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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".
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.
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.
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".
A host of music stars have come together to sing a Beach Boys classic in aid of Children in Need and to launch the new BBC Music initiative.Read the full story ›
A host of music stars have come together to sing a Beach Boys classic in aid of Children in Need, how many did you spot?Read the full story ›
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:
#bbcqt extremely insensitive to use the loss of our sister for political agendas. In future, please respect our wishes as we grieve
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:
@grossnina Dear Nina, we're sorry to hear this. We're really sorry for any hurt or offence caused by tonight's programme
Nina, 19, thanked the BBC for the apology.
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’.
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.
The former head of the Financial Times, Rona Fairhead, has been appointed as the new chairwoman of the BBC Trust, the BBC reports.
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".
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:
Apparently it's 100 per cent cert I am doing Gen Game. First I've heard of it. Mulling some ideas about it might be more accurate.
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.