BBC Radio Solent DJ Alex Dyke's breastfeeding comments 'in breach' of broadcasting rules, says Ofcom

He had complained about “earth mothers…with moustaches” who breastfed in public

Jack Shepherd
Monday 09 November 2015 15:26
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Alex Dyke said he ‘didn’t know where to look’ when a woman breastfed her child on a bus
Alex Dyke said he ‘didn’t know where to look’ when a woman breastfed her child on a bus

A BBC Radio DJ has been found guilty of breaching broadcasting regulations by Ofcom for comments made in a show about breastfeeding.

On the 12 August, Alex Dyke complained about “earth mothers…with moustaches” who breastfed in public and how it was “unnatural” and “has to be stopped” in public.

The comments have been labelled in findings by broadcasting watchdog Ofcom and the BBC Trust - the BBC’s governing body - as “misogynistic” and should never have been broadcast.

Ofcom said how his comments "stepped significantly beyond what would have been deemed acceptable by listeners”, adding: “We were particularly concerned that Alex Dyke had been permitted to broadcast highly offensive comments with apparently minimal editorial oversight.”

Meanwhile, The Trust called it a "serious breach" of guidelines, saying how Dyke "repeated derogatory stereotypical comments about the appearance of the kind of women who might breastfeed”.

According to the BBC, he had asked readers to call in about the “taboo subject” of breastfeeding in public.

He blamed "earth mothers... with the moustaches, the ones who work in libraries, the ones who wear hessian, the ones... they're always on Radio 4 on Women's [sic] Hour, they are always pushing the boundaries and making us feel uncomfortable.

“Breastfeeding is unnatural. It's the kind of thing that should be done in a quiet, private nursery.” Listen to the segment below.

The following day he apologised on his programme, which broadcast to parts of Hampshire and Dorset.

“I made comments which, on reflection, were comments which were misguided, ill-judged and showed a lack of understanding and empathy with women who breastfeed. I have had time away from my radio show, and had space to think about what I said.”

A BBC spokeswoman told The Telegraph: "We take the Ofcom and BBC Trust findings very seriously indeed. Alex was told at the time in no uncertain terms that his comments were unacceptable, and he apologised for any offence caused on and off air.”

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