BBC host causes ‘furore’ over ‘clumsy’ comment

Staff Writer

Another male BBC Radio 5 live presenter has apologised for comments made on-air about a female personality, just a month after a previous incident.

Commentator and long-standing 5 live presenter John Inverdale made a remark about Wimbledon Champion Marion Bartoli’s looks.

Inverdale said the French tennis player was 'never going to be a looker' after she won on Saturday.

He said: “You are never going to be somebody like a Sharapova, you’re never going to be 5ft 11, you’re never going to be somebody with long legs, so you have to compensate for that.”

But after a backlash on Twitter, Inverdale apologised the day after. “Before we start, I’d like to return to yesterday and a clumsy phrase that I used about Marion Bartoli which has understandably caused something of a furore,” he said.

“The point I was trying to make in a rather ham-fisted kind of way is that the public perception of tennis players is that they’re all 6 feet-tall Amazonian athletes.

“Marion, who is the Wimbledon champion, bucks that trend, and she is a fantastic example to all young people that it’s attitude, and will and determination together obviously with talent that in the end gets you to the top. I’ve apologised to Marion by letter if any offence was caused and I do hope that we can leave the matter there.”

A BBC spokesman confirmed: “We accept that this remark was insensitive and for that we apologise.”

The controversy has now made news here. See the article from Fairfax Media here.

This story first appeared in Radio Today UK

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