Friday, 27 November 2015

Radio Review: 27 November

How a sharp and funny radio presenter lost his job

Written by Louis Barfe
Louis-Barfe-colour-176There’s nothing more worthless than an insincere apology, and I don’t believe that Iain Lee, whose BBC Three Counties I raved about a few weeks back, really meant it when he said sorry over a heated interview with a lobbyist from an outfit called Christian Concern. Nor should he have done. He did a grand job, and his bosses are cowards for sacking him.

We’re not talking about your average believer who lobs a few quid into the plate at church on Sunday. No, Christian Concern has organised conferences on highly dubious ‘gay cure’ therapies, and defended the sinister practice as a ‘basic freedom’. When prison gardener and volunteer preacher Reverend Barry Trayhorn got a slap on the wrist for using some of the less enlightened passages of The Bible in a sermon, he decided to sue for constructive dismissal, and Christian Concern took up cudgels on his behalf.

So it was that Lee found himself interviewing the organisation’s Libby Powell, and suggested Trayhorn was promoting bigotry and homophobia. Powell replied that neither she nor Trayhorn were bigots, and that it was merely God’s word. Lee argued that The Bible was written by human hands, and Christians were allowed to challenge it. The interview was a robust old ding-dong, and must have made for bracing listening at 6.15am, particularly when Lee referred to ‘two men having it away’.

In the old days, it was odds on nobody would have bothered to get the old green biro out to complain. However, with the whole thing available on iPlayer, Christian Concern then whipped up a storm on social media and a deluge of missives resulted.

How many? Enough to get a sharp, funny radio presenter the boot, however many that is. Still, we mustn’t offend the bigots. They’re very sensitive, poor lambs.

Louis on Twitter: @LF Barfe or email: 

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