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Actress Dame Janet Suzman: 'Hampstead is much less multicultural than my native South Africa'

PUBLISHED: 17:00 26 July 2013 | UPDATED: 12:00 29 July 2013

British actress Dame Janet Suzman. Picture: John Stillwell/PA

British actress Dame Janet Suzman. Picture: John Stillwell/PA

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Dame Janet Suzman has gone where the politically correct fear to tread, openly acknowledging that her corner of north west London is not very multicultural.

In an interview in the Observer on Sunday, the 74-year-old actress and director, who lives in Hampstead, said the area was much less diverse than her native South Africa, where “the mixing of races is pretty total”.

Speaking to Heathman, she explained: “If you live on the streets of Hampstead, you don’t have a lot of black friends.

“It’s not a problem with Hampstead that it’s not like Brixton. London is very diverse. I’m not going to make it into a problem.”

In the Observer interview Dame Janet said that kids “don’t really see colour now”.

When Heathman asked her if this bred racism, she replied: “If you teach kids nicely when they’re young, they wouldn’t even know there was a problem. It’s the bloody grown-ups who create problems.

“Britain has had to come to terms with the fact that people from the Commonwealth have come to settle here and that we live in a multicultural society.

“Some people probably still struggle with that, secretly.

“But if you have that prejudice, you have to hide it and you are not allowed to flaunt it about.”

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