Stephen Fry’s Alternative Christmas Message for 2023


Esteemed actor and writer Stephen Fry is set to deliver a powerful Alternative Christmas Message on Channel 4 today.

Stephen Fry’s message will be focusing on the alarming rise in antisemitism in Britain and its impact on the Jewish community.

In a year marked by escalating tensions and violence, Fry, a self-declared atheist and humanist, feels compelled to openly embrace his Jewish heritage. He plans to use this platform to address the disturbing increase in antisemitic incidents and to urge the public to recognize and confront antisemitism as a form of racism.

Fry’s message is expected to be deeply personal, reflecting on his own experiences and fears. He notes the progress Britain has made in accepting diversity since his youth, particularly regarding sexuality. However, it is his Jewish heritage that has become a source of concern for him in recent times. “One truth about myself…was that I’m a Jew,” Fry states, expressing his disbelief that this aspect of his identity could cause worry in modern Britain.

Reflecting on his grandparents, who found refuge in Britain from the tumult of 1930s Europe, Fry expresses relief that they are not alive to witness this resurgence of antisemitism. He recalls their belief in British fairness and decency, lamenting how these values are contradicted by the rise in race hatred.

Fry’s message is not just one of concern but also a call to action. He urges the public to stand against antisemitism and all forms of racism, emphasising the importance of speaking up against hate.

He says: “Standing upright means speaking up and calling out venomous slurs and hateful abuse wherever you encounter them. Knowing and loving this country as I do, I don’t believe that most Britons are ok living in a society that judges hatred of Jews to be the one acceptable form of racism. So speak up, stand with us, be proud to be Jewish or Jew-ish – or, if not Jewish at all, proud to have us as much a part of this great nation as any other minority, as any of you.”

The Alternative Christmas Message will air at 5:10PM, Christmas Day on Channel 4.

Channel 4’s Alternative Christmas Message, first broadcast in 1993, provides a platform for delivering thought-provoking messages that resonate with the events and issues of the past year.

Past presenters of the message have included Adam Hills; Katie Piper; Quentin Crisp; the Reverend Jesse Jackson; Doreen and Neville Lawrence.

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