Radio DJ quits over 'N' word song

Andover Advertiser: BBC Devon presenter David Lowe found himself in hot water after airing an 82-year-old version of The Sun Has Got His Hat On which featured a racial slur (PA/BBC) BBC Devon presenter David Lowe found himself in hot water after airing an 82-year-old version of The Sun Has Got His Hat On which featured a racial slur (PA/BBC)

A veteran radio DJ says his 32 year radio career is over after bosses "forced" him to quit because he accidentally played a song with the 'N' word in it.

David Lowe, 68, found himself in hot water after airing an 82-year-old version of The Sun Has Got His Hat On which featured the racial slur.

The BBC Radio Devon broadcaster apologised to officials at the station, based in Plymouth's Seymour Road, but he said it fell on deaf ears.

Boss Emma Clements reportedly told Mr Lowe while he had "properly" dealt with his mistake, she thought it would best for him to step aside.

After his exit, Mr Lowe claims he was asked to say he was pursuing other interests.

But he refused and made the reasons public through his website.

He wrote: "On April 27, I featured an 82-year-old recording, one I've heard hundreds of times over the years, and even featured occasionally on my programmes.

"Unbeknown to me, however, that recording by Ambrose & His Orchestra of The Sun Has Got His Hat On contains a line of lyric that includes one of today's forbidden English language expressions ... the N word.

"You've got to listen very carefully indeed to actually hear it. But, yes, it is there on the recording.

"I admitted my mistake immediately after listening closely to the 'offending' track.

"I then apologised to my BBC managers, and offered to apologise to the listeners at the beginning of, and again during, my programme on May 11. Alternatively, I offered to fall on my sword.

"I was (later) asked if I would agree to a BBC Devon News item announcing my 'departure to pursue other interests'.

"I respectfully declined the offer."

The BBC has offered him his job back.

However, he said he declined because his departure caused him so much stress and flared up a medical condition he suffers from.

He added: "I am partially disabled by Dystonic Tremor: a condition rooted in the central nervous system.

"To put it mildly, these past two weeks have played havoc with my tremor symptoms, and it's going to take quite some time for me to get back to where I was before this N-word issue blew-up ... if I ever do.

"I feel sure, therefore, most of you will understand that I now need to focus on recovering, as best I can, the limited dexterity I enjoyed before this regrettable episode began."

A BBC spokeswoman said the corporation admitted the discussion about Mr Lowe's future "could have been handled better" and said the "door remained open" should he want to return.

She added: " His offer to resign was agreed locally but once escalated it was decided his resignation should not have been accepted. David was initially invited early last week (Tues 6 May) to return to his show. He has declined and so we would like to thank him for his many years presenting on Radio Devon and wish him well for the future."

In the meantime hundreds of people have taken to social media to offer Mr Lowe their support.

Last month Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson came under fire after video footage of him using the 'N' word emerged.

He was not sacked or suspended, but warned about his future conduct.

Comments (24)

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12:06pm Sun 11 May 14

Katie Re-Registered says...

So, Argus: please do tell us why it's a bigoted sackable offence to accidentally play a song with the n-word in it, but okay to casually (not to mention inaccurately) refer to a person who identifies outside of the gender binary as a "bloke in a dress"?
So, Argus: please do tell us why it's a bigoted sackable offence to accidentally play a song with the n-word in it, but okay to casually (not to mention inaccurately) refer to a person who identifies outside of the gender binary as a "bloke in a dress"? Katie Re-Registered
  • Score: 9

12:14pm Sun 11 May 14

Viva Trowvegas says...

He looks like a bloke in a shirt to me.
He looks like a bloke in a shirt to me. Viva Trowvegas
  • Score: -2

12:16pm Sun 11 May 14

Western Sunset says...

If each word and phrase in every song played on the radio or on TV were analysed in detail, there would be a lot of unemployed DJ's and dead air time.
If each word and phrase in every song played on the radio or on TV were analysed in detail, there would be a lot of unemployed DJ's and dead air time. Western Sunset
  • Score: 14

12:18pm Sun 11 May 14

gazzandste says...

Katie Re-Registered wrote:
So, Argus: please do tell us why it's a bigoted sackable offence to accidentally play a song with the n-word in it, but okay to casually (not to mention inaccurately) refer to a person who identifies outside of the gender binary as a "bloke in a dress"?
If it`s that much of an issue, why hasn`t the record been delisted on the radio stations record collection. The radio station should take most of the blame.
[quote][p][bold]Katie Re-Registered[/bold] wrote: So, Argus: please do tell us why it's a bigoted sackable offence to accidentally play a song with the n-word in it, but okay to casually (not to mention inaccurately) refer to a person who identifies outside of the gender binary as a "bloke in a dress"?[/p][/quote]If it`s that much of an issue, why hasn`t the record been delisted on the radio stations record collection. The radio station should take most of the blame. gazzandste
  • Score: 6

12:29pm Sun 11 May 14

Viva Trowvegas says...

