Terry Wogan show 'breached broadcasting guidelines'

 

Sir Terry Wogan's Radio 2 show breached broadcasting guidelines, the BBC Trust has said, after the veteran presenter appeared to make light of the Costa Concordia tragedy.

The radio star made the comments, which listeners complained were "inappropriate and offensive", nine days after the cruise ship ran aground in January.

At the time, it was reported that at least 11 people had died - the number later rose to 32 - and the search for survivors was still ongoing.

Sir Terry made a joke after disco track Rock The Boat was played on his two-hour live Sunday morning show, Weekend Wogan.

As the song faded, he mused on whether it had been an appropriate song and joked about the ship's captain and wanting to be the first in the lifeboat if the BBC went down.

"Frankly if I had my time over again, and given the boating tragedy in Italy, I mightn't have picked that as an opening song," he chuckled.

"Rock The Boat, argh, Captain Coward," he added.

Later, after the news bulletin he said to the announcer: "I don't know about you ... but I'll be the last to leave the BBC."

He added later: "Not sinking is it? Me first, never mind the women and children, I'm not even Italian."

The comments were referred to the BBC Trust after the Editorial Complaints Unit ruled that they did not warrant a public apology, even though they had been "inappropriate" and "ran the risk of causing offence".

The trust's Editorial Standards Committee, which acts as the final arbiter of appeals if complainants are unhappy with the way their initial complaints have been dealt with by BBC management, said it was surprised that there had not been an on-air apology.

Sir Terry's remarks were "characteristically self-deprecating, joking about his own lack of bravery rather than the victims of the tragedy itself," The trust said.

"In this context the committee did not believe there had been any intention to cause offence.

"The committee, however, did conclude that there was a real risk of causing offence and in this context the guidelines had been breached.

"The committee expressed surprise that the BBC did not apologise on-air on the day," it said.

But it added that as the BBC had accepted that the remarks and music were inappropriate and had apologised to the listener, there should be no further sanction.

PA

News
More than 90 years of car history are coming to an end with the abolition of the paper car-tax disc
newsThis and other facts you never knew about the paper circle - completely obsolete today
News
people'I’d rather have Fred and Rose West quote my characters on childcare'
Life and Style
The new Windows 10 Start Menu
tech
Arts and Entertainment
There has been a boom in ticket sales for female comics, according to an industry survey
comedyFirst national survey reveals Britain’s comedic tastes
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Travel
Bruce Chatwin's novel 'On the Black Hill' was set at The Vision Farm
travelOne of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
Sport
footballManchester City 1 Roma 1: Result leaves Premier League champions in danger of not progressing
Arts and Entertainment
Gay and OK: a scene from 'Pride'
filmsUS film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
News
i100
Life and Style
Magic roundabouts: the gyratory system that has excited enthusiasts in Swindon
motoringJust who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Arts and Entertainment
Hilary North's 'How My Life Has Changed', 2001
booksWell it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Latest stories from i100
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 Media

Head of Marketing - Acquisition & Direct Reponse Marketing

£90000 - £135000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Marketing (B2C, Acquisition...

Financial Controller

£60000 - £75000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: This is a busy and varied role w...

Senior Business Development Manager

£60-70k fixed, double OTE uncapped: Sphere Digital Recruitment: The Senior Bus...

Ad Operations Executive

30,000: Sphere Digital Recruitment: My client is a global name within the ente...

Day In a Page

Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Why do we like making lists?

Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

Paris Fashion Week

Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
Bruce Chatwin's Wales: One of the finest one-day walks in Britain

Simon Calder discovers Bruce Chatwin's Wales

One of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
10 best children's nightwear

10 best children's nightwear

Make sure the kids stay cosy on cooler autumn nights in this selection of pjs, onesies and nighties
Manchester City vs Roma: Five things we learnt from City’s draw at the Etihad

Manchester City vs Roma

Five things we learnt from City’s Champions League draw at the Etihad
Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

Trouble on the Tyne

Ashley must act now and end Pardew's reign at Newcastle, says Martin Hardy
Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?