Former BBC Radio 1 broadcaster, Paul Gambaccini, has once again emphasised the ethical implications of public broadcasting to an audience at Coventry University.
‘Broadcasters have an incredible responsibility,’ said Gambaccini, who currently presents on BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 4 and Classic FM. Back on the ‘Sack Chris Moyles’ beat, he said he was deeply offended by the current BBC 1 breakfast host’s comments about, and parody of, the singer Will Young.
“Had I been the head of Radio 1 I would have sacked him for that, because I know everything that we do will be remembered by, and have an influence on, some people,” he said.
Gambaccini first called for Moyles’ sacking in February, in his Oxford University lecture series, in his role as this year’s News International professor of broadcast media.
It was the second time he repeated the message this week. Speaking at the Media Guardian Radio Reborn conference on Monday, he said that Moyles was ‘a bully who causes human suffering’.
Gambaccini told that audience that young boys were beaten up in the playground for their sexuality. Moyles’ parody encouraged that, he claimed.
He claimed that the BBC had failed to recognise its ‘incredible responsibility’. “Radio 1 hasn’t been aware of that [responsibility] or willing to act on it. Personally, I would have dropped Chris Moyles. For someone like Chris to throw the word gay around with abandonment, does, I’m afraid, show a sense of irresponsibility.”
Moyles’ job has attracted attention of late: the Sun recently devoted a front page story to his alleged imminent ‘sacking’ from the pole position on Radio 1. Moyles responded with a rant on his show denying the story.
Radio 1 deputy head, Ben Cooper, also questioned the veracity of the Sun story this week, in a somewhat lukewarm endorsement of Moyles and his show.
John Mair is senior lecturer in broadcasting at Coventry University and organiser of the Coventry Conversations, a series of events featuring high-profile media figures.