An article in the Daily Mail has been blasted by talkRADIO presenter Jon Holmes for being misleading.
Jon says the headline “BBC sacked me for being a white man” was not a quote he gave to the newspaper, or what he said at all. The newspaper ran an article on him yesterday (Sunday) following a tweet a week ago from Jon saying “Sad to announce I’ve been axed from @BBCNowShow as ‘we want to recast with more women and diversity’ Tsk. And I didn’t even punch a producer”.
The Daily Mail went on to say “The BBC was at the centre of a damaging diversity row last night after one of its top radio stars was sacked for being ‘white and male'”.
But Jon has replied on Twitter saying: “So. Just to clarify: I didn’t ‘go’ to the Mail, they doorstepped my family this week after my tweet on Monday. They were going to run a story anyway, so I asked for a space to write something level-headed which, to be fair, they have run alongside their ‘story’. And the photo of my wife and I is 4 years old from a Sunday Times travel piece, which they’ve plucked from an archive. We certainly didn’t pose for them as it appears to indicate. I realise no-one probably cares, but thought I’d just make that clear.”
In the article Jon wrote for the newspaper, he explained the situation. He got a phone call saying he wasn’t being invited back for the next series because they (the BBC) are recasting it with more women and diversity. Jon says he’s not bitter about it and totally gets the need to hit more BAME [Black Asian and minority ethnic] targets.
A BBC Spokesperson said: “While the Government’s new charter for the BBC does require us to reflect the UK, we always hire presenters on merit. We’d like to thank both Jon Holmes and Mitch Benn for their contributions, but – as we explained almost a week ago when the story first appeared in newspapers – our comedy shows are constantly evolving and it was simply time to create opportunities for new regulars when The Now Show returns this autumn.”
But he wants to open to debate on the subject and asks: “Should I, as a white man (through no fault of my own), be fired from my job because I am a white man? Arguably, yes. You may well think I’m c**p on The Now Show, and that’s fine, but to be told it’s because I’m the wrong sex and colour? I’m just not sure that’s helpful to anyone’s cause.”
He’s been on the Now Show on BBC Radio 4 for 18 years and continues to host afternoons on talkRADIO whilst covering occasional shows on Virgin Radio.