Allowing this kind of material to be broadcast on ‘Auntie’ in this day and age beggars belief. What were the producers of this show thinking?!
The BBC went ahead with the broadcast of a radio discussion on how to “cure” Clare Balding of her gayness at the weekend, which unsurprisingly has attracted many complaints from listeners.
The discussion also included whether Balding should present horse racing shows topless.
As part of a round on the BBC Radio 5 Live show ‘Fighting Talk’, Colin Murray, the show’s presenter, asked a contestant to argue the proposition: “Give me 20 minutes with her and I’m pretty sure I could turn around Clare Balding”.
Balding is a sports presenter on Channel 4 and the BBC and has been in a civil partnership with Alice Arnold, the former Radio 4 newsreader for seven years.
The controversial broadcast came during the final segment of the show in which guests are asked to “defend the indefensible” and argue a difficult-to-support case.
Comedian Bob Mills rose to the challenge by saying that Balding was a “horse woman”, who “appreciates power between her thighs”, before adding: “And we all know, there is no woman that can’t be cured.”
A version of the programme broadcast later in the evening asked the guests to debate whether or not the presenter, considered a national treasure by many, should host racing shows topless.
A spokesman for the BBC said today: “The comments were made during a round called ‘Defend the Indefensible’, which asks panelists to comment on topics which, by their very nature, are blatantly indefensible.
“However, we would like to apologise unreservedly to anyone who was offended by the live broadcast.”