Rachel Riley dragged into spat with Coronation Street’s Nicola Thorp

Countdown's Rachel Riley found herself in a spat on social media about female genital mutilation.

The topic had been raised by Coronation Street actress Nicola Thorp who wondered why male circumcision wasn't treated in the same way.

She asked for a discussion to begin on Twitter with one man bizarrely responding saying he's asked Rachel for her opinion but never received a reply.

Rudely suggesting that she was too busy to respond Nicola said that she could help, leading to Rachel blasting the demand for her to weigh in "outrageous".

Speaking about male and female circumcisions, Rachel said after being tagged in the thread: "Equating the two is outrageous. As is demanding an answer from me.

"Why I’m earth would I be obliged to answer such an ignorant question?"

Nicola replied: "I’m not equating the two, but simply asking why one is allowable and the other illegal?"

"I understand that FGM is carried out to varying degrees by unqualified practitioners for despicable reasons. But what on what grounds is (non-essential) male circumcision allowable?"

The actress then added: "You’re not obliged to answer anything. But if you could educate me as to why my question is ignorant then I’d appreciate it.

“I already understand the procedural differences, but I struggle to see how one would justify non-consensual surgery on a child (unless medically required).”

The Countdown star quickly hit back at Nicola asking: "Why on earth do you feel this is appropriate to question me on Nicola? Seriously. Think about it.

“Your ignorance can be cured with google or asking someone relevant.”

Nicola claimed that her question was not initially directed at Rachel, demanding to know why she was branding her ignorant.

“You accused me of ignorance, so I’m asking on what grounds?”

“No I didn’t. An idiot with 4 followers deemed it appropriate to apparently question me on the subject and then whinge on not having been replied to." she sniped.

“Said idiot would have stayed happily unseen unless you’d have replied with me tagged in. Again. Why ask ME?”

Nicola, who has played Nicola Rubenstein on the soap since 2017, then explained: “I just clicked reply to the guy. Obviously you were tagged in the tweet so got notified.”

Rachel then explained briefly why she was so outraged over the comparisons for male and female circumcision.


"FGM is an act of violence against girls, that reduces them to a transactional commodity of how much she’s worth to a man ‘pure/virginal’, which pre age 5 in effect means un-raped.

“It often leaves girls w horrendous medical problems, psychological distress & no health benefits.

“If you want to learn more about the abhorrent practise of FGM, I recommend you follow and engage with the incredible @NimkoAli,” she advised. “If you want to ask about religious male circumcision, ask a rabbi or an imam.

“If you want to morally equate the two, educate yourself, not thru me.”(sic)

Nicola claimed she wasn't morally equating the two adding: "I’m a women’s rights activist who is very aware of the abhorrence of FGM. I’m simply asking why non-medical male circumcision, without consent of the child is allowable?

“I’m not morally equating the two at all. I’m not ignorant to the deep rooted issues of FGM.”

“Again, I ask the same question. Why are you repeatedly questioning me about this topic? Answer in your own time,” Rachel bit back.

Having the final word Nicola said: “You just got caught in the cross fire with a guy who tagged you in his tweet. As I said, I didn’t direct anything at you.”

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