Football Focus presenter Dan Walker apologises for insulting Saints fans on live TV

Daily Echo: Dan Walker on Football Focus Dan Walker on Football Focus

A BBC presenter has apologised for unjustifiably “humiliating” two Saints fans on live TV by joking that they looked overweight.

Dan Walker compared the pair, who were in the stands at St Mary's Stadium ahead of Nigel Adkins' side's final game of last season against Coventry, to Brazilian ex-player Ronaldo, who has significantly put on weight since retiring.

As the camera focused on the two supporters immediately after a pre-recorded interview with the former Barcelona and Real Madrid star, the Football Focus presenter said: “Looks like those two fellows are on the Ronaldo diet.”

The comment prompted a complaint for a viewer who believed Mr Walker had insulted both them and Ronaldo, arguing the comment was “a form of bullying and was disrespectful”.

Although BBC editorial chiefs rejected his objection, the viewer appealed to the BBC Trust, which has announced it has upheld the complaint.

Football Focus' editor said no offence had been meant by the off-the-cuff remark, and the trust's report revealed Mr Walker had emailed the complainant to personally apologise for the comment, which he admitted had been “ill-judged”.

The panel accepted Mr Walker had only known what pictures were about to be used a few seconds before going live and, having overheard an off-air discussion between the programme's editor and director, thought his comment would provide a light-hearted link from the interview.

But in its report upholding the complaint the trust said: “The committee did not consider that in isolation an off-the-cuff remark which implied Ronaldo was overweight would have been in itself offensive given he is a public figure and his weight and level of fitness as a former player were of interest.

“However, the committee felt that the comment referring to the two identifiable fans who are not public figures was humiliating, and did not meet generally acceptable standards in that it caused unjustifiable offence.”

Comments (41)

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10:12am Thu 29 Nov 12

Over the Edge says...

There is more to life than this,,,,,they were at a football match for petes sake,,,,who ate all the pies is one of the chants ever, some people need to get over themselves
There is more to life than this,,,,,they were at a football match for petes sake,,,,who ate all the pies is one of the chants ever, some people need to get over themselves Over the Edge
  • Score: 0

10:12am Thu 29 Nov 12

Linesman says...

With all the world's problems, someone thought that such a trivial comment warrented making a complaint.
With all the world's problems, someone thought that such a trivial comment warrented making a complaint. Linesman
  • Score: 0

10:16am Thu 29 Nov 12

Over the Edge says...

I remember the MOTD opening titles when SFC were last in the Premier League,,,,showing the rather large fellow in the front row at SMS cheering on his,,,,made him a bit of a celebrity around away ground,,,he is a big chap and he took vast amount of stick all over the country but I didn't seen or hear of him complaining to the BBC
I remember the MOTD opening titles when SFC were last in the Premier League,,,,showing the rather large fellow in the front row at SMS cheering on his,,,,made him a bit of a celebrity around away ground,,,he is a big chap and he took vast amount of stick all over the country but I didn't seen or hear of him complaining to the BBC Over the Edge
  • Score: 0

10:18am Thu 29 Nov 12

Ted Rogers says...

Another case of our desire to be outraged or offended.
Although should be mentioned that Ronaldo's weight gain is down to a medical condition - perhaps a sports journalist should know that.
Another case of our desire to be outraged or offended. Although should be mentioned that Ronaldo's weight gain is down to a medical condition - perhaps a sports journalist should know that. Ted Rogers
  • Score: 0

10:25am Thu 29 Nov 12

HorndeanSaint says...

The medical condition suffered by so many overweight people, too many calories in, too few out...........
The medical condition suffered by so many overweight people, too many calories in, too few out........... HorndeanSaint
  • Score: 0

10:27am Thu 29 Nov 12

Lockssmart says...

What's the "FF" stand for? Fat fighters?
What's the "FF" stand for? Fat fighters? Lockssmart
  • Score: 0

10:43am Thu 29 Nov 12

St.DaveH says...

every time I queue up for a pie theres none left - now I know why......
every time I queue up for a pie theres none left - now I know why...... St.DaveH
  • Score: 0

10:47am Thu 29 Nov 12

tomw1234 says...