Still don't understand the "bloke in a dress" bit. David Lowe doesn't look like he's wearing a dress and doesn't look remotely anything other than a bloke.
Still don't understand the "bloke in a dress" bit. David Lowe doesn't look like he's wearing a dress and doesn't look remotely anything other than a bloke. Viva Trowvegas
  • Score: 3

12:56pm Sun 11 May 14

keepitreel says...

could someone please tell me the difference in the use of the N word in this instance as opposed to the same word used in the ELVIS COSTELLO song Oliver's army,is it because it has the the word white in front,so am i wrong in thinking it could be fine to use the phrase white nigg*r as the term is not a known racist slur on the white race.
could someone please tell me the difference in the use of the N word in this instance as opposed to the same word used in the ELVIS COSTELLO song Oliver's army,is it because it has the the word white in front,so am i wrong in thinking it could be fine to use the phrase white nigg*r as the term is not a known racist slur on the white race. keepitreel
  • Score: 10

1:31pm Sun 11 May 14

Viva Trowvegas says...

keepitreel wrote:
could someone please tell me the difference in the use of the N word in this instance as opposed to the same word used in the ELVIS COSTELLO song Oliver's army,is it because it has the the word white in front,so am i wrong in thinking it could be fine to use the phrase white nigg*r as the term is not a known racist slur on the white race.
Very good point well made. When hip hop artists use it in their music it's bleeped out on Radio 1. When Jeremy Vine plays Oliver's Army on Radio 2 it's not bleeped out, although they did start bleeping out the word "****" from Fairytale of New York for a short while peculiarly then re-instating it.

Clearly the BBC doesn't understand it's own guidelines.
[quote][p][bold]keepitreel[/bold] wrote: could someone please tell me the difference in the use of the N word in this instance as opposed to the same word used in the ELVIS COSTELLO song Oliver's army,is it because it has the the word white in front,so am i wrong in thinking it could be fine to use the phrase white nigg*r as the term is not a known racist slur on the white race.[/p][/quote]Very good point well made. When hip hop artists use it in their music it's bleeped out on Radio 1. When Jeremy Vine plays Oliver's Army on Radio 2 it's not bleeped out, although they did start bleeping out the word "****" from Fairytale of New York for a short while peculiarly then re-instating it. Clearly the BBC doesn't understand it's own guidelines. Viva Trowvegas
  • Score: 8

2:15pm Sun 11 May 14

ProgressiveBournemouth says...

Racists need to stop being racist and then playing the persecution card when their racism is criticised.
Racists need to stop being racist and then playing the persecution card when their racism is criticised. ProgressiveBournemouth
  • Score: -4

3:23pm Sun 11 May 14

CHISSY1 says...

Guy Gibsons dog was called ****.When i was a child i had a cat called Blackie.
Guy Gibsons dog was called ****.When i was a child i had a cat called Blackie. CHISSY1
  • Score: 8

3:51pm Sun 11 May 14

OvercrowdedCountry says...

CHISSY1 wrote:
Guy Gibsons dog was called ****.When i was a child i had a cat called Blackie.
At one stage they were thinking of making a new "Dambusters" film. GG's dog was to be called "Tigger".
[quote][p][bold]CHISSY1[/bold] wrote: Guy Gibsons dog was called ****.When i was a child i had a cat called Blackie.[/p][/quote]At one stage they were thinking of making a new "Dambusters" film. GG's dog was to be called "Tigger". OvercrowdedCountry
  • Score: -1

3:52pm Sun 11 May 14

easthoweafcb. says...

Yes I agree this dj should be sacked for playing such an old record on vinyl how distasteful whatever next! Or am I missing the point lol
Yes I agree this dj should be sacked for playing such an old record on vinyl how distasteful whatever next! Or am I missing the point lol easthoweafcb.
  • Score: -4

4:18pm Sun 11 May 14

CHISSY1 says...

OvercrowdedCountry wrote:
CHISSY1 wrote:
Guy Gibsons dog was called ****.When i was a child i had a cat called Blackie.
At one stage they were thinking of making a new "Dambusters" film. GG's dog was to be called "Tigger".
Exactly,pathetic,sad do gooders.A Scot can be called Jock,a Welshman can be called Taffy an Irishman can be called a Paddy or Mick a Yorkshireman can be called a Tyke.Someone from Sweden can be called a Swede an American can be called a Yank,The list is endless so why is it against the law to call someone from Pakistan a ****,would like to bet this gets censured,i have made my point.
[quote][p][bold]OvercrowdedCountry[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]CHISSY1[/bold] wrote: Guy Gibsons dog was called ****.When i was a child i had a cat called Blackie.[/p][/quote]At one stage they were thinking of making a new "Dambusters" film. GG's dog was to be called "Tigger".[/p][/quote]Exactly,pathetic,sad do gooders.A Scot can be called Jock,a Welshman can be called Taffy an Irishman can be called a Paddy or Mick a Yorkshireman can be called a Tyke.Someone from Sweden can be called a Swede an American can be called a Yank,The list is endless so why is it against the law to call someone from Pakistan a ****,would like to bet this gets censured,i have made my point. CHISSY1
  • Score: 12

4:20pm Sun 11 May 14

CHISSY1 says...

