Ofcom has received over 200 complaints after a caller to Jeremy Vine’s radio show gave a rational and balanced point of view live on air.
The popular afternoon Radio 2 show hosted by Mr Vine, was conducting a phone-in debate about whether cycling is a healthy and environmentally friendly means of transport that should be encouraged, or whether cyclists are simply a bloody nuisance who should look where they’re going, especially around lorry drivers. During the live debate a female listener, who cannot be named for legal reasons, rang into the show and proceeded to give a well thought out and balanced point of view that considered both sides of the argument fairly.
Listeners were so enraged by what had been said that Ofcom received a barrage of emails, letters and phone calls. A spokeswoman for Ofcom explained the reaction, “I think people were completely taken aback by what they heard. Most people tune into the show expecting to hear bigoted and narrow minded knee jerk reactions to the item being discussed. To be exposed to a sound and coherent argument is simply shocking and offensive to most of Mr Vine’s listeners”
As soon as Vine realised what was happening he hurriedly ended the conversation with the caller and moved onto a gentlemen who believed that cyclists harmed in road traffic accidents shouldn’t be entitled to NHS treatment, as more often than not it’s their own stupid fault anyway.
A spokesman for the BBC said “We would like to apologise unreservedly for what happened, however it should be pointed out that on the day of the incident only 2 complaints were received by Ofcom. The other complaints only came in after the Daily Mail printed an article about it the following day”