If it was Mark Lawrenson that had made that comment I would be annoyed as I find him to be a complete half wit like most of the BBC presenters. Mark's depressing co-commentating during England games really gets to me. It was also Mark that said Ramirez wouldn't join our club live on air. We proved him wrong with that didn't we.
If it was Mark Lawrenson that had made that comment I would be annoyed as I find him to be a complete half wit like most of the BBC presenters. Mark's depressing co-commentating during England games really gets to me. It was also Mark that said Ramirez wouldn't join our club live on air. We proved him wrong with that didn't we. tomw1234
  • Score: 0

11:15am Thu 29 Nov 12

sarfhamton says...

I am a fat Saints fan, don't knock the BBC, start serving salads at the ground
I am a fat Saints fan, don't knock the BBC, start serving salads at the ground sarfhamton
  • Score: 0

11:22am Thu 29 Nov 12

Over the Edge says...

sarfhamton wrote:
I am a fat Saints fan, don't knock the BBC, start serving salads at the ground
Would have been a tad cold for salad last evening,,,,maybe Arthur Boruc should be served salad
[quote][p][bold]sarfhamton[/bold] wrote: I am a fat Saints fan, don't knock the BBC, start serving salads at the ground[/p][/quote]Would have been a tad cold for salad last evening,,,,maybe Arthur Boruc should be served salad Over the Edge
  • Score: 0

11:30am Thu 29 Nov 12

saintjak says...

Dan you are out of order.

Fatties should be allowed their freedom to be fat, take up 2 seats in public places, swet even when using a lift and make a noise when they are just breathing.

Also in case you didn't know its not their fault its the fast food companies that didn't tell them it would make them fat.

And last of all dan, these chubby little funsters deserve our support. After all who else supply such comedy gold when they are spilling out of their leggins or can't get up after they have fell over.

For all you do-gooders watching what you eat and exercising shame on you, you're making the fatties of the world feel selfconcious.

As for the BBC, well, I think its about time you apologised at the end of every programme just in cast you have offended some liberal PC numpty who has a panic attack ever time they open their front door and face the world.

If I have insulted any slim people in writing this, get over it...
Dan you are out of order. Fatties should be allowed their freedom to be fat, take up 2 seats in public places, swet even when using a lift and make a noise when they are just breathing. Also in case you didn't know its not their fault its the fast food companies that didn't tell them it would make them fat. And last of all dan, these chubby little funsters deserve our support. After all who else supply such comedy gold when they are spilling out of their leggins or can't get up after they have fell over. For all you do-gooders watching what you eat and exercising shame on you, you're making the fatties of the world feel selfconcious. As for the BBC, well, I think its about time you apologised at the end of every programme just in cast you have offended some liberal PC numpty who has a panic attack ever time they open their front door and face the world. If I have insulted any slim people in writing this, get over it... saintjak
  • Score: 0

11:31am Thu 29 Nov 12

mack chinnon says...

I blame Gazza.
I blame Gazza. mack chinnon
  • Score: 0

11:32am Thu 29 Nov 12

Puddletown Saint says...

These guys should sue the BBC for 20 million quid - donate to the Saints to buy a goalkeeper and centre back. That is the real issue at St Marys.

Well done last night Saints - a match we would have lost a month ago. Roll on saturday - can see a draw.

On a negative note though - surely Maka should have replaced Punch and Jay for Rickie as subs - Just my humble opinion.............
........
These guys should sue the BBC for 20 million quid - donate to the Saints to buy a goalkeeper and centre back. That is the real issue at St Marys. Well done last night Saints - a match we would have lost a month ago. Roll on saturday - can see a draw. On a negative note though - surely Maka should have replaced Punch and Jay for Rickie as subs - Just my humble opinion............. ........ Puddletown Saint
  • Score: 0

12:07pm Thu 29 Nov 12

Strasbourg Saint says...

mack chinnon wrote:
I blame Gazza.
Actually, Dan Walker didn't say it. It was a comment made by Guly.

So, I feel really sorry for him - the ugly, brain-dead, upstart yuppy with no sense of fashion. (Sorry, I only had a few seconds to look at his picture above, so I might be misjudging him).
[quote][p][bold]mack chinnon[/bold] wrote: I blame Gazza.[/p][/quote]Actually, Dan Walker didn't say it. It was a comment made by Guly. So, I feel really sorry for him - the ugly, brain-dead, upstart yuppy with no sense of fashion. (Sorry, I only had a few seconds to look at his picture above, so I might be misjudging him). Strasbourg Saint
  • Score: 0

12:19pm Thu 29 Nov 12

Walter K says...

