Page last updated at 13:32 GMT, Monday, 23 March 2009

Moyles rapped for Young gay spoof

Chris Moyles and Will Young
Moyles (l) made the on-air comments on Young's 30th birthday

Radio 1 DJ Chris Moyles was wrong to mock singer Will Young's sexuality in a satirical song, Ofcom has ruled.

The media watchdog said listeners could have thought the item, which aired in January, condoned "negative stereotypes based on sexual orientation".

Eight people complained after Moyles used a high-pitched, effeminate voice to parody the star, who is openly gay.

Ofcom said both the tone and content of what Moyles said had the "potential to cause considerable offence".

Ofcom said it had taken into account the fact that Moyles's show is known for its irreverent style and studio banter.

'Hostile and pejorative'

On this occasion, however, it ruled that the material had gone beyond what was acceptable and had not been justified by its context.

The breach in broadcasting standards occurred on 20 January, which Moyles had noted was Will Young's 30th birthday.

The DJ marked the occasion by singing alternative versions of Young's hit singles Evergreen and Leave Right Now that made reference to his homosexuality.

Although Ofcom recognised the comments were "intended to be humorous", it ruled they could reasonably be seen as "hostile and pejorative".

The BBC has acknowledged the comments were misjudged and said Radio 1 controller Andy Parfitt had spoken to Moyles and his production team.

Ofcom previously found Moyles in breach of broadcasting codes in 2006 for calling women "dirty whores" and for swearing on air.

• The broadcasting watchdog also found a host of shows in breach of its guidelines for allowing their sponsors to advertise in their pre-, post- and mid-programme announcements.

The X Factor, Big Brother, The Gadget Show and The Alan Titchmarsh Show were among those who erred by letting their sponsors give specific information about their products and services.

According to the broadcasting code, sponsor credits "must not contain advertising messages or calls to action".

"In particular, credits must not encourage the purchase or rental of the products or services of the sponsor or a third party."

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