Capital FM receives 800 more complaints over DJ Ant Payne’s Turkey earthquake joke
Ofcom has received 863 additional complaints after Capital Radio’s DJ Ant Payne made a joke about the hurricane in Turkey which flattened towns, killed over 45,000 people and left tens of thousands more homeless.
Disaster struck Turkey and Syria on February 6 when buildings and towns across the countries were devastated by the 7.8-magnitude shock.
Weeks on and bodies are still being recovered in the rubble, as yet more tremors continue to strike.
The 39-year-old DJ was hosting Capital FM from 4pm-7pm last Monday when he declared ‘now is actually the best time to start looking at some cheap flights away to Turkey, over the next few years’.
He added: ‘Get your teeth done while you are over there. Come back looking 19 years old. You’ll be on Love Island next year if you are doing that.’
Unsurprisingly, the comments were received poorly by appalled listeners, one of whom tweeted the presenter: ‘Cant believe I just heard @ant_man_go make fun of the #Turkeyearthquake on @CapitalOfficial – he said “flight from now for a few years should be cheap to Turkey to get your teeth done” I wonder how all the Turkish&Syrian communities and victims of this disaster feel about that?’ [sic]
Ant then made his second mistake, and replied that he’d done ‘nothing of the sort’, trying to brush off what listeners had just heard him say.
The presenter changed his tune on Tuesday morning though, when he addressed his words: ‘Hi guys, I want to address the comment I made last night on the show. It was insensitive and ill timed.
‘I would never wish to offend anyone from my shows. My sincere and wholehearted apologies.’
But that didn’t cut it for lots of listeners, as one tweeted to remind Ant of his misstep: ‘You tried to deny it first and this is the apology you give? You shouldn’t ever be on the radio again.’
Days after the incident, Ofcom reported it had received 567 complaints, and has now received an additional 863 bringing the total to 1,430.
Liberal Democrat councillor Suzanne Nuri-Nixon also spoke out in horror over Ant’s joke.
‘Wow @CapitalOfficial, just wow!’, she tweeted.
‘Read the room Ant Payne, thousands have died, thousands are in mourning and you crack a ‘joke’?! Man, did you misread the room’.
Meanwhile in Turkey, the search for survivors continues, and anger is mounting at the urban planning of buildings which were supposed to be earthquake safe but flattened when it struck.
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