BBC apologises for 'Queen death joke'

London:  A BBC radio jockey stirred a sensation over the airwaves in the UK by jokingly announcing that Queen Elizabeth II had died and then switched on the national anthem 'God save the Queen', forcing the organisation to tender an "unreserved apology".

Disc jockey Danny Kelly, 39, played the national anthem and told listeners that he had an important announcement to make and then said "Queen Elizabeth II has now died."

The announcement was made on Tuesday over BBC WM, local radio service beamed to British city of Birmingham and West Midlands.

A BBC spokesman later confirmed that "Danny Kelly had made an inappropriate remark about the Queen in his radio show."

BBC said the remarks although part of a light hearted piece was corrected on air immediately.

"The comment was entirely inappropriate and the BBC apologises unreservedly for it. There was no intention to offend," the spokesman said.

BBC said that it took the gaffe "very seriously" and action would be taken. BBC WM website describes Kelly as having "a unique brand of humour".

A BBC spokesman said the joke had been a reference to an item on one of Kelly's internet pages.

"Although made as part of a light-hearted piece about social media friends, and corrected on-air immediately after it was made, the comment was entirely inappropriate and the BBC apologises unreservedly for it," he said, adding there was no intention to offend.

"BBC WM takes this comment very seriously. Action is being taken," the spokesman added.
Story First Published: May 18, 2010 17:15 IST

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