Jeremy Paxman drops a clanger at the BBC
What is with the C-word at the Beeb? After Naughtie, Paxman’s at it
Just what is going on at the BBC? There haven’t been this many slipped tongues at the corporation since they aired their controversial lesbian drama Tipping the Velvet back in 2002.
The latest broadcaster to provoke an outcry with his solecist shenanigans is Newsnight’s esteemed presenter Jeremy Paxman. Introducing a segment on government tax plans, ‘Paxo’ said: “Supposing, though, some of the people who ought to be paying taxes so the cunts, cuts aren't so bad aren't actually doing so.”
Paxman took the gaffe in his stride, merely raising an eyebrow and suppressing a smile before, in time-honoured television fashion, moving swiftly on.
But while the BBC braces itself for a Daily Mail diatribe, listeners are entitled to ask if they’re putting something in the tea at Broadcasting House.
Back in December, James Naughtie, the venerable presenter of Radio 4’s Today programme, referred to culture secretary Jeremy Hunt as Jeremy Cunt, an understandable error in many respects, and one that was repeated later that same day by Andrew Marr on Radio 4’s Start the Week programme.
Just a fortnight later, it was the turn of Eric Cantona to have his credentials called into question. In an item about the former French footballer-turned-actor, sports presenter Olly Foster told BBC 24 News viewers: “Great to see Eric Cunt... Cantona.”
It’s not the first time Paxo has upset viewers with his salty language. During the BBC’s coverage of last year’s general election, he described the hung parliament as ‘bollocks’, for which his employers later apologised, and the Beeb was at it again this morning with a spokesman saying: "This was an unfortunate slip of the tongue and we apologise for any offence caused."
The Guardian has leapt to the defence of Paxman, blaming his blunder on the fact that the news item he was presenting concerned a tongue-twisting direct action group called UK Uncut - an excuse that many people, to take a leaf out of Paxman’s lexicon, will view as bollocks. ·
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