Howay the lad! Lottery presenter `sacked over Geordie accent'

FIRST BORIS Johnson claimed the BBC sacked him from a presenting job on Radio 4 because his plummy tones were too posh; now a Geordie darts commentator claims he too has lost his job because viewers found his accent impenetrable.

Sid Waddell, 57, said he had been sacked as a National Lottery presenter just days after announcing the winning numbers in last week's draw and providing voiceovers for the accompanying show, Red Alert, presented by the singer Lulu.

Mr Waddell said Ginger Productions, which produces Red Alert for the BBC, was told to get rid of him because his accent was too regional. "I'm totally perplexed by all this," he said yesterday. "Three days after the show I was told by Ginger that I was being got rid of because the BBC felt my accent was too strong.

"I'm flabbergasted at getting the sack, when the BBC knows my voice very well, having commentated on darts for them for 15 years, before BSkyB seven years ago. In the weeks before the start of the show I did six recorded practice runs at voicing the balls, two recorded rehearsals and a pilot programme in front of the audience. All that seemed to go well and the BBC approved everything two weeks ago."

A spokeswoman for the BBC said the decision was between Ginger Productions, run by Chris Evans, and Mr Waddell. "It is a new programme, the format is still evolving and changes will be made but to say it is because of his accent is rubbish. If we disliked accents why would we have the programme presented by a Scotswoman and an Essex boy?" she said. No one from Ginger Productions was available for comment.

The first Red Alert show, co-presented by Terry Alderton, a comedian who was nominated for the Perrier Award at last year's Edinburgh Festival, attracted only 6.25 million viewers - a disappointment for the BBC which was hoping for a bigger boost to its Saturday night ratings. A new presenter has been found for tonight's show. Mr Johnson, editor of The Spectator and a former presenter of The Week in Westminster, is reported to have apologised for his claim about being sacked. He said he had a column to write and was feeling a little "frivolous".

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Business Systems Analyst (Retail)

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Up to 20% bonus: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: An...

Geography Teacher

£20000 - £2300001000 per annum: Randstad Education Chelmsford: If working in a...

English Teacher

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Randstad Education Chelmsford: If working in an out...

Accounts Payable

£12 - £15 per hour: Cameron Kennedy Recruitment: Excellent opportunity to join...

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice