£125,000 fine for radio host's racist comments
Friday 25 November 2005
A radio station has been fined £125,000 after a presenter made racist comments and joked about the death of the Iraq hostage Ken Bigley. It is the largest penalty imposed so far on a British radio station.
Listeners to Piccadilly Radio's Key 103, the commercial service based in Manchester, complained that comments, made by James Stannage, a presenter on late-night phone-ins, were offensive, racist, and incited racial hatred.
The broadcast watchdog Ofcom said the material was some of the most offensive it had heard. "In particular, the presenter's continual focus on race and religion, as forms of abuse, caused grave concern," it said.
Stannage was sacked this year over the comments, made in October and November last year. Piccadilly Radio said the broadcasts were "totally unacceptable". The jokes and comments about Mr Bigley were made two days after his death was confirmed.
Stannage made "highly abusive comments concerning Muslims and used a mock Asian accent", abusing callers' religion and mocking Islamic traditions. Stannage also criticised the TV personality Sharon Osbourne over her religion.
Piccadilly Radio, part of the Emap Radio Group, had been fined before because of comments made by Stannage. In May last year, it got into trouble because of his jokes in the aftermath of the death of Chinese cockle-pickers in Morecambe Bay.
Ofcom said Piccadilly's failures to put in place more robust controls "were particularly serious" and there had been a "number of similar and serious issues with the same presenter on previous occasions".
Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
UK weather: Britain braced for snow as arctic air mass moves in
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
General Election 2015: Stephen Hawking says he will vote Labour
Bali Nine convict marries girlfriend as execution looms while friend dedicates himself to painting
- 1 Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
- 2 Frank Lampard's face drops when Holly Willoughby introduces him as a 'Man City legend'
- 3 UK weather: Britain braced for snow as arctic air mass moves in
- 4 Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
- 5 General Election 2015: Stephen Hawking says he will vote Labour
£20-30K(DOE) + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a PR Account M...
Competitive (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: One of the UK’s largest and most s...
£Competitive (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing and Co...
£ Highly Competitive (DOE): Guru Careers: A Digital Designer / Interactive Des...