Page last updated at 21:22 GMT, Tuesday, 11 November 2008

'Racism' row BBC host is replaced

Sam Mason
Miss Mason presented Radio Bristol's weekday afternoon programme

A BBC radio presenter has been replaced over allegedly racist comments made during an off-air phone conversation.

Sam Mason, who took over the BBC Radio Bristol weekday afternoon programme six weeks ago, was suspended on Friday.

She was informed by station bosses on Saturday that she would no longer be working for the BBC.

According to The Sun newspaper, Miss Mason allegedly told a Bristol taxi firm "not to send an Asian driver to pick up her daughter".

The paper said Miss Mason, 40, told a cab operator: "A guy with a turban on is going to freak her out."

Worker 'outraged'

When her request was refused, she is alleged to have said: "You've managed it before."

The taxi worker was said to be outraged and recorded the conversation.

The cab firm involved in the row issued a statement on Tuesday evening revealing that the employee who took the telephone call from the radio presenter had been sacked.

A spokesperson for The Streamline Black and White Taxis said: "We confirm that a telephone call from Radio Bristol presenter Sam Mason to the company was illegally recorded by an employee.

"That employee was dismissed for similar offences on 3 November."

Miss Mason is reported to have called the taxi firm off-air as she played a song on her afternoon show.

A transcript of the conversation, published in The Sun, records how she ordered a taxi to take her 14-year-old from her Clifton house to her grandparents' home.

A BBC spokesman said: "Although Sam Mason's remarks were not made on-air, her comments were completely unacceptable and, for that reason, she has been informed that she will no longer be working for the BBC with immediate effect."

Sam Mason was not available for comment.

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