Colin Murray leaves Radio 5 Live weeks after Clare Balding was ridiculed on his show

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Colin Murray is leaving Radio 5 Live to join TalkSport a month after the BBC had to apologise for homophobic jokes made on his show about presenter Clare Balding.

Murray said he “made the difficult decision to turn down 5 Live’s offer of a new contract” after being given an “incredible opportunity”.

The BBC had to apologise in June when a live version of Fighting Talk included a satirical section called “Defend the Indefensible” in which comic Bob Mills was asked to justify the argument: “Give me 20 minutes with her and I’m pretty sure I could turn around Clare Balding.”

During the section, Mills described Balding as a “horse woman” who “appreciates power between her thighs.” This was cut from the iPlayer version of the show.

Stonewall Chief Executive Ben Summerskill called the show “canteen bullying from the 1960s”.

He added: “We have warned the BBC for some time that there were problems in their live sports programmes because they have not formally trained staff in what is simply wrong.

“The BBC should be doing better than this. Given that Clare is employed right across broadcasting and doing loads about the gender gap in sport single handed, we would have thought the BBC would have wanted to keep her happy.”

A BBC spokeswoman admitted they had “got it wrong” and it was “inappropriate”.