BBC Radio Bristol presenter fired over 'racist' phone call

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

A United Kingdom radio presenter with the BBC was fired on Saturday, and replaced, after an allegedly racist off-air phone call. Sam Mason of BBC Radio Bristol had earlier called up a taxi firm to arrange a booking for her 14-year-old daughter.

Logo of BBC Radio Bristol

Mason asked the operator not to send an Asian cab driver. She said, "A guy with a turban on is going to freak her out." After the operator refused Mason snapped back claiming, "You’ve managed it before."

The original female operator had passed the call over to another operator. Mason then accused the first of having "a bad attitude", and said, "I work at the BBC. I’m far from racist and that uneducated woman has no right to call me one." The call then ended but she called back to complain.

The female operator who took the call was also fired from her job for illegally recording the call.

A statement from the taxi firm stated that "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."

A copy of the call was sent to British tabloid The Sun, which broke the story on Tuesday. The Sun informed the BBC.

Cquote1.svg A guy with a turban on is going to freak her out. Cquote2.svg

—Sam Mason, BBC Radio Bristol

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."

According to BBC News, Mason, who worked at the station for only six weeks, was unavailable for comment.

The incident comes just weeks after the Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross prank call scandal involving Fawlty Towers actor Andrew Sachs.


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