Broadcaster Forced to Quit by BBC After Accidentally Playing a Song with the N-Word

Patrick Sawer, Telegraph (London), May 10, 2014

The BBC was facing criticsm last night after it forced a radio presenter to resign after he unwittingly played a song containing a deeply offensive racist slur.

David Lowe, a veteran radio broadcaster, played a song on his show which, unbeknown to him, contained a phrase using the N-word.

When a listener complained Mr Lowe offered either to apologise on air or resign. His BBC managers initially said he would have to resign, but after the affair threatened to become public the corporation underwent a sudden about turn and has now stated he can have his job back.

However the broadcaster said he had been left so stressed by the BBC’s attitude that he no longer feels well enough to continue working.

The incident followed the recent controversy over the use of the same word by Jeremy Clarkson, the presenter of Top Gear, when a recording of him mumbling the offensive word while reciting the nursery rhyme Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe, was made public.

During his nostalgic Sunday evening music show, Swingers and Stingers, which is broadcast across south west England, Mr Lowe last month played a recording from 82 years ago of “The Sun Has Got His Hat On”, by Ambrose & His Orchestra.

But what Mr Lowe, 67, did not realise was that the recording contained a line of lyric twice featuring the N-word. That sparked a complaint from a listener offended by the word who said he was “horrified” to hear it on the BBC and hoped “someone in authority” would deal with Mr Lowe.

When Mr Lowe listened to the recording again he realised what he had played and admitted his mistake, offering to apologise on air or, alternatively, “fall on his sword”.

Mr Lowe said the BBC sent him an email in which it was stated “we would prefer that you don’t mention anything about last week’s broadcast”. A further and final email informed him: “Regrettably . . . we will have to accept your offer to fall on your sword.”

That appeared to be in marked contrast to Mr Clarkson, who was given a final warning, but allowed to carry on working, after he apologised for using the same word.

Mr Lowe said that, in his case at least, “where political correctness is concerned in the UK today, there is no room for excuses or forgiveness”.

But yesterday the BBC appeared to suddenly change its position. In a statement it admitted it had handled the matter badly 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.”

They added: “We first asked David to return to his show earlier this week, but he declined. We have since asked him to return again and the door is still open should he want to return.”

However Mr Lowe now feels unable to rejoin the corporation after the incident aggravated an existing stress-related condition from which he suffers.

He told The Sunday Telegraph: “Unfortunately my health has to come first. The way the BBC have handled this is terrible and it has aggravated my condition. It was an honest mistake, but I’m afraid I won’t be going back on air.”

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  • D.B. Cooper

    His replacement will be Mohammed something.

    • Pro_Whitey

      Yes, and remember, with the muslims, no music. I was hoping for a spoof of “Maria” from “West Side Story” under the title “Shariah”, but I realize that the act of singing the song might cause the singer to be beheaded.

      • MikeofAges

        That thing about representational art. I guess representational vocal music is out too.

  • David Ashton

    We could also rule out the F-word and C-word from TV & radio programs. That would be a real “revolution”.

    • Pro_Whitey

      Well, it’s obvious then, start using those words to refer to the blecks.

    • GB101

      I want to ban the R word. R*****k. Saying this doesn’t seem to get many people fired. Any people.

      During the last election I heard someone on Fox say the SC is not as redneck as you might think. Did not cause the tiniest bit of controversy.

      Sometimes I will engage people (in forums like this but on lefty websites) and try to explain why “redneck” is an ethnic slur. Most are two dense even to begin to understand.

  • Oil Can Harry

    This just in: a black DJ from a rap music station has been fired for refusing to play songs featuring the “n-word”.

    • David Ashton

      Very niggardly of them.

  • dd121

    You can’t be too careful when eating “Brazil Nuts”.

    • Katherine McChesney

      I remember what we called them back in the 60’s.

      • dd121

        Hell, it’s what I still call ’em

  • jane johnson

    “Horrified” Hyperbole much?

    • NeanderthalDNA


  • Mr. Lowe should return to the air one more time and play the notorious hit, “Take This Job and Shove It,” by Johnny Paycheck, and then bid the BBC a not so fond farewell.

    • ShermanTMcCoy

      How about “Ni&&er Hatin’ Me” by Johnny Rebel?

      • ElComadreja

        He gets lots of airplay at my house.

        • ShermanTMcCoy

          Thank you, El, and PP. The mod pulled my comment suggesting (completely tongue-in-cheek, mind you), a purposely offensive tune by Johnny Rebel. Guess my high-brow humor went right over his head.

  • paul marchand

    Eternal contrived offense.
    Blacks know a N when they see one. They use the word regularly. And you know one when you see one.
    The main problem with the N word: it’s too true.

    • ElComadreja

      It describes them to a “T” and they know it.

  • Ike Eichenberg

    Too “stressed” to work = I just want to see if I can get a disability payout so I can sit around all day in my underwear.

  • ElComadreja

    No, then it would have been just fine with everyone.

    • PesachPatriot

      Yes….if this broadcaster had played such musical masterpieces(sarc) as NWA’s F tha police or perhaps some of Lil Wayne’s works he probably would have gotten a raise and a better time slot….

  • ElComadreja

    They drive around here blasting “music” where every other word is the “N” word not to mention the “F” word and several others. “F” them.

  • 4321realist

    “Broadcaster Forced to Quit by BBC After Accidentally Playing a Song with the N-Word”

    Yes, and then the BBC played black rap songs detailing how the “****a’s want to kill whitey and all the crackers and off the pigs.” And they listened in orgasmic bliss.

    And then they bowed and prayed before their PC god and obediently drank the Kool-Aid that was passed around to the worshippers.

  • model1911

    Would it not be more simple to just ban the usual suspects?

  • FR27

    This must mean the BBC does not allow numerous rap ‘songs’ to be played, which often feature the N-word. Is the BBC racist by not allowing such rap ‘music?’

  • ShermanTMcCoy


  • PesachPatriot

    I’m a bit younger than you and I remember when Marilyn Manson did a cover of the rock and roll n word song….there was almost no uproar or outrage when it was released….