CBBC presenter jokes about gay staff

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Barely a week after the furore surrounding Blue Peter presenter Konnie Huq, another Children’s BBC star has raised eyebrows at her stand-up comedy show at the Edinburgh Festival.

Kirsten O’Brien, a familiar face from shows such as Totally Doctor Who, Smile and SMart told an audience that staff at CBBC are “gay, childless or don’t like kids.”

The 35-year-old, from Middlesborough, was appearing at the festival for the second year running.

She went on to say: “Still, at least we’re better than Palestinian children’s TV, which gets kids to sing songs about AK-47 rifles.”

The BBC defended her comments, which were made as part of her stand-up show Confessions of a Children’s TV Presenter.

“Kirsten’s joke is a throwaway line and is clearly meant to be ironic. She is due back on air in the autumn and this wouldn’t affect that,” a corporation spokesman said, according to the Daily Express.

Last week the BBC apologised after Blue Peter presenter Konnie Huq appeared at an event with the Mayor of London at which political comments about a London Assembly member were made.

Blue Peter has been besieged by scandal lately after it was revealed that a call-in competition had been fixed by members of the production staff.

The incident was one of a series of revelations of BBC programmes on radio and TV that had misled viewers.

The BBC was fined £50,000 by broadcasting watchdog Ofcom as a punishment for the Blue Peter incident, the first financial penalty in the history of the corporation.