BBC quiz show describes Ashkelon as “a Palestinian port”

A number of social media users have flagged up an episode of the BBC One general knowledge quiz show ‘Pointless Celebrities’ aired on May 1st.

Explaining why the correct answer to one of the questions was ‘scallion’, co-presenter Richard Osman stated:

“It comes from a Palestinian port of Ascalon. Originally onions from Ascalon.”

Ascalon – or as it is known today, Ashkelon – is of course a coastal city in southern Israel. While the seaport had many different rulers throughout its history – including Canaanites, Philistines, Greeks, Romans and Crusaders – it is not and never was “Palestinian” in the sense that the majority of viewers would understand.  

A more accurate explanation appears here:

Seeing as the programme will remain available on BBC iPlayer for the next eleven months, a clarification is obviously in order.

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1 Comment

  1. says: Michael Zeffertt

    This was an easy mistake for Osman to make. Ashkelon was a Philistine port 3000 years ago…… easy to say ‘Palestine’ instead of ‘Philistine’.

    “Well done if you got that one at home!”

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