Weather presenter Tomasz Schafernaker has been axed from BBC bulletins as a result of a cost-cutting drive by the Met Office which produces the forecasts.
In August, the BBC was forced to apologise after Schafernaker, who has posed in skimpy shorts for gay magazine Attitude, stuck his middle finger up at the presenters of the BBC News Channel. Schafernaker did not realise he was on camera when he made the rude gesture to anchors Simon McCoy and Fiona Armstrong. He tried, and failed, to disguise the gaffe by appearing to scratch his chin.
Tim Reed Management, speaking on behalf of Schafenaker, said: ”I’m shocked that due to restructuring the Met Office have taken the decision to remove Tomasz from any on air presence. Tomasz and I are still waiting for feedback from the Met Office as to why he hasn’t been chosen to remain in the broadcasting team. Nobody at the BBC has ever expressed any dissatisfaction to either Tomasz or me about the standard of his work.”
Schafernaker had to apologise in 2007 after referring to the Outer Hebrides in the Western Isles of Scotland as “nowheresville”, while a slip of the tongue last year saw him forecast a “muddy s**te” for Glastonbury festival.
Hundreds of fans have posted messages criticising the decision to sack Schafernaker. Graeme Paterson sums up the mood:
“This is OUTRAGEOUS!!!!!!! Tomasz is easily the best, most passionate weather forecaster that the Beeb has ever had – he’s also VERY easy on the eye……. We love you Tomasz!!!!!!!!!”
Rob McElwee and Philip Avery have also been axed by the Met Office from appearing on BBC weather forecasts.