Spectator editor 'too plummy' for Radio 4

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The Independent Online

BORIS JOHNSON, editor of the Spectator, has been sacked as a presenter of BBC Radio's The Week in Westminster "for sounding too plummy". In this week's issue Mr Johnson accuses Radio 4 controller James Boyle of saying his deep and fruity voice would "frighten the horses" if broadcast on a Saturday morning.

BORIS JOHNSON, editor of the Spectator, has been sacked as a presenter of BBC Radio's The Week in Westminster "for sounding too plummy". In this week's issue Mr Johnson accuses Radio 4 controller James Boyle of saying his deep and fruity voice would "frighten the horses" if broadcast on a Saturday morning.

"In the old days people struggled to sound BBC posh," said Mr Johnson, "but after generations of buffing up the Johnsons it turns out not to be what was required."

Mr Johnson says he was dismissed by the head of political programmes at BBC Westminster . "He thought my voice was fine, little short of superb, in fact," he writes, "but James Boyle thought it was - take your pick - too posh, stuck up, toffee-nosed, just too damn pukka."

Radio 4 was defensive about the decision. "It's not just about Mr Johnson's voice," said one bureaucrat. "Look at Ned Sherrin, who is also on a Saturday morning - he's just as posh." There are suggestions he may have been caught in the crossfire of the decision to return the show to Saturday morning Officially, Radio 4 said the issue was not Mr Johnson's accent, but his "tone".

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