These chubbies need a bit of tough love...
These chubbies need a bit of tough love... Walter K
  • Score: 0

12:21pm Thu 29 Nov 12

Linesman says...

mack chinnon wrote:
I blame Gazza.
Sure you don't mean 'Guzzle'?
[quote][p][bold]mack chinnon[/bold] wrote: I blame Gazza.[/p][/quote]Sure you don't mean 'Guzzle'? Linesman
  • Score: 0

12:29pm Thu 29 Nov 12

7saint7 says...

A joke is a joke lol ...
so get over it ...
coyr
A joke is a joke lol ... so get over it ... coyr 7saint7
  • Score: 0

12:51pm Thu 29 Nov 12

bigfella777 says...

Most Saints fans are overweight.
Most Saints fans are overweight. bigfella777
  • Score: 0

1:24pm Thu 29 Nov 12

littlekoala72 says...

I doubt whether the two concerned lost any sleep over it!!
I doubt whether the two concerned lost any sleep over it!! littlekoala72
  • Score: 0

1:24pm Thu 29 Nov 12

saintbobby says...

Very funny and well said, Dan. Some people are hugely overweight and it's not nice to look at. Perhaps his comments will have put them on a diet which will help ensure they don't eventually get a heart attack.

Some people are SO touchy.

Weell said also, 7saint7 and bigfella 777.
Very funny and well said, Dan. Some people are hugely overweight and it's not nice to look at. Perhaps his comments will have put them on a diet which will help ensure they don't eventually get a heart attack. Some people are SO touchy. Weell said also, 7saint7 and bigfella 777. saintbobby
  • Score: 0

1:36pm Thu 29 Nov 12

CB FRY LIVES says...

oh dear all this political correctness is really getting out of hands.i was brought up on the exploits of the legendary professional footballer and cricketer WILLIAM FATTY FOULKE .He weighed in at about 24 stone towards the end of his career and made our very own Artur Boruc look lightweight.
In the world of children's literature and comic book heroes we also had BILLY BUNTER the greyfriars tuck raiding champion for many a year in the MAGNET comic.
The youth of today have to put up with the feckless Harry Potter no wonder we are producing a generation of no hopers and under achievers.
oh dear all this political correctness is really getting out of hands.i was brought up on the exploits of the legendary professional footballer and cricketer WILLIAM FATTY FOULKE .He weighed in at about 24 stone towards the end of his career and made our very own Artur Boruc look lightweight. In the world of children's literature and comic book heroes we also had BILLY BUNTER the greyfriars tuck raiding champion for many a year in the MAGNET comic. The youth of today have to put up with the feckless Harry Potter no wonder we are producing a generation of no hopers and under achievers. CB FRY LIVES
  • Score: 0

1:47pm Thu 29 Nov 12

saintshorse101 says...

Over the Edge wrote:
I remember the MOTD opening titles when SFC were last in the Premier League,,,,showing the rather large fellow in the front row at SMS cheering on his,,,,made him a bit of a celebrity around away ground,,,he is a big chap and he took vast amount of stick all over the country but I didn't seen or hear of him complaining to the BBC
i think you will find it was when itv had the highlights, and i know the fella you are talking about. now you may not know that he has been on the jeremy kyle show. he has a compulsive eating disorder and was told that he is killing himself! he has taken so much abuse from people over the years because of his weight, and i know it does hurt him.
you will not find a bigger (no pun) saints fan than him. the reason he never complained to itv is because they never made fun of his weight, like the bbc presenter did, he is also not the type of person to complain. do you really think that he wanted to be a `celebrity` and have fans at away games call him names? do you think its right for a bbc presenter to make fun of people for no other reason than their weight? people who were unable to defend themselves?
[quote][p][bold]Over the Edge[/bold] wrote: I remember the MOTD opening titles when SFC were last in the Premier League,,,,showing the rather large fellow in the front row at SMS cheering on his,,,,made him a bit of a celebrity around away ground,,,he is a big chap and he took vast amount of stick all over the country but I didn't seen or hear of him complaining to the BBC[/p][/quote]i think you will find it was when itv had the highlights, and i know the fella you are talking about. now you may not know that he has been on the jeremy kyle show. he has a compulsive eating disorder and was told that he is killing himself! he has taken so much abuse from people over the years because of his weight, and i know it does hurt him. you will not find a bigger (no pun) saints fan than him. the reason he never complained to itv is because they never made fun of his weight, like the bbc presenter did, he is also not the type of person to complain. do you really think that he wanted to be a `celebrity` and have fans at away games call him names? do you think its right for a bbc presenter to make fun of people for no other reason than their weight? people who were unable to defend themselves? saintshorse101
  • Score: 0

