Belfast Telegraph

How Colin Murray's critics hit a bum note

Jane Graham

I was sorry to hear that Colin Murray had "with a heavy heart" decided to leave 5Live for talkSPORT.

I have no idea what prompted Murray to go, but I'll miss him. And so will the BBC, whose presenters seem to increasingly find themselves in government and media firing lines of late.

I wonder if that – and the recent mini-furore over Murray's comments at the Anniversary Games about Jessica Ennis having a nice bottom – may convince the East Belfast boy he's made the right decision in leaving.

What some of us regarded as a chap making an innocuous off-air joke about the attractiveness of an athlete with a fabulous figure was, in the eyes of the Minister for Sport and Culture Maria Miller, an occurance of such "unacceptable" screaming sexism from the BBC that she called for the corporation to take "positive action".

She made the same very public demand after John Inverdale opined that Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli wasn't a looker, despite what sounded like a heartfelt and contrite apology from Inverdale.

What's especially curious about Miller's latest outrage is that Murray wasn't working for the BBC when he made the joke – he was working for UK Athletics. In fact, he doesn't work for the BBC any more at all.

But Miller seems intent on using his words as a weapon to attack the Beeb anyway, presumably hoping very few of you bother to read the facts beyond the hysterical top line.

Ah well, what else is a Tory Culture Minister for?

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