The BBC has reprimanded 5 Live Breakfast presenter Nicky Campbell for not apologising when he mispronounced Jeremy Hunt’s surname on-air, resulting in a word that likely raised a few listeners’ eyebrows.
Campbell (pictured) called the then-Foreign Secretary “Jeremy c***t” shortly after 9am on 3 June this year, joining a growing list of broadcasters who have stumbled over the Tory MP’s name.
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A listener complained to the BBC that Campbell did not apologise on-air after he misspoke, and the BBC’s internal executive complaints unit has now upheld the complaint.
The ECU said that although the incident was “clearly unintentional”, there “should have been a prompt apology for the inadvertent obscenity”.
It went on: “The team was reminded of the importance of taking swift action to mitigate any offence caused by the inadvertent use of inappropriate language in a live broadcast.”
Campbell was the third-highest paid journalist at the BBC in the year to the end of March 2019, with a salary of up to £350,000.
He was among the male journalists to have taken a pay cut as the BBC tries to close its gender pay gap by the end of 2020.
Just one week after Campbell’s gaffe, Victoria Derbyshire made the same mistake during her daily news and current affairs programme on BBC Two, but immediately apologised.
Hosting a discussion about the Conservative leadership race, in which Hunt was the runner-up, Derbyshire said: “Steve Wright, you say that the man that you’re backing, Jeremy C**t – I’m so sorry, Jeremy Hunt.
“I’ve never said that before in my life, it’s usually men who say that so I really, really want to apologise. I’m sorry.”
Derbyshire soon clarified in a now-deleted tweet that she meant it was “mostly men on air, male broadcasters, who have ended up getting his name wrong” rather than that men “generally go around saying the word”.
“Sorry again,” she added.
Hunt subsequently told the Telegraph’s Brexit podcast that broadcasters should “grow up” and “get over the fact that my last name rhymes with a rather unpleasant word”.
Other culprits have included Radio 4 Today presenter Justin Webb, BBC News presenter Carrie Gracie and Sky News political correspondent Tom Rayner, all last year.
Back in 2010 Radio 4’s Jim Naughtie made the slip-up, which was repeated by Andrew Marr when he reported on the first incident a week later.
Picture: BBC/Jon Super