1:52pm Thu 29 Nov 12

100%HANTSBOY says...

It's probably through comfort eating over the past few years cos Saints have been depressing to watch!
It's probably through comfort eating over the past few years cos Saints have been depressing to watch! 100%HANTSBOY
  • Score: 0

1:57pm Thu 29 Nov 12

Block 34 says...

maybe not a great comment given the apparent circumstances, but life is so Bl88dy pc these days we have to kick back! just ignore it!!
maybe not a great comment given the apparent circumstances, but life is so Bl88dy pc these days we have to kick back! just ignore it!! Block 34
  • Score: 0

2:06pm Thu 29 Nov 12

George4th says...

saintjak wrote:
Dan you are out of order.

Fatties should be allowed their freedom to be fat, take up 2 seats in public places, swet even when using a lift and make a noise when they are just breathing.

Also in case you didn't know its not their fault its the fast food companies that didn't tell them it would make them fat.

And last of all dan, these chubby little funsters deserve our support. After all who else supply such comedy gold when they are spilling out of their leggins or can't get up after they have fell over.

For all you do-gooders watching what you eat and exercising shame on you, you're making the fatties of the world feel selfconcious.

As for the BBC, well, I think its about time you apologised at the end of every programme just in cast you have offended some liberal PC numpty who has a panic attack ever time they open their front door and face the world.

If I have insulted any slim people in writing this, get over it...
:-)
[quote][p][bold]saintjak[/bold] wrote: Dan you are out of order. Fatties should be allowed their freedom to be fat, take up 2 seats in public places, swet even when using a lift and make a noise when they are just breathing. Also in case you didn't know its not their fault its the fast food companies that didn't tell them it would make them fat. And last of all dan, these chubby little funsters deserve our support. After all who else supply such comedy gold when they are spilling out of their leggins or can't get up after they have fell over. For all you do-gooders watching what you eat and exercising shame on you, you're making the fatties of the world feel selfconcious. As for the BBC, well, I think its about time you apologised at the end of every programme just in cast you have offended some liberal PC numpty who has a panic attack ever time they open their front door and face the world. If I have insulted any slim people in writing this, get over it...[/p][/quote]:-) George4th
  • Score: 0

2:18pm Thu 29 Nov 12

Just another reader says...

I wonder if Grant Holt wants the Northam End to apologise for shouting "you're just a sh1t Rickie Lambert" and you fat b4st4rd all game?? Lol.
I wonder if Grant Holt wants the Northam End to apologise for shouting "you're just a sh1t Rickie Lambert" and you fat b4st4rd all game?? Lol. Just another reader
  • Score: 0

2:33pm Thu 29 Nov 12

Shoong says...

Ted Rogers wrote:
Another case of our desire to be outraged or offended.
Although should be mentioned that Ronaldo's weight gain is down to a medical condition - perhaps a sports journalist should know that.
Is he a sports journo?

A just one of these generic shiny presenters the BBc seems to have an endless stock of? He's only reading a tele printer.
[quote][p][bold]Ted Rogers[/bold] wrote: Another case of our desire to be outraged or offended. Although should be mentioned that Ronaldo's weight gain is down to a medical condition - perhaps a sports journalist should know that.[/p][/quote]Is he a sports journo? A just one of these generic shiny presenters the BBc seems to have an endless stock of? He's only reading a tele printer. Shoong
  • Score: 0

4:16pm Thu 29 Nov 12

andysaint says...

