AN ACTOR known for his role in Oxford detective drama Lewis has stood by comments he made on BBC's Question Time in which he called a black academic racist.

Laurence Fox made the accusation after audience member Rachel Boyle, from Edge Hill University, called him 'a white privileged man' for denying the Duchess of Sussex has been unfairly treated by the British media due to being mixed-race.

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The row has continued on social media with the 41-year-old actor sharing a picture of Martin Luther King yesterday and a quote from his famous 'I have a dream' speech.

He said: "This is the position I took last night and I live by in life. If you can improve on it, I’m all ears.

"Or you can keep screeching “Racist!” at me and I can carry on having a jolly good giggle at your expense. The tide is turning."

On the BBC political debate show on Thursday Ms Boyle, addressing the actor during a question about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stepping back from royal life, said: "The problem we've got with this is that Meghan has agreed to be Harry's wife and then the press have torn her to pieces.

"Let's be really clear about what this is – let's call it by its name, it's racism, she's a black woman and she has been torn to pieces."

But Mr Fox shook his head and said: "It's not racism."

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He continued: "We're the most tolerant lovely country in Europe."

It was then she told him: "Says a white privileged man."

The actor responded: "Oh God. It's so easy to throw the charge of racism at everybody and it's really starting to get boring."

He added: "I can't help what I am, I was born like this, it's an immutable characteristic, so to call me a white privileged male is to be racist - you're being racist."

Tweeting this morning the academic wrote her thanks for the 'amazing support' she had received since her appearance on Question Time.

She added: "This work isn’t easy. Being a Black academic researching race and ethnicity isn’t easy. Having conversations with ill informed privileged people isn’t easy. But THIS is what I came to do."

Quoting the academic's tweet, Mr Fox in a sarcastic response, wrote: "Hang in there! We are all behind you! #stunningandbrave."

Mr Fox, who is also a musicians, is due to perform in Oxford next month with his new album A Grief Observed.