael McIntyre’s Big Show airs on Saturdays on BBC One and iPlayer.