Homophobic? Moi? Chris Moyles censured by Ofcom for mocking Will Young's sexuality
Chris Moyles is famed not so much for failing the "cornflakes test" – the media benchmark by which bad-taste stories and remarks are tested for offence – as for spitting out the milk and smashing the breakfast bowl against the studio wall.
The DJ's no-holds-barred irreverence, which has earned him BBC Radio 1's largest pay packet, 7.3 million listeners and three Sony Radio Awards, led to yet another censuring from the broadcasting watchdog yesterday.
Moyles "promoted and condoned certain negative stereotypes based on sexual orientation" when he mocked the gay singer Will Young in a high-pitched, effeminate voice, Ofcom ruled.
"Hostile" and "pejorative" were the words chosen by the regulator in its judgment, adding: "The potential to cause considerable offence."
Moyles, reportedly paid a £603,000 salary for his breakfast show, denies he was homophobic. The BBC meanwhile claimed that Young was not being ridiculed on the basis of his sexuality.
"It's my birthday today, gonna wear my new dress tonight. And I smell nice. I've had a shower and I've shaved my legs," sang Moyles, falsetto, to the tune of Young's song "Evergreen", on 20 January. "Going out later, might go to Nob-oooh for dinner."
In his rendition of "Leave Right Now", Moyles sang: "Oooh Will Young here, mmmm. I'm here, it's Will's birthday and as the years go by I get more very gay. When you saw me years ago you didn't know, but now I'm the gayest fella you probably know. Mmm I like to wear a silly hat, I get camper by the hour, oh would you look at the muck in here. I'm Will Young and I'm gay."
Eight people complained that Moyles was offensive and derogatory towards the gay community. Ofcom was worried Moyles's broadcast "may have the potential to encourage listeners, especially children, to discriminate against others because of their perceived sexual orientation". It said: "Such material runs the risk of being imitated by children, for instance in the playground."
The 35-year-old presenter has been repeatedly censured by Ofcom and carpeted by bosses for his on-air indiscretions. But claims that he will be burnt in a rumoured Radio 1 "bonfire of the disc jockeys" – a purge of grey-haired staff from the youth station's studios – were wide of the mark, an insider said.
Radio 1 has a remit to target an audience aged 15 to 29, and executives are keen to promote the likes of chart-show host Reggie Yates, 25.
Moyles's mickey-taking derives from his days on Radio Topshop, entertaining bored sales staff, after he left school aged 16. He quickly impressed Radio 1 producers with his technical skill as a desk operator when he joined in 1997.
He explained in an interview: "When I got offered the job by Andy [Parfitt, Radio 1 Controller], I told him he needed to trust me not to get us all in the shit. He does."
Moyles, who recently climbed Mount Kilimanjaro for Comic Relief, knows his audience, but BBC executives' patience is finite. Top of the list for Radio 1's new deputy controller Ben Cooper – formerly Moyles's producer – will be keeping the station's loudest talent on the leash.
Big mouth strikes again The DJ's misdemeanours
*On Charlotte Church's 16th birthday in 2002, Moyles offered to take her virginity, or, as he put it, "lead her through the forest of her sexuality". Ofcom upheld the complaints.
*Last December, Moyles said Polish people made good prostitutes: "I just find that if you're Polish, you're very good at ironing ... and prostitutes ..." He apologised for "unintentional offence".
*The actress Halle Berry took offence at Moyle's impersonation of a "big, fat, black guy" and asked if he was being racist. Moyles described her as "ratty".
*In 2004, Moyles quizzed Victoria Beckham on when she conceived her first child, Brooklyn. He asked: "Am, I right in thinking you weren't married then? You whore." She laughed it off.
*Moyles described John Peel as "Kenny Everett-in-waiting". Why? Because "Kenny Everett's dead and it's only a matter of time before John pops his clogs".
Have shock jocks gone too far?
Former Google exec says he has 100,000 emails showing how 'immoral' company avoids paying UK tax
Notes from a small island: Is Sealand an independent 'micronation' or an illegal fortress?
British man confesses to slitting two children's throats in Lyon flat
'Swivel-gate': David Cameron goes to war with the press over 'swivel-eyed loons' slur
- 1 Asteroid nine times the size of the QE2 liner to sail pass Earth
- 2 Notes from a small island: Is Sealand an independent 'micronation' or an illegal fortress?
- 3 British business: We need to stay in the EU - or risk losing up to £92bn a year
- 4 You thought Ryanair's attendants had it bad? Wait 'til you hear about their pilots
- 5 It’s official: thanks to Stephen Hawking's Israel boycott, anti-Semitism is no more
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.
Travel and lunch expenses: ESI Media: Rare work experience opportunity for asp...
£28000 - £36000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitmen...
£350 - £400 per day: Progressive Recruitment: Agile Java Developer London
£19000 - £20000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: Our client is a lead...