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Actress Alex Kingston, 61, has shared her honest opinions on cancel culture as she prepares to return to screens on ITV's new drama based on the subject.

Kingston will star in Douglas in Cancelled later this month, a series created by Steven Moffat in which a respected newsreader's world is turned upside down.

Hugh Bonneville plays the titular character who is accused of telling a sexist joke at a wedding, setting social media alight with calls for his head.

Hollywood star Karen Gillan stars opposite Bonneville as colleague Madeline who may have ulterior motives in seeing the ageing Douglas relegated to the depths of the cancelled.

Kingston plays Douglas’s wife Sheila Bellowes in the four-part comedy-drama, a tabloid newspaper editor who has to choose between her marriage and exclusive insight to the scandal.

Ahead of its release, Kingston admitted she finds cancel culture a "terrifying" phenomenon, adding: "(It's) sort of fascistic, really.

"I don’t think people realise how dangerous cancelling people is, what that has meant historically.

"My generation is treading on eggshells, not knowing whether what you say will unintentionally hurt somebody."

One aspect of modern life Kingston admits she struggles with is correctly identifying someone's preferred gender pronouns.

"I get really confused about pronouns, for instance," Kingston told the Telegraph. "I’m just not confident with how and when to use them."

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Exposing the flaws she feels lie with those who make it their mission to cancel someone, she added: "There is no empathy or sympathy, opinions are immediate and black and white.

"I hope we’ll start coming back to a place where people can be kinder to each other, both in thinking about what they’re going to say and hearing what’s being said."

Before she landed the role in Douglas is Cancelled, Kingston worked alongside writer Moffat on sci-fi series, Doctor Who.

Kingston played the role of River Song in the show and her opinions on cancel culture are somewhat echoed by Moffat.

He told the Sunday Times: "(Cancel culture) is thousands of years old. Socrates got cancelled, Jesus of Nazareth got cancelled … and we’re all hypocrites.

"We’re outraged when someone who thinks the way we do is cancelled, but we’re perfectly happy to cancel someone else.


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"But cancellation only works on people who are capable of shame and wish to be well thought of. In other words, it only really works on quite good people.

"It’s a smart bomb that can only take out people who at least aspire to virtue: you can’t cancel Hitler, you can’t cancel Donald Trump — you can’t, and they won’t care.

"What is the point in a smart bomb that only afflicts and affects the civilised? As Aristotle points out, shame is a quasi-virtue. If you’re capable of shame, then by the inverse you aspire to decency, even if you don’t attain it all the time."

Douglas is Cancelled begins on ITV on June 27.

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