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BBC presenter sacked for demanding non-Asian driver

John Hall
Tuesday 11 November 2008 13:55 GMT

A BBC radio presenter who asked a taxi firm not to send a Asian driver has been sacked.

Sam Mason made the comments while ordering a taxi for her 14-year-old daughter who she said would be “freaked out” by a turban-wearing driver.

The taxi operator routinely records messages in case of complaints and later passed a transcript of the conversation on to The Sun, who subsequently contacted the BBC.

Mason, who took over BBC Radio Bristol weekday afternoon programme six weeks ago, was initially suspended on Friday over her comments, before being informed by station bosses on Saturday that she would no longer be working for the BBC.

A BBC spokesman said: "Although Sam Mason's remarks were not made on-air, her comments were completely unacceptable and, for that reason, she has been informed that she will no longer be working for the BBC with immediate effect."

According to The Sun, the transcript of the conversation runs as follows.

Mason: “I know this sounds really racist, but I’m not being . . . please, don’t send anyone like, you know what I mean. An English person would be great, a female would be better.”

Operator: “We would class that as being racist. We can’t penalise the Asian drivers and just send an English one.”

Mason: “You’ve managed it before.”

Operator: “Right, OK. I don’t agree with it personally.”

Mason: “It’s not your 14-year-old girl who’s, you know, is it?”

Operator: “Yes, but that’s racist to say you don’t want an Asian driver.”

Mason: “If it were me I wouldn’t care if it had two heads, but it’s my little girl we are talking about.”

Mason, is then handed to a male taxi operator and tells him that his female colleague has “a bad attitude”.

She adds: “I work at the BBC. I’m far from racist and that uneducated woman has no right to call me one.” She says of her daughter: “I don’t want her to turn up with a guy with a turban on. It’s going to freak her out. She’s not used to Asians.”

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