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David Cameron weighs into BBC DJ N-word sacking

FIRED: David Lowe

PRIME MINISTER David Cameron has accused the BBC of acting “unfairly” over its sacking of a local radio presenter who played a song on air that contained the N-word.

DJ David Lowe, 68, who has been a broadcaster for 32 years, claimed he did not know the 1932 version of the song The Sun Has Got His Hat On featured the racial insult.

Following his dismissal, the BBC has since admitted it could have handled the situation in a better way and has offered Lowe his job back, however the DJ declined the offer and said he will not return to the corporation.

Lowe maintained he was unaware of the racist verse that has the line: “He’s been tanning n****rs out in Timbuktu, now he's coming back to do the same to you.”

The song was broadcast last night (May 11) as part of a self-produced show by Lowe and was heard by listeners across the southwest of England. The BBC took action following a complaint about the lyrics.

Cameron intervened this morning and said the broadcast of the offensive song was an “innocent mistake”.

The Conservative leader told ITV show Good Morning Britain: “I don't run the BBC but it does seem in this case that if you really didn't know what was on the record, it does seem slightly unfair.

“I don't know all the facts of the case, but from reading the papers like everyone else, it looked a bit odd.”

The BBC has not yet commented on Cameron’s remarks, but issued a statement about Lowe’s dismissal and said: “We have offered David Lowe the opportunity to continue presenting his Singers and Swingers show, and we would be happy to have him back on air.

“We accept that the conversation with David about the mistake could have been handled better, but if he chooses not to continue then we would like to thank him for his time presenting on the station and wish him well for the future.”

It is the second time in recent weeks that the BBC has become embroiled in a N-word-related row – Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson was criticised for mumbling the racial slur in a 2009 clip from the motoring show that was not broadcast. However, after it came to light by a Daily Mirror story, there were calls for Clarkson to be sacked.

The BBC said it took the incident seriously, while Clarkson claimed the broadcaster had issued him with a final warning following a host of other incidents in which Clarkson has attracted anger for comments about race and nationality.

Editor of The Voice George Ruddock said that the BBC should sack Clarkson if it wanted to make a "serious statement" on tackling casual racism.

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