Late night broadcasting legend James Whale has parted company with UTV Radio's national station talkSPORT after 13 years on-air. Whale was let go by the station after broadcasting bias support for Boris Johnson's campaign to become London Mayor.
Comments made on March 20th prompted complaints to Ofcom after James was heard urging listeners to vote in favour of Johnson.
A UTV spokesperson has told Radio Today: "James Whale’s contract with the radio station has been terminated after a breach of the Ofcom Broadcasting Code regarding due impartiality.
“It’s very unfortunate. We have investigated the matter and after serious consideration, the station reached the decision that there was a clear breach of the rules and that we had no choice but to terminate his contract. James Whale is guilty of a gross error of judgment which we found to be totally unacceptable.
“Ofcom received a number of complaints following Whale’s broadcast on March 20th. talkSPORT has acknowledge the seriousness of the complaints received, does not excuse the content of the broadcast and has told Ofcom that it has taken steps to prevent this happening again."
James started at the station in 1995 when it was known as Talk Radio UK and was one of the longest serving members of the presentation team. A message on his own website confirms he has left the station, but says "Contrary to rumour, this is not in any way due to ill health, and I'm feeling absolutely fine!"
Tommy Boyd was rumoured to be lined up as a replacement for his nightly 10pm till 1am slot, but has told the MickYNWA website: “I haven't been approached by talkSPORT and they'd be wasting the call, as I'm very happy at Original 106. She's a good ship with a great crew and a gutsy skipper. I'm flying under the Jolly Roger again. It’s better than piddling around on a boating lake like I was before.”
Other suggestions include Ian Collins taking over the slot.