BBC commentator made a sick on-air joke about Spanish air disaster

11:48, 26 August 2008
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He was facing the sack

A BBC football commentator was facing the sack last night after making a sick on-air joke about the Spanish air disaster.

Radio reporter Chris Price sparked a barrage of complaints about the quip, made during a weekend League Two clash.

Stunned listeners heard him say: “Rochdale are making more holes in the Bradford defence than in a Spanish aircraft.”

A total of 154 people died last Wednesday when a Spanair jet crashed on take-off at Madrid’s Barajas International Airport.

Price, 25, apologised yesterday for his “horrible mistake”, but some colleagues predict it will cost him his job at BBC Radio Manchester.

A  BBC source said: “There’s no way he will survive this one. The complaints were so stern, he’ll have to get the bullet.”

Price made the remark during a live update on Rochdale’s 2-0 away defeat.

He said: “I honestly thought I was being descriptive. It wasn’t meant to be funny – just a descriptive phrase. If people are offended by what I said, then of course I apologise. 

“But I never intended to offend anyone. I was just trying to add some colour to my report. 

“From the reaction there has been, if I could take it back then I would.”

Mike Brookes, who covered Rochdale for the same station for 15 years, said: “You have to try to be a bit quirky, but this was just unprofessional and stupid.”

BBC bosses are now investigating. A spokeswoman said: “This was an inappropriate remark and we would like to apologise to our listeners for any offence caused.”

The Daily Star

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