Simon Amstell apologises for Nelson Mandela comment on Radio One

 

Simon Amstell has apologised for suggesting there was racial segregation between Radio 1 and its sister station BBC Radio 1Xtra in reference to Nelson Mandela.

The controversial comedian said during a link:  “What is going on? We're next to 1Xtra, it's so white in here. Mandela would not approve of the situation at the BBC.”

Asked by Nick Grimshaw why, he replied: “Look at all these people in here.”

Grimshaw answered: “There's a lot of people.”

“Yeah,” Amstell replied. “But look at the segregation that's happened.”

Producer of the Breakfast Show, Matt Fincham, chimed in: “I don't think that's the right thing to be saying right now.”

Amstell then laughed, before adding: “Well, someone had to say it. Mandela would say it if he was here.”

At the end of the link, Nick Grimshaw said: “Apologies if you were offended by anything that was said earlier.”

Amstell replied: “Nothing I said was offensive, though.”

The comments were made less than 24 hours after news of Mandela's death was announced.

Taking to Twitter, Amstell later apologised, posting: "It may have been unclear this morning, as things often are but what came out of this mouth today was silly. Apologies to everyone involved."

The comedian appeared on the show to promote his new stand-up DVD, which was recorded at the BBC.

South African President Jacob Zuma announced the sad news of Mandela’s passing in a moving televised address yesterday.

He said: “Although we knew that this day would come, nothing can diminish our sense of a profound and enduring loss.

World Leaders Pay Tribute To Nelson Mandela

“Our thoughts are with the South African people who today mourn the loss of the one person who, more than any other, came to embody their sense of a common nationhood. Our thoughts are with the millions of people across the world who embraced Madiba as their own, and who saw his cause as their cause.”

Meanwhile, the UK premiere of Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom took place in London. Stars of the biopic, Idris Elba and Naomi Harris, as well as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Mandela’s daughter Zindzi, walked the red carpet at the Odeon Leicester Square.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
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 People

Recruitment Genius: HR Manager

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are in need of a HR Manage...

h2 Recruit Ltd: Business Development Manager - HR Consultancy - £65,000 OTE

£35000 - £40000 per annum + £65,000 OTE: h2 Recruit Ltd: London, Birmingham, M...

Day In a Page

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'