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Last Updated: Monday, 20 August 2007, 14:13 GMT 15:13 UK
Talksport rapped over gay jibes
Garry Bushell
Garry Bushell said he regretted making the comments
Radio station Talksport has been censured after two presenters made derogatory comments about gay people.

Mike Mendoza was suspended for a week after linking homosexuality with paedophilia, while Garry Bushell called homosexuality a "perversion".

Regulator Ofcom upheld two complaints, saying connecting homosexuality with paedophilia was "highly offensive".

A Talksport spokesman said it took the watchdog's findings "very seriously" and called the comments "unacceptable".

Introducing a show in May, Mendoza commented on footballers making appeals over the disappearance of four-year-old Madeleine McCann.

"Paedophiles in general are the type of people that surely would not follow football... not many gay people to the best of my knowledge are great football fans," he said.

The broadcaster did not attempt to justify these offensive remarks by the context - it admitted they were not defensible and apologised
Ofcom on the Mike Mendoza comments
Talksport admitted the comment was "indefensible" and apologised to listeners, but Ofcom said it was "very concerned" that Mendoza made the remark.

In a separate show in June, which generally concentrates on footballing issues, a discussion began about a recent gay demonstration in Russia.

In it, Bushell made light of gay rights activist Peter Tatchell being arrested during the protest.

"I think there are a lot of things to put right in this country before you go around preaching the gospel of perversion," he said.

Ofcom said there was some attempt by his co-presenters to challenge what he had said, but that it was an "inflammatory remark" that would be regarded as "derogatory and offensive".

Gory act

Bushell was later spoken to by managers about his comments, which he said he regretted.

Ofcom also ruled that an act on the live prime-time semi-final of the ITV show Britain's Got Talent was "unsuitable for the time of transmission".

The regulator upheld 21 complaints about an act by illunsionist Dr Gore, who seemed to use a rotary saw to remove pieces of flesh and an organ from a young man's body.

Channel TV, which cleared the show for transmission, said his act had been "softened and amended".

But Ofcom ruled that the act "went beyond audience expectations for peak family viewing at the weekend, particularly given that audience figures suggest that more than one million children were watching".

An ITV spokeswoman said: "We are sorry if we caused distress to the small number of viewers that did complain."


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