Mar 23 2009
BBC Radio 1 DJ Chris Moyles has been criticised by the broadcasting watchdog for an item in his show in which he mocked singer Will Young in a high-pitched, effeminate voice.
Ofcom said listeners could reasonably have thought the piece was "promoting and condoning certain negative stereotypes based on sexual orientation" as Young is gay.
Ruling that the show - aired at 8.15 in the morning on January 20 - breached the broadcasting code, Ofcom said both the tone and content of what Moyles said had the "potential to cause considerable offence".
Eight people complained about the piece, saying Moyles' comments were offensive and derogatory towards the gay community.
Ofcom said it had taken into account the fact that Moyles's show is known for its irreverent style and studio banter, but on this occasion it went beyond what was acceptable.
During a studio discussion of celebrities' birthdays, Moyles imitated Young by singing alternative words to the tunes of two of the singer's biggest hits, Evergreen and Leave Right Now, in an effeminate, high-pitched voice.
Moyles's version of Evergreen included the lyrics: "It's my birthday, gonna wear my new dress tonight. And I smell nice. I've had a shower and I've shaved my legs. Going out later, might go to Nob-oooh for dinner."
In his rendition of Leave Right Now, Moyles sang: "Oooh Will Young here, mmmm. I'm here, it's Will's birthday and as the years go by I get more very gay. When you saw me years ago you didn't know, but now I'm the gayest fella you probably know. Mmm I like to wear a silly hat, I get camper by the hour, oh would you look at the muck in here. I'm Will Young and I'm gay."
Ofcom said that, although the comments were "no doubt intended to be humorous", they could reasonably be seen as "hostile and pejorative".
"Ofcom took account of the fact that Chris Moyles is a well-known and influential presenter and that many listeners are familiar with his style and humour," the watchdog said in its ruling.