On the plus side of course it dont matter where you are in the stadium your always sat next to them!! HAHA The old ones are the best.
Seriously though - if those guys are fat then call them fat - hope theyre not black or jewish or gay (other colours, religious persuasions and sexual preferences are available) coz you aint allowed to say that either.
On the plus side of course it dont matter where you are in the stadium your always sat next to them!! HAHA The old ones are the best. Seriously though - if those guys are fat then call them fat - hope theyre not black or jewish or gay (other colours, religious persuasions and sexual preferences are available) coz you aint allowed to say that either. andysaint
  • Score: 0

4:47pm Thu 29 Nov 12

Folkestone Saint says...

Having had to share my seat at the last game with the "fatty" to my right (no not my wife she sat on the left of me and isn't fat) I have no sympathy, at no time did he offer to pay for the part of MY seat that he was using and made it very uncomfortable for me
Having had to share my seat at the last game with the "fatty" to my right (no not my wife she sat on the left of me and isn't fat) I have no sympathy, at no time did he offer to pay for the part of MY seat that he was using and made it very uncomfortable for me Folkestone Saint
  • Score: 0

5:04pm Thu 29 Nov 12

kingnotail says...

andysaint wrote:
On the plus side of course it dont matter where you are in the stadium your always sat next to them!! HAHA The old ones are the best.
Seriously though - if those guys are fat then call them fat - hope theyre not black or jewish or gay (other colours, religious persuasions and sexual preferences are available) coz you aint allowed to say that either.
Black, Jewish, gay - can't change that. Fat people can stop eating so much and lose weight = ok to take the p1ss.
[quote][p][bold]andysaint[/bold] wrote: On the plus side of course it dont matter where you are in the stadium your always sat next to them!! HAHA The old ones are the best. Seriously though - if those guys are fat then call them fat - hope theyre not black or jewish or gay (other colours, religious persuasions and sexual preferences are available) coz you aint allowed to say that either.[/p][/quote]Black, Jewish, gay - can't change that. Fat people can stop eating so much and lose weight = ok to take the p1ss. kingnotail
  • Score: 0

5:52pm Thu 29 Nov 12

skin2000 says...

Over the Edge wrote:
sarfhamton wrote:
I am a fat Saints fan, don't knock the BBC, start serving salads at the ground
Would have been a tad cold for salad last evening,,,,maybe Arthur Boruc should be served salad
I Arthur Boruc.....want to complain about the last remark....I not played much lately...I have the same problem as Ronaldo.
[quote][p][bold]Over the Edge[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]sarfhamton[/bold] wrote: I am a fat Saints fan, don't knock the BBC, start serving salads at the ground[/p][/quote]Would have been a tad cold for salad last evening,,,,maybe Arthur Boruc should be served salad[/p][/quote]I Arthur Boruc.....want to complain about the last remark....I not played much lately...I have the same problem as Ronaldo. skin2000
  • Score: 0

6:44pm Thu 29 Nov 12

More Glory says...

I've not been on this site for quite a few days - but this deserves comment.

I know the BBC are on the back foot - but this. What a muppet. People are out of work, in debt, struggling to make ends meet - but this poor excuse for a human being felt the need to keep going to get an apology.

Well her punishment - should be to get invited down to your ground and have the worst pies in England (apparently from walsall) thrown at her till she breaks down and cries.

The Walsall pies apparently don't have "much heat or meat in the middle" - just like this idiot.
I've not been on this site for quite a few days - but this deserves comment. I know the BBC are on the back foot - but this. What a muppet. People are out of work, in debt, struggling to make ends meet - but this poor excuse for a human being felt the need to keep going to get an apology. Well her punishment - should be to get invited down to your ground and have the worst pies in England (apparently from walsall) thrown at her till she breaks down and cries. The Walsall pies apparently don't have "much heat or meat in the middle" - just like this idiot. More Glory
  • Score: 0

8:41pm Thu 29 Nov 12

saintlysoul says...

Surely one of the best qualities anyone can have is to laugh at yourself. What a load of nonsense and waste of time and money!!!!!!
Surely one of the best qualities anyone can have is to laugh at yourself. What a load of nonsense and waste of time and money!!!!!! saintlysoul
  • Score: 0

1:55am Fri 30 Nov 12

TheJoiners says...

