Anti-racism campaigner says sacked DJ David Lowe should return on air

A veteran BBC DJ fired after accidentally playing a song containing the N-word has been defended by anti-racism campaigners.

David Lowe, 68, played a 1930s version of the song “The Sun Has Got His Hat On”, which features the racial slur, during his show on Radio Devon. He offered to apologise on air or “fall on his sword” if that did not satisfy his bosses at the BBC, who then asked him to resign.

However an anti-racism campaigner, Weyman Bennett, of Unite Against Facism, said that Mr Lowe had made a mistake and should not have been forced out.

He suggested Mr Lowe had been dealt with severely partly because the BBC had decided not to sack Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson, who was recorded mumbling the N-word during filming for his show,  and who also apparently used the word “slope” to describe an Asian man.

 

“Clarkson uses the N-word and is allowed to cover it up because he’s a very lucrative individual,” he said. “The reason why the BBC is getting into this mess is because it didn’t deal with Clarkson.”

Read more:
If we call Clarkson racist, what word do we use for Boko Haram?
Is this the end for Jeremy Clarkson?
Clarkson's wife 'divorcing him'

Mr Bennett said Mr Lowe should have been suspended but added: “I would put him back on air.”

Mr Lowe said he played the song without realising the N-word was used. A BBC spokeswoman said the matter “could have been handled better” and said the “door remained open” should he want to return.

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