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

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

Dan Walker on Football Focus

Dan Walker on Football Focus

First published in News Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Education Reporter

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.”

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