Whats the world coming to when we cant have a laugh, pathetic. Lucky he didnt say it on twitter, he would be jailed
Whats the world coming to when we cant have a laugh, pathetic. Lucky he didnt say it on twitter, he would be jailed TheJoiners
  • Score: 0

3:03am Fri 30 Nov 12

dolomiteman says...

Would this even be in the Echo if it was a supporter from a different club that was 'insulted'?
Would this even be in the Echo if it was a supporter from a different club that was 'insulted'? dolomiteman
  • Score: 0

8:21am Fri 30 Nov 12

OSPREYSAINT says...

If you want a good example of journalistic numptiness have a look on the OS Player, pre Liverpool match Press interview with NA.
If you want a good example of journalistic numptiness have a look on the OS Player, pre Liverpool match Press interview with NA. OSPREYSAINT
  • Score: 0

1:15pm Fri 30 Nov 12

Normandy says...

The camera always looks for pretty girls in world cup games, they should do the same at Saint Marys. .
The camera always looks for pretty girls in world cup games, they should do the same at Saint Marys. . Normandy
  • Score: 0

12:13am Sat 1 Dec 12

Baybrit says...

Was the complainant one of the people concerned? If so, then PERHAPS he's entitled to complain. If, however, the complainant is some pompous humourless blowhard who just loves the sound of his own voice and gets his jollies by moaning and whingeing, then perhaps he should think of GETTING A LIFE !
Was the complainant one of the people concerned? If so, then PERHAPS he's entitled to complain. If, however, the complainant is some pompous humourless blowhard who just loves the sound of his own voice and gets his jollies by moaning and whingeing, then perhaps he should think of GETTING A LIFE ! Baybrit
  • Score: 0

1:48am Sat 1 Dec 12

batesieboy says...

saintjak wrote:
Dan you are out of order.

Fatties should be allowed their freedom to be fat, take up 2 seats in public places, swet even when using a lift and make a noise when they are just breathing.

Also in case you didn't know its not their fault its the fast food companies that didn't tell them it would make them fat.

And last of all dan, these chubby little funsters deserve our support. After all who else supply such comedy gold when they are spilling out of their leggins or can't get up after they have fell over.

For all you do-gooders watching what you eat and exercising shame on you, you're making the fatties of the world feel selfconcious.

As for the BBC, well, I think its about time you apologised at the end of every programme just in cast you have offended some liberal PC numpty who has a panic attack ever time they open their front door and face the world.

If I have insulted any slim people in writing this, get over it...
Ha ha that was funny. Really people take themselves far too seriously, and this makes them even funnier!!
[quote][p][bold]saintjak[/bold] wrote: Dan you are out of order. Fatties should be allowed their freedom to be fat, take up 2 seats in public places, swet even when using a lift and make a noise when they are just breathing. Also in case you didn't know its not their fault its the fast food companies that didn't tell them it would make them fat. And last of all dan, these chubby little funsters deserve our support. After all who else supply such comedy gold when they are spilling out of their leggins or can't get up after they have fell over. For all you do-gooders watching what you eat and exercising shame on you, you're making the fatties of the world feel selfconcious. As for the BBC, well, I think its about time you apologised at the end of every programme just in cast you have offended some liberal PC numpty who has a panic attack ever time they open their front door and face the world. If I have insulted any slim people in writing this, get over it...[/p][/quote]Ha ha that was funny. Really people take themselves far too seriously, and this makes them even funnier!! batesieboy
  • Score: 0

1:50am Sat 1 Dec 12

batesieboy says...

bigfella777 wrote:
Most Saints fans are overweight.
Most human beings are overweight. Or if not they are underweight.
[quote][p][bold]bigfella777[/bold] wrote: Most Saints fans are overweight.[/p][/quote]Most human beings are overweight. Or if not they are underweight. batesieboy
  • Score: 0

8:29am Sat 1 Dec 12

SPIKEISLANDTRADER says...

5 minutes of stardom for our fans who gives a F *** ! Its the pukka pie diet , Lovely jubbly
5 minutes of stardom for our fans who gives a F *** ! Its the pukka pie diet , Lovely jubbly SPIKEISLANDTRADER
  • Score: 0

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