Page last updated at 18:11 GMT, Tuesday, 18 November 2008

'Nazi' remark presenter is sacked

Jon Gaunt
The radio presenter is also a columnist for the Sun newspaper

Talksport presenter Jon Gaunt has been sacked after he called a London councillor a "Nazi" and an "ignorant pig" during a live debate.

The incident came as he interviewed Redbridge councillor Michael Stark about the authority's plans to ban smokers from fostering children.

An investigation was launched after the show was broadcast live on 7 November.

A Talksport spokesman said "complaints about the content and nature of the broadcast" prompted the decision.

On-air apology

"Talksport yesterday terminated presenter Jon Gaunt's contract following an interview with Redbridge Council's Councillor Michael Stark," he added.

"The radio station has apologised to the councillor for the manner in which the interview was conducted."

At the end of the show, Gaunt made an on-air apology to his guest and was then suspended pending an investigation.

During the debate, Mr Stark defended the ban, due in 2010, by saying that children's welfare should be put ahead of the needs of foster families.

Gaunt, who spent time in care in his youth, argued that children could be deprived of chances to be fostered.

Redbridge Council, in north-east London, unanimously voted in favour of stopping smokers from fostering on Tuesday, 4 November.

All new applicants to the council's foster care programme will be told at an early stage that they will not be able to foster if they smoke, unless there are "exceptional circumstances".

Existing foster carers who smoke will be given help to give up.

Councillors said they wanted to protect children from the damaging effects of passive and second-hand smoke.

The Fostering Network charity responded: "We certainly view this as a good move in terms of creating a smoke-free environment for a child, but we don't agree that a blanket ban on any smokers becoming foster carers is the right thing."

Gaunt is a former BBC radio presenter, winning three Sony Radio Academy Awards in 2001 while at BBC Three Counties Radio.

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'Nazi' remark presenter suspended
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