Jon Gaunt fired from talkSPORT
Presenter Jon Gaunt has been let go by national sports station talkSPORT after calling a London councillor a Nazi.
And although Gaunt apologised for the slip, he was suspended after the incident on November 7th.
During the interview with Redbridge Councils Cllr Michael Stark, which generated complaints to the station, Gaunt called him a Nazi and an ignorant pig – in relation to the authority's plans to ban smokers from fostering children.
On his website, Gaunt said he is "disappointed" by the station’s decision but vowed to continue his campaign to give 60,000 children in care a voice.
“I am bemused by their decision particularly as the 48 complaints Ofcom received (last year) were not upheld – indeed they were celebrated by talkSPORT who issued a press release congratulating me for being the most controversial presenter in the country.
“I am particularly disappointed by their decision when I apologised for the incident to both the audience and the councilor. The councilor has accepted my apology and agrees that we all need to focus on the bigger picture.
“I have received tremendous support from hundreds of fans as well as national celebrities following this story and my views remain the same.
“The main issue is not about Jon Gaunt making controversial statements or about him losing his job. It is about the thousands of kids in care who don’t have a voice. So if someone wants to smoke but will offer a child care, why shouldn’t they be allowed to look after children?
“If I have to lose my job and go through a legal battle to be able to stand up for children in care, so be it. I have been there. I know the emotional trauma they are going through. It happened to me when I was in care.
“If I am guilty of anything it is that I have stood by my principles. I regret the words used but not the passion behind them.”
His mid-morning programme will be hosted by Ian Collins.
A UTV Radio spokesperson said: "Yesterday talkSPORT terminated presenter Jon Gaunts contract following an interview with Redbridge Councils Cllr Michael Stark on Friday November 7th. The decision follows an internal talkSPORT investigation that was instigated following complaints about the content and nature of the broadcast. The radio station has apologised to the councillor for the manner in which the interview was conducted."
A Facebook [link=http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=45656433311]group[/link] now has around 300 members wanting him to be re-instated.