BBC apologizes for "queen is dead" radio joke

Tue May 18, 2010 7:35am EDT
 
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LONDON (Reuters Life!) - Britain's publicly funded broadcaster the BBC issued an apology on Tuesday after a DJ on a local radio station joked on air that Queen Elizabeth, 84, had died.

Danny Kelly, who hosts the afternoon show on BBC WM, a radio station in central England, told listeners he had an important announcement to make before saying "Queen Elizabeth II has now died" and playing the national anthem, media reported.

Kelly, whose show is advertised on the station's website with the tagline "You never know what will happen next, but it's guaranteed to put a smile on your face", later said he had been referring to a user on the Facebook website who shared the same name as the British monarch.

A BBC spokesman said the corporation apologized unreservedly for his remark and that it was entirely inappropriate.

"There was no intention to offend," the spokesman said. "BBC WM takes this comment very seriously. Action is being taken."

(Reporting by Michael Holden; Editing by Steve Addison)

 
<p>Britain's Queen Elizabeth leaves after attending an Easter Sunday church service in Windsor on April 4, 2010. REUTERS/Ben Stansall/POOL</p>