BBC apologises after Sunny and Shay radio caller uses n-word and other hate speech without being cut off

Louis Chilton
·2-min read
Sunny and Shay Grewal during the London Indian Film Festival in 2016 (Getty Images)
Sunny and Shay Grewal during the London Indian Film Festival in 2016 (Getty Images)

The BBC has issued an apology after broadcasting a radio show in which a caller issued a barrage of racist and homophobic abuse.

Saturday’s (21 November) episode of Sunny and Shay’s BBC Radio London show, hosted by married couple Mandeep “Sunny” Grewal and Gursharonjit “Shay” Grewal, included a call with a person who used the “N-word” eight times, along with other slurs.

The hosts apologised during the episode for the caller’s language, but faced criticism from listeners who thought they should have cut the call short.

The episode was also uploaded to BBC Sounds with the offensive call still included, after its initial broadcast.

The call was taken as part of a conversation about the popular board game Monopoly, to coincide with National Monopoly Day.

It was about Monopoly that the caller ostensibly phoned into the show, claiming to have played a different version of the game in Greece.

“Since I have moved to London from Greece,” said the caller, “I have played Monopoly with my friend… but in my country we play a game where you are a white nationalist and kill all the n****s and gays.”

The conversation was somehow allowed to continue, with the caller using the racist slur several more times, including as part of the phrase: “I want to say that I f***ing hate n****s.”

After the call ended, Sunny described the caller as “obviously someone who doesn't understand how you come on to engage here on the radio”.

<p>Sunny and Shay Grewel, pictured in 2017</p>Getty Images

Sunny and Shay Grewel, pictured in 2017

Getty Images

A spokesperson for the BBC told The Independent: “This was one of several malicious calls made to our local stations in recent days.

“We have now further strengthened our protocols around phone-ins and referred the matter to the police.”

Radio presenter Iain Lee is among those to express their bewilderment over the interview, writing on Twitter: “Why did BBC London allow a caller on to say 'I f***ing hate N-words and gays' over and over again?

“Absolutely incredible listening. The host asked him more questions after he'd said it!”

“How long does it take for radio presenters on #BBCRadioLondon to cut off a ranting racist homophobe who uses the n-word? Seems the presenters must be hard of hearing or were too busy texting to bother. Sunny & Shay get your ears syringed,” wrote someone else.

Others are calling for Sunny and Shay to face reprimand for their failure to cut off the conversation after the first slur was used.

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