Comments by the presenter of a daytime TV programme – regarding the death of a teenager in the Western Isles – caused “considerable offence”, according to broadcasting watchdog, Ofcom.
However, in a statement issued today, Ofcom also ruled that sufficient apologies and actions rendered the case resolved.
Some 2,358 complaints were received by Ofcom regarding comments made by Matthew Wright and a guest during The Wright Show on Channel 5 on December 6 last year and the presenter's subsequent apology the next day.
Said Wright of the murder, in a Taggart-like accent: “There’s been another murder.”
And his 'apology' the next day was as follows: “Now I know that some of you have been upset by some comments during yesterday’s newspapers review about the murder … I’d like to apologise if that was the case, certainly no intention on my part to belittle the seriousness or tragedy of the story, or to offend anyone who knew [the murdered boy]. You know me – touched by death too many times in my life to belittle anything like that. Not helped though by people running campaigns – report Matthew Wright to Ofcom. I mean, grow up, folks … I’m very sorry all the same.”
However, following other apologies and action by Wright and Channel 5, the watchdog concluded: “Ofcom recognises that the comments caused considerable offence, particularly to viewers in Scotland. On balance, however, and in light of the steps taken by Channel 5 to mitigate this offence, Ofcom considered the matter resolved.”
Read the full adjudication here.