Christopher Biggins to visit Auschwitz after CBB Holocaust 'joke' to Katie Waissel
Christopher Biggins will visit Auschwitz after being removed from the Celebrity Big Brother house for making a Holocaust "joke" aimed at a Jewish housemate.
The pantomime veteran said he will continue with a pre-planned trip in October to the Polish city of Krakow and visit the nearby concentration camp, where more than one million people, predominantly Jews, were killed by the Nazis.
He was booted out of the Channel 5 reality show on Friday after being given three warnings by Big Brother for his remarks on bisexuality and for a comment about gas chambers to X Factor reject Katie Waissel, who is Jewish.
As housemates queued for the bathroom, he said: "You better be careful or they'll be putting you in a shower and taking you to a room."
He later apologised to the singer and Big Brother for the "trite, ridiculous remark", which was not broadcast.
He told The Sun: "I am going there (to Auschwitz). It will be my first time. I know it's going to be horrible. I know it's going to be ghastly. I know it's going to be emotional.
"Before I went into the house, my partner Neil (Sinclair) and I were talking about it because we just feel the whole scenario of the Jewish annihilation is so horrific that we wanted to experience it for ourselves.
"We're going for five days in October. I'm really looking forward to it. Especially now after this incident.
"It's strange that I had already decided to experience it myself."
Biggins apologised for the distress caused by the comments he made, but noted the bad behaviour of his fellow housemates who remain in the show, particularly Stephen Bear, who shattered a mirror by throwing a glass at it, and Aubrey O'Day who spat in Bear's sandwich.
He said: "I didn't throw glass or break glass. I didn't dribble into someone else's sandwiches. I didn't swear overtly."
in relation to his comments on Aids, he said the threat to free speech by the politically correct nature of society is "frightening".
"I think people are aggressive towards people who have ideas and different things they believe in. You can't have a state where you can't say this and you can't say that.
"But we are very close to that and I think it's rather frightening.
"It would be horrible if we're not allowed to say what we think."
The 67-year-old said his removal came after a difficult year in which he lost a series of close friends and was forced to face his own mortality.
He said: "It's been a hell of a year - Cilla (Black), Linda Bellingham, Victoria Wood, Caroline Aherne ... It's been just awful, awful.
"I've lost 80 friends in the last two-and-a-half years - really close friends."