Richard Bacon says sorry for YouTube link

BBC Radio 5 Live and afternoon presenter Richard Bacon have both apologised for suggesting YouTube videos which contain offensive material by comedian Doug Stanhope.

Bacon sent a letter to Down’s Syndrome Association saying the reference was inappropriate, hoping he hadn’t caused offence to anyone in anyway.

He said: “I full well understand my responsibilities as a broadcaster and such a reference fell below the standards I set myself personally in my broadcasting.”

One of the clips, which Bacon suggested people watch to see how bad the material was, talked about Sarah Palin’s son Trig, who has Down’s Syndrome.

The Down’s Syndrome Association then wrote in, saying: “The association is shocked that a BBC employee has publicised the work of a comedian which is nothing more than a vile offensive rant and conflicts with BBC guidelines which state a responsibility to “protect the vulnerable and avoid unjustifiable offence”. As a public body the BBC should not be promoting the work of such an individual.”

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The BBC also issued a statement saying it was unacceptable to highlight the clip.

The broadcast took place on Thursday August 4th during his daily 2pm-4pm afternoon show on BBC Radio 5 Live.

The full statements are below:

Apology from Richard Bacon:

I am writing to apologise for any offence caused by my live interview with the American comedian, Doug Stanhope, on the 5 live radio show on Thursday 4 August.

In order to illustrate the comedic style of Stanhope’s stand-up performances, I referenced available You Tube clips. This was a poor recommendation and I whole heartedly accept that this reference was inappropriate because of the subject matter. I full well understand my responsibilities as a broadcaster and such a reference fell below the standards I set myself personally in my broadcasting.

I am sorry if the reference has caused offence to anyone in anyway. I shouldn’t have done it.

Yours sincerely,
Richard Bacon

Statement on behalf of 5 live:

During a live interview on Thursday 4th August with American comedian Doug Stanhope, Richard Bacon made an unscripted comment referencing an online clip of one of his guest’s stand-up performances.

Richard has apologised for referring his listeners to the video of his guest. At no stage did he or does he condone the offensive material in that sketch, none of which was broadcast on 5 live.

It was still unacceptable to highlight the clip and he fully accepts that it was inappropriate. It falls below the standards our audience expects from us and both he and 5 live apologise unreservedly for any offence caused.

Posted on Tuesday, August 9th, 2011 at 12:34 pm by RadioToday UK

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