Chris Moyles has been found in breach of an Ofcom rule with his impression of Will Young that he aired on BBC Radio 1 on the 20th January this year.
Moyles, while discussing Will Young’s birthday with his team, gave his own take on two of the singer’s hits, Evergreen and Leave Right Now. He then proceeded to imitate the singer, adopting an effeminate, high-pitched voice. On the former, he substituted the song’s lyrics with his own, including the line, “It’s my birthday, gonna wear my new dress tonight”. While on the latter he sang, “I get camper by the hour, oh, would you look at the muck in here. I’m Will Young and I’m gay.”
Ofcom received eight complaints from listeners who were concerned that Chris Moyles ridiculed Will Young because of his sexuality. The complainants also said that
the comments were offensive and derogatory towards the gay community.
In response to the Ofcom’s enquiries as to whether the material had contravened Rule 2.3 of the Code – material that may cause offence must be justified by the context – the BBC responded that Young was not being ridiculed because of his sexuality, though they did concede that Moyles’ comments were misjudged and unacceptable. Adding that the Controller of Radio 1 had since spoken to both Moyles and his production team about the matter in an effort to remind, “not to inadvertently perpetuate certain stereotypes.”
In summing up, Ofcom stated that it was concerned both by the material, and in particular the language used and the tone and manner in which the comments were made. Adding that it had potential to cause considerable offence. Judging that the programme had breached Rule 2.3. It’s the second time that Moyles’ prgramme has breached the Ofcom Code.