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Friday 6th December 2019

Japan with Sue Perkins on BBC divides viewers as some brand it 'appalling' and others 'brilliant'

A close look at the Land of the Rising Sun

New BBC documentary Japan with Sue Perkins has left telly fans sorely divided, with some hailing the first episode a "brilliant" success and others branding it "disrespectful".

The first installment of the two-part show, which aired last night (18.09.19), saw comedian and presenter Sue Perkins travel to Japan to explore the culture and meet locals to hear about their way of life.

Sue visited a women's sumo wrestling school (Credit: BBC)

Read more: Sue Perkins hits out at Coronation Street for killing off lesbian characters

She started out in the capital Tokyo, where she tried her hand at sumo wrestling and visited a family that lives with robots.

Elsewhere in the programme, she attended a photo shoot for a fake 'solo' wedding that saw a young woman don a wedding dress and pose for pictures without a groom.

She also attended a girl band gig where the crowd was mostly made up of middle-aged men.

Most of the band's fans appeared to be older men (Credit: BBC)

On Twitter, viewers appeared to be sorely divided over the programme and its representation of a country as far removed from Britain culturally as it is geographically.

One viewer tweeted: "Massively disappointed. So fascinated that she takes the piss of the people she's interacting with throughout. Not really an attempt at understanding a culture, just an opportunity to mock. Shame Sue, you can do better #JapanwithSuePerkins."

You portrayed Japan in a way that suited you.

Another wrote: "I'd have thought the point of #JapanwithSuePerkins would be to learn about the culture and context of their unique eccentricity rather than mocking it."

Someone else said: "Let me tell you something @BBC #JapanwithSuePerkins is appalling! You have exploited Japan and its people and really misunderstood it... on national television. You portrayed Japan in a way that suited you to get views and disrespected my culture."

"Probably the best misrepresentation of Japan I've seen a while," tweeted another.

ED! has contacted the BBC for comment.

Read more: Sue Perkins pays heartbreaking tribute as beloved dog Parker dies

But not everyone was turned off, with some praising Sue's "brilliant" presenting style and others admitting the show made them "laugh out loud".

One fan wrote: "Really Really enjoyed #JapanwithSuePerkins. I thought Sue perfectly captured the culture shock you feel as a westerner when you first arrive in Japan. Truly an amazing place."

A second put: "#JapanwithSuePerkins. Love Sue! Brilliant presenter. Natural and funny too! Want to go straight to Japan!"

"#JapanwithSuePerkins @sueperkins, just watching last night's episode, absolutely brilliant," tweeted a third, adding: "Getting odd looks on my morning commute whilst I laugh out loud. Well done, as always tackling every subject with an open mind and a great sense of fun."

- Japan with Sue Perkins continues on Wednesday (25.09.19) at 9pm on BBC One

What did you think of the first episode? Leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix and let us know.