30 December 2009 - 14H02  

British DJ sacked for pulling plug on 'boring' Queen
Queen Elizabeth II poses on December 23 before her Christmas Day broadcast to the Commonwealth. A British radio presenter has been sacked after he pulled the plug on the Queen's traditional Christmas Day speech, telling listeners it was "boring."
Queen Elizabeth II poses on December 23 before her Christmas Day broadcast to the Commonwealth. A British radio presenter has been sacked after he pulled the plug on the Queen's traditional Christmas Day speech, telling listeners it was "boring."

AFP - A British radio presenter has been sacked after he pulled the plug on Queen Elizabeth II's traditional Christmas Day speech, telling listeners it was "boring."

Tom Binns has lost his job at Birmingham radio station BRMB after a number of listeners complained over his interruption of the monarch's traditional December 25 broadcast to Britain and the Commonwealth.

"Two words: Bor-ring," he said on air as he stopped the broadcast, before quipping "from one Queen to another..." as he put on "Last Christmas" by pop duo Wham, featuring openly gay singer George Michael.

Binns explained that the incident occurred after the Queen's Speech -- a decades-old tradition still watched by millions of Britons and others every year -- came on at a point when he had expected a regular news bulletin.

"I was working on my own on Christmas Day; I'd even had to let myself into the studio. After the guy before me finished, we should have taken the news from Sky, and then my show would start," he told the Chortle comedy website.

"But instead of the news, we got the Queen's speech. I knew it shouldn't be there, but having never heard it before, I didn't know how long it was going to go on for.

"I'm not trained to make editorial decisions, but I decided to get rid of it and make a joke. I said, 'Two words: bor-ring'.

"I then went into an old riff about how people say the royal family are good for tourism, but the French beheaded theirs and people still visit France," before cueing up the Wham song, he said.

He added that one listener got really angry, "he sent me a message saying I should be sent to Basra and hoped I'd get killed by a roadside bomb... but other than that almost all the texts we received were in support of what I'd done."

The radio station's parent company, the Orion Media Group programme, said the DJ's comments were "inappropriate," adding: "We do not condone what he said in any way, whether said in jest or not.

"Tom will now not be featuring again on our radio stations," said its programme and marketing director, David Lloyd, quoted by the Birmingham Post.

Binns added: "Nobody would have tuned in to hear the Queen's speech; and I tried to deal with it in a funny way. After all, they employ comedians to make jokes."

 
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