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BBC apology over 'inappropriate' Arlene Foster joke

By Claire Williamson

The BBC has apologised and taken down content after a comedian made a joke about Arlene Foster.

Irish comic Tommy Tiernan made the remarks on Tuesday during an appearance on the Mark Patterson show on Radio Foyle.

Speaking about his "interest" in the DUP leader he said: "If she wasn't in politics I can see her working single handedly on a tiny little farm in south Fermanagh driving cattle up some country lane".

Then, apparently imitating Mrs Foster, he said:  "Go on you pups, you fenian ba****ds ye, go up you fenian...

"Friesian Arlene, they are called Friesian Arlene.

"I'll call them what I want," he joked.

After the interview host Patterson apologised for any offence caused and adding: "Tommy is, I suppose that kind of talent in terms of what he does."

DUP MP Gregory Campbell said that despite being someone who was "fairly well known" as engaging in humour and satire, he thought the nature of some of the language appeared to be "excessive".

Mr Campbell said: "His humour can be quite lively if it is delivered and taken in the spirit it is intended it to be, but the language used around Arlene Foster appears to be, almost deliberately provocative to try to engender some sort of outrage."

The BBC apologised and said the language used was "clearly inappropriate". The broadcaster has since removed the section of the programme from its catch-up services.

A spokesman added: “The language used by our guest was clearly inappropriate. We unreservedly apologise for its use and any offence caused. This section of the programme has been removed for our catch up services.”

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