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BBC faces fierce backlash after ‘malicious’ racist repeatedly uses n-word and homophobic slurs live on air

Patrick Kelleher November 23, 2020
Broadcaster Iain Lee comes out as bisexual

Radio host Iain Lee (Andrew Benge/Redferns & Getty)

Broadcaster Iain Lee has criticised the BBC for allowing a caller to use racist slurs and make threatening remarks about gay people on air.

The BBC has faced backlash after married couple Mandeep “Sunny” and Gursharonjit “Shay” Grewal allowed a caller to remain on the air despite repeating racist slurs and threats about gay people.

The incident, which occurred on Sunny and Shay’s BBC Radio London show, saw a caller phone in during a chat about board games to mark National Monopoly Day on Friday (20 November).

The caller said: “Since I have moved to London from Greece, I have played Monopoly with my friend,” Metro reports.

“But in my country we play a game where you are a white nationalist and kill all the n*****s and gays.”

An uncomfortable sounding Shay simply replied: “Right,” but the caller was allowed to remain on air.

Why did BBC London allow a caller on to say ‘I f**king hate n-words and gays’ over and over again?

Sunny then asked the caller: “Maybe I’m losing you in translation. Explain to me when did you first discover Monopoly?”

After the caller explained their version of Monopoly, Sunny said: “Thank you for sharing that with us, I really appreciate that,” and went on to ask the caller if they wanted to “add to the conversation” about the ongoing controversy surrounding Priti Patel.

The caller replied: “I want to say that I f**king hate n*****s.”

The comment finally prompted the show’s presenters to terminate the call, with Sunny apologising to listeners.

“I don’t understand where he was going with that conversation but he’s obviously someone who doesn’t understand how you come on to engage here on the radio,” Sunny said.

The caller repeated the racist slur eight times on air, and also made a number of anti-gay remarks.

Iain Lee hit out at BBC Radio for allowing a caller to make racist and homophobic comments on air

Iain Lee, who used to present a show on talkRADIO, hit out the presenters and producers of the show on Twitter, writing: “Why did BBC London allow a caller on to say ‘I f**king hate n-words and gays’ over and over again? Absolutely incredible listening. The host asked him more questions after he’d said it!”

He continued: “It makes me so angry. Amateur hour with kids producing. And I can’t get a gig.”

When Lee faced criticism from Twitter users who insisted that the incident was a “mistake”, he replied: “One n-word is a mistake. Eight or nine is incompetence on the part of the presenters and producers. One threat to kill a gay person is one too many.

“I’m not accusing them and the producer of racism, but dangerous incompetence that can’t be allowed.”

A spokesperson for the BBC told Metro: “An on-air apology was made and it has been removed from BBC Sounds. This was clearly a malicious call and we are looking into how this happened.”

More: BBC Radio London, Iain Lee, Sunny and Shay

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