A complaint about a conversation between Mike Graham and Mike Parry on talkSPORT has been upheld by Ofcom.
The presenters, who are usually on-air from 1am to 5am, were covering the afternoon 1pm till 4pm show on December 29th 2016 when the conversation turned to their careers as newspaper journalists.
They were talking about a former colleague’s alleged lewd behaviour towards female colleagues. The listener considered the comments highly offensive, particularly because the presenters recounted the anecdotes in a light-hearted way.
Scroll down for the conversation.
The station accepted that the presenters’ comments were not appropriate. It explained that the unscripted conversation between the presenters “touched upon reminiscences of more than 20 years ago when social mores were very different from today”. It added that their programme was usually broadcast between 01:00 to 05:00 which was “a very different kind of programme given its timeslot and expected audience anticipation” than the afternoon programme it replaced.
talkSPORT said the comments “could be misinterpreted as being insensitive” and expressed regret that they were broadcast.
As a result of the complaint, talkSPORT added that its Programme Director had reminded the presenters and the production staff of the need to ensure compliance with Sections One and Two of the Code. In mitigation, the Licensee explained that “the presenters’ laughter was perceived by the complainant to be making light of sexual harassment – when, in fact, it was expressing incredulity at the woeful lack of sensitivity of a bygone era when unacceptable workplace practices were, unfortunately, far too commonplace”.