The BBC was at the centre of a damaging diversity row last night after one of its top radio stars was sacked for being ‘white and male’.
Bafta award-winning comedian Jon Holmes was axed from The Now Show – the hit Radio 4 programme he has appeared on for 18 years – when bosses told him ‘we’re recasting it with more women and diversity’.
Last night, leading figures from the world of entertainment and across the political spectrum reacted with fury to the BBC instigating a policy in which it was now choosing performers based on their gender or skin colour, instead of their talent.
Mr Holmes revealed that since his sacking he has heard from other stars who have been rejected by broadcasting bosses because of ‘positive discrimination’. He told how one woman presenter was given a job only later to be told ‘we can’t have you, because you are too white and middle class’.
Another performer was considered ‘perfect’ for a role but could not be employed because bosses had been told to cast someone Asian, he said. …
Reacting to the toxic revelations, racial equality campaigner Trevor Phillips said the removal of Mr Holmes to make way for minority performers showed the BBC ‘don’t believe black or Asian people are as good as white people’.
Why him and not someone else? He probably wasn’t promoting the management’s political views hard enough.