In a surprise announcement on Newsnight, comedian Meredith Spatchcock has revealed that she will no longer be performing as provocative alter-ego ‘Katie Hopkins’.
Dressed entirely in black, Spatchcock looked remorseful, telling viewers, “Hopkins is dead.”
This week, a number of people on Twitter expressed outrage after the character referred to Palestinians as “filthy rodents” during an online rant.
Often described as “the poor man’s James Delingpole”, the “Katie Hopkins” persona developed into a female parody of the Telegraph blogger and professional troll over several years, working as a contrarian-for-hire and tabloid columnist.
She later described herself as a “conduit for truth”.
“I wanted to create a celebrity with no redeeming features whatsoever,” Spatchcock told Emily Maitlis, her eyes moist with tears.
“I pretended to be someone so horrible that nobody could possibly believe she was a real person. I didn’t think anyone would take it seriously. How could they?”
Hopkins character ‘retired’
The persona was first launched in 2006, and Meredith Spatchcock claims that it was intended as a satirical response to the reality television boom at the time.
Under the guise of “Katie Hopkins”, the comedian reached the final of BBC’s The Apprentice but withdrew, citing personal reasons.
“I couldn’t believe it,” Spatchcock explained miserably.
“Nobody stopped me. Not even Sir Alan Sugar. Everything I said. Everything I did. They just lapped it up. I panicked.”
“Katie Hopkins” has since been criticised, though heavily remunerated, for her controversial comments on issues such as class, parenting, poverty, weight, the Glasgow helicopter crash, the death of Bob Crow and the killing of unarmed civilians in Northern Ireland.
This week, she has been accused of inciting racial hatred, but her tweets were largely met with apathy.
“I had to stop this,” Meredith Spatchcock told Newsnight, openly weeping.
“They all kept listening to that monster. It got out of hand.”
“I’d say these terrible things and people still listened. What sort of world is this?”