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BBC's Buerk: Ched Evans' rape victim deserves no credit

The BBC has apologised after presenter Michael Buerk broadcast that footballer Ched Evans' rape victim was among those not coming away "with any credit" from the case because she was "so drunk she could barely stand".

Michael Buerk's comments aired this morning on Radio 4 ahead of this evening's Moral Maze. Credit: Yui Mok/PA Archive

Speaking in a trailer for this evening's Radio 4 programme Moral Maze, which will debate whether Evans should return to his former club Sheffield United after his prison release, Buerk said:

Nobody comes out of the Ched Evans rape case with any credit. Not the victim who had drunk so much she could barely stand, nor the two footballers who had sex with her in the most sordid of circumstances.

The jury convicted only one of rape and now, after serving half his five-year sentence, ashamed but unrepentant, Ched Evans has been released and there is talk of a £500,000 contract to return to his club, Sheffield United.

– Michael Buerk

This morning's aired comments received strong criticism from rape charities amid an angry public response. A spokesman for Radio 4 said:

There was no intention to suggest that the victim was in any way at fault, and we apologise if the way this live trail was phrased suggested this.

Tonight’s Moral Maze will ask whether a convicted rapist who maintains his innocence should be entitled to get his job back.

– BBC statement

The criticism of Buerk's comments come after public outrage at TV presenter Judy Finnigan's claim that the victim in the case had "had far too much to drink" and that the "rape was not violent".

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Alice Gross' sister criticises BBC over 'insensitive' debate

The sister of Alice Gross has criticised the BBC's Question Time programme over a discussion about immigration related to Alice's murder.

Nina Gross wrote on Twitter:

The show's panel had discussed whether criminals should be allowed to move freely across European borders, a reference to Latvian builder Arnis Zalkalns, a suspect in Alice's murder.

The official BBC Question Time account replied:

Nina, 19, thanked the BBC for the apology.

NUJ: BBC staff to strike over job losses

The National Union of Journalists has said that staff at the BBC have voted to go on strike in a row over job losses.

NUJ members see this as a battle for the heart and soul of the BBC. Our members know that these cuts are being targeted in the wrong direction – instead of sorting out managerial excesses and waste, it is grassroots journalism and programming facing the axe. Morale is at a record low, with staff working in an atmosphere described by one journalist as one of ‘fear and loathing’.

– NUJ general secretary Michelle Stanistreet

The NUJ said that in the ballot, 86.9 per cent of members voted for action short of strike action, and 73.6 per cent of members voted for action including strike action.

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Miranda Hart 'in the running to front Generation Game'

Miranda Hart is reportedly being lined up to present a BBC revival of the Generation Game next year but the comedian insists she is just "mulling some ideas".

Comedian Miranda Hart Credit: Doug Peters/Doug Peters/EMPICS Entertainment

BBC1 controller Charlotte Moore made it sound as though the appointment was confirmed in an interview with the Guardian, saying that "Miranda will bring a very different flavour to it".

But Hart has since tweeted:

The family game show, which sees four pairs bodging tricky activities for prizes, made its debut in 1971 and was revived in 1990 for another 12 years.

Miranda Hart appeared in a spoof of the show for Comic Relief in 2011.

BBC TV boss: Jeremy Clarkson 'is not racist'

BBC TV boss Danny Cohen has insisted Jeremy Clarkson "is not racist" after the Top Gear host came under-fire once more for remarks made on the programme.

Cohen ordered an internal investigation into the hit show after a string of controversies which saw it criticised by Ofcom for breaching broadcasting rules over a "racial" term used by Clarkson.

Jeremy Clarkson is not racist, Danny Cohen has written. Credit: PA Wire

Cohen said in a letter to The Guardian, "While Jeremy and I disagree on the language some have recently found very offensive, I do not think he or anyone on the Top Gear team are racist."

It was "no secret" there had been "some significant issues" on the show recently, Cohen said, adding he had "instigated a health check ... to ensure that there were no further issues".

Chris Evans breakfast show breaks audience record

BBC Radio 2 breakfast host Chris Evans has hit another audience high, with a new record number of listeners to his show.

Chris Evans has hit a record audience high. Credit: PA

The 48-year-old now pulls in 9.91 million each week, giving his show the biggest audience recorded in the UK since the current measurement methods were launched 15 years ago.

Evans is almost four million ahead of his Radio 1 breakfast rival Nick Grimshaw, who has himself seen a slight boost in his numbers to 5.97 million - up from 5.89 million this time last year.

Radio 3 has seen its audience slip below that of the BBC's digital-only 6 Music for the first time.

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