CHISSY1 wrote:
OvercrowdedCountry wrote:
CHISSY1 wrote:
Guy Gibsons dog was called ****.When i was a child i had a cat called Blackie.
At one stage they were thinking of making a new "Dambusters" film. GG's dog was to be called "Tigger".
Exactly,pathetic,sad do gooders.A Scot can be called Jock,a Welshman can be called Taffy an Irishman can be called a Paddy or Mick a Yorkshireman can be called a Tyke.Someone from Sweden can be called a Swede an American can be called a Yank,The list is endless so why is it against the law to call someone from Pakistan a ****,would like to bet this gets censured,i have made my point.
Proves my point.
[quote][p][bold]CHISSY1[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]OvercrowdedCountry[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]CHISSY1[/bold] wrote: Guy Gibsons dog was called ****.When i was a child i had a cat called Blackie.[/p][/quote]At one stage they were thinking of making a new "Dambusters" film. GG's dog was to be called "Tigger".[/p][/quote]Exactly,pathetic,sad do gooders.A Scot can be called Jock,a Welshman can be called Taffy an Irishman can be called a Paddy or Mick a Yorkshireman can be called a Tyke.Someone from Sweden can be called a Swede an American can be called a Yank,The list is endless so why is it against the law to call someone from Pakistan a ****,would like to bet this gets censured,i have made my point.[/p][/quote]Proves my point. CHISSY1
  • Score: 4

5:50pm Sun 11 May 14

H2o-hara says...

I hear more offensive words on new films than an old record .
I hear more offensive words on new films than an old record . H2o-hara
  • Score: 4

5:58pm Sun 11 May 14

XPortlander says...

Can i be offended when the population of an island is called "weird"?
Can i be offended when the population of an island is called "weird"? XPortlander
  • Score: 1

6:17pm Sun 11 May 14

kinsonjim says...

Best of luck Mr David Lowe. Stand your ground and notice the gender of those mentionedd in the report. The Lunatice are now running the Asylum.
Best of luck Mr David Lowe. Stand your ground and notice the gender of those mentionedd in the report. The Lunatice are now running the Asylum. kinsonjim
  • Score: 3

6:48pm Sun 11 May 14

AMVanquish007 says...

Are the BBC going to fire the program planner who plays the 1955 film 'The Dambusters'. Doesnt Guy Gibson VC call his dog after the N word in the film
And how many thousands in a supermarket still choose a product in simple jest used the Eeny Meany Miney Mo poem--not even thinking about the n word.
Im getting absolutely fed up with the way its all going in this country with self appointed do gooders enforcing their PC Nanny state dont do as i do-do as i say dogmas on basically innocent individuals asking for apologies and resignations.
Its little wonder quite a few million will vote for Nigel Farage and UKIP on May 22
Are the BBC going to fire the program planner who plays the 1955 film 'The Dambusters'. Doesnt Guy Gibson VC call his dog after the N word in the film And how many thousands in a supermarket still choose a product in simple jest used the Eeny Meany Miney Mo poem--not even thinking about the n word. Im getting absolutely fed up with the way its all going in this country with self appointed do gooders enforcing their PC Nanny state dont do as i do-do as i say dogmas on basically innocent individuals asking for apologies and resignations. Its little wonder quite a few million will vote for Nigel Farage and UKIP on May 22 AMVanquish007
  • Score: 5

7:22pm Sun 11 May 14

rggraham1947 says...

gazzandste wrote:
Katie Re-Registered wrote: So, Argus: please do tell us why it's a bigoted sackable offence to accidentally play a song with the n-word in it, but okay to casually (not to mention inaccurately) refer to a person who identifies outside of the gender binary as a "bloke in a dress"?
If it`s that much of an issue, why hasn`t the record been delisted on the radio stations record collection. The radio station should take most of the blame.
Why should they delist it or not play it? These minority and ethnic groups are always trying to rewrite history. More political correctness overkill. Grow up and get over it!
[quote][p][bold]gazzandste[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Katie Re-Registered[/bold] wrote: So, Argus: please do tell us why it's a bigoted sackable offence to accidentally play a song with the n-word in it, but okay to casually (not to mention inaccurately) refer to a person who identifies outside of the gender binary as a "bloke in a dress"?[/p][/quote]If it`s that much of an issue, why hasn`t the record been delisted on the radio stations record collection. The radio station should take most of the blame.[/p][/quote]Why should they delist it or not play it? These minority and ethnic groups are always trying to rewrite history. More political correctness overkill. Grow up and get over it! rggraham1947
  • Score: 4

7:43pm Sun 11 May 14

pwitch says...

