Political columnist apologises after mocking disabled broadcaster Andrew Marr

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Monday, May 9, 2016

United Kingdom
Related articles
Location of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom (orthographic projection).svg
Collaborate!
  • Pillars of Wikinews writing
  • Writing an article

Quentin Letts photographed in 2009
Image: Steve Punter.

Quentin Letts, a political columnist and sketch writer has publicly apologized after he mocked disabled broadcaster Andrew Marr. Letts was reviewing former BBC business editor Robert Peston‘s new ITV television show for The Daily Mail when he made the comments. In his column he said that Marr, who suffered a stroke in 2013, was like “Captain-Hop-Along, growling away on BBC One, throwing his arm about like a tipsy conductor”.

Letts posted an apology on his Twitter page after a critical article by Roy Greenslade, which appeared in The Guardian. Greenslade said “I don’t want to come off all namby-pamby. I understand that no-one should be beyond criticism and that Letts was exercising his right to press freedom. But really Quentin, that was a graceless remark.”

The apology tweet read, “I fear my sketch reference to the admirable Marr today was horrid. Apologies to all concern and upset”. Letts also replied directly to Greenslade, who updated his article. Letts said “Perhaps I should have been more cautious but I hope that Andrew will forgive it. He has been equally teasing about himself in my company. I admire him”. He also added that he believes that Marr’s stroke had “made him more watchable than he was beforehand”.

Criticism also came from Marr’s wife and The Stroke Association. Eleven complaints were filed in relation to the comments to the Independent Press Standards Organisation according to a BBC statement.

Andrew Marr drew in 1.6 million viewers significantly more than Peston’s debut, with 166,000 viewers tuning in. Peston left the BBC to become ITV’s political editor in 2015.



Sources[]

This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.