Exclusive: Jonathan Ross accused of homophobia

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

A PinkNews.co.uk exclusive

Ofcom has received a number of complaints over Jonathan Ross’s BBC Radio 2 show on Saturday over alleged homophobia.

While discussing a number of teen singer Hannah Montana-themed prizes, the presenter said: “If your son asks for a Hannah Montana MP3 player, you might want to already think about putting him down for adoption before he brings his… erm… partner home.”

An Ofcom spokesman confirmed that some listeners had complained about Ross’ comments.

He said: “We received a small number of complaints which are being assessed against the broadcasting code.”

PinkNews.co.uk reader Karen Mills, who listened to the show, said: “How can these people earn such huge sums of public money to come out with this discriminatory rubbish? What would be the message to a young gay man listening to this? Worse still, how might such comments reinforce and support homophobic bullying in the playground?

“I dont understand how the BBC – a public body that we all have to fund, is allowed to get away with this kind of casual homophobia – especially when its own website goes on and on about its commitment to ‘equality and diversity’ and about its duty to serve all parts of its ‘diverse audience’.

“Well I am ‘diverse’ and feel ‘very unserved’ when I hear the kind of rubbish Ross spouted on Saturday.”

A BBC spokeswoman said: “The BBC has received four complaints about Jonathan’s comments on Saturday’s show.

“However, these off-the-cuff remarks were made purely in jest and were not intended to be offensive. Jonathan is not homophobic in any sense and never meant for his comments to be taken seriously.”

Last year, Ross was suspended from the BBC for three months after he and Russell Brand left obscene messages on the answerphone of Fawlty Towers actor Andrew Sachs.

Although only two listeners complained to the BBC when the programme was broadcast, 30,000 members of the public complained after the story was picked up by the national media.

Ross’ colleague Chris Moyles, the Radio 1 DJ, has also come under fire over allegedly homophobic remarks he made about openly gay singer Will Young earlier this year.

The DJ was named as “Bully of the Year” by gay rights charity Stonewall in 2006 after Moyles refused to apologise for describing a ringtone that he didn’t like as being “gay.”