BRMB fire presenter over Queen’s speech cut off

By | Published on Monday 4 January 2010

The most amusing story of the Christmas break has to be this one. Comedian Tom Binns’ return to his former employer – Birmingham radio station BRMB – proved to be shorter than originally planned after his live stint on Christmas Day.

Binns, perhaps best known for his comedy character Ivan Brackenbury, a spoof hospital radio presenter, was filling in on the afternoon shift on BRMB over the festive fortnight. At 3pm on Christmas afternoon the station was meant to be taking a bulletin from its news supplier, but started airing the Queens’ speech instead, which was presumably being pumped out by the same supplier on a different feed.

Realising the mistake, Binns cut off the speech feed a couple of minutes in, remarking: “two words: bore-ing”. He then made a couple of gags at the Queen’s expense and concluded the link by saying: “from one queen to another”, before segueing into a George Michael song.

Two listeners promptly complained, possibly taking offence at Binn’s anti-monarchy jokes, or possibly because I think Her Maj was paying tribute to the troops as she was cut off in her prime. Either way, the comedian’s employer, Orion Media Group, was not impressed, and reported plans to give Binns a permanent show on the station were quickly halted.

Orion’s David Lloyd told Radio Today: “On Christmas Day, one of our presenters, Tom Binns, made some inappropriate comments surrounding the Queen’s speech. We do not condone what he said in any way; whether said in jest or not. We are making contact with the small number of listeners who were offended by Tom’s comments and have complained to us to convey our apologies, and have also apologised on air. Tom was a freelance presenter, hosting shows for us on a show by show basis, but will now not be featuring again on our radio stations”.