They probably were looking for an excuse - it seems to be an age thing these days.
They probably were looking for an excuse - it seems to be an age thing these days. pwitch
  • Score: 2

8:58pm Sun 11 May 14

DL5opinion says...

This poor guy is put into an untenable position, which could have been avoided if the track was removed from the library....
Jeremy Clarkson gets a warning but remains in his position.

Double standards or undue pressure?
This poor guy is put into an untenable position, which could have been avoided if the track was removed from the library.... Jeremy Clarkson gets a warning but remains in his position. Double standards or undue pressure? DL5opinion
  • Score: 5

10:01pm Sun 11 May 14

Independentvoter says...

He He back to the real world !!!!!!

Mr Lowe did not find himself in hot water at all. The BBC questioned his conduct for 2 weeks that's all.

In those 2 weeks he panicked and resigned.

The BBC refused his resignation, even apologised to him and offered him his job back.

However he declined on health reasons.

( Wait for it I can feel a claim coming on )

I am partially disabled said Mr Lowe

The use of the "N" Word has exacerbated these disabling symptoms I suffer from - how can I return to my former employment now after playing that record ?

"Therefore most of you will understand that I now need to recover from this" LOL.

"And it is going to take some time since the N word was used" LOL.

GOD Mr Lowe our thoughts and prayers are with you at this sad time and we hope you can now recover and pull through this LOL
He He back to the real world !!!!!! Mr Lowe did not find himself in hot water at all. The BBC questioned his conduct for 2 weeks that's all. In those 2 weeks he panicked and resigned. The BBC refused his resignation, even apologised to him and offered him his job back. However he declined on health reasons. ( Wait for it I can feel a claim coming on ) I am partially disabled said Mr Lowe The use of the "N" Word has exacerbated these disabling symptoms I suffer from - how can I return to my former employment now after playing that record ? "Therefore most of you will understand that I now need to recover from this" LOL. "And it is going to take some time since the N word was used" LOL. GOD Mr Lowe our thoughts and prayers are with you at this sad time and we hope you can now recover and pull through this LOL Independentvoter
  • Score: 0

4:28am Mon 12 May 14

Old Boscombe Lad says...

Many years ago there was a restaurant in Vancouver called Sambos. When all this ballyhoo about racism started it was deemed racist to have an eatery by that name. I'm not sure if the place was closed or whether it was re-named but it disappeared in due course. The same with gollywog dolls. They went the way of the Dodo.
Many years ago there was a restaurant in Vancouver called Sambos. When all this ballyhoo about racism started it was deemed racist to have an eatery by that name. I'm not sure if the place was closed or whether it was re-named but it disappeared in due course. The same with gollywog dolls. They went the way of the Dodo. Old Boscombe Lad
  • Score: 0

1:58pm Mon 12 May 14

RealLivin says...

Who actually took offence? from the article is seems like it was the radio stations own people. Political correctness gone mad and an insult is only an insult if you accept it as such. Also where is the standard for offences, its ok to call a White board a White Board but you cant call a Black board a Black board, when I am called a short, fat, balding four eyes, I comment that the other persons waist line is usually much larger than mine, the rest of it is true and I dont care, I reject the insult, therefore I am not insulted and they should go play with the rest of the children.
Who actually took offence? from the article is seems like it was the radio stations own people. Political correctness gone mad and an insult is only an insult if you accept it as such. Also where is the standard for offences, its ok to call a White board a White Board but you cant call a Black board a Black board, when I am called a short, fat, balding four eyes, I comment that the other persons waist line is usually much larger than mine, the rest of it is true and I dont care, I reject the insult, therefore I am not insulted and they should go play with the rest of the children. RealLivin
  • Score: 3

4:00pm Mon 12 May 14

bmoc55 says...

In George Orwell's 1984 there was a department that was constantly re writing history.
Have we in a country which allegedly claims to allow "free speech" now sunk to pitiful self censorship and subjection to the small minded uber sensitive facists?


Bernard
Free Speech 4 Britain
In George Orwell's 1984 there was a department that was constantly re writing history. Have we in a country which allegedly claims to allow "free speech" now sunk to pitiful self censorship and subjection to the small minded uber sensitive facists? Bernard Free Speech 4 Britain bmoc55
  • Score: 2
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