Editorial

Ofcom taking no further action over ‘offensive’ comments by BBC local radio presenter about a rape case

Broadcasting watchdog Ofcom, Southwark Bridge Road. Image: Google Street View

Broadcasting watchdog Ofcom, Southwark Bridge Road. Image: Google Street View

The broadcasting watchdog Ofcom has decided it will take ‘no further action’ over a BBC radio presenter who said women should ‘keep their knickers on’ while discussing convicted rapist and footballer Ched Evans.

Nick Conrad, a talk show host on BBC Radio Norfolk, made the comments during a live debate about the former Sheffield United striker, who provoked an outcry when he initially returned to train with the club.

46 listeners complained to Ofcom which investigated to determine where the broadcasting code had been breached.

Ofcom is a statutory regulator which, unlike the current independent press and online standards regulator IPSO, can take ‘third party’ complaints.

It decided the presenter’s comments ‘were offensive’ and were ‘not justified by the context of the show.’

Ofcom has overlapping regulatory powers with the BBC and it noted that the BBC had taken steps to limit the offence.

The BBC – and Mr Conrad – apologised for his remarks.

The full quotation was:

I think women need to be more aware of a man’s sexual desire that when you’re in that position that you are about to engage in sexual activity there’s a huge amount of energy in the male body, there’s a huge amount of will and intent, and it’s very difficult for many men to say no when they are whipped up into a bit of a storm.

He added:

What I’m trying to say is that women also have to understand that when a man’s given certain signals he’ll wish to act upon them and if you don’t wish to give out the wrong signals, it’s best, probably, to keep your knickers on and not get into bed with him. Does that make sense?

Ofcom spokesman said:

…the BBC took steps to limit offence in the programme by including a significant live contribution from a representative of the End Violence Against Women Coalition and Conrad subsequently apologised on air for the comments. As a result, we consider the matter resolved.

 

Categories: Editorial, Football, Media

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