Politics.co.uk Blog

Monday, 6 December 2010

Naughtie's C-word slip: Was he thinking it?

Waking up to the Today programme is usually a pretty reliable experience. Stern interview, concerned activist, balanced pundit: it's a format that's worked pretty well for them.

So it was with unmitigated pleasure that listeners enjoyed James Naughtie's rather brilliant slip up this morning, in which he unilaterally changed culrure secretary Jeremy Hunt's name to something more… robust.

He promptly corpsed all over the place, disappeared for 20 minutes and then emerging with an apology.

You can hear the moment by clicking here - but we warn you, it's explicit.

"Some of you thought it was funny, some of you were frankly offended," Mr Naughtie, whose name becomes more fitting with each passing second, said.

"All I can say is that occasionally, in live broadcasting, these things happen and I am very sorry to anybody who thought it wasn't what they wanted to hear over breakfast.

"Needless to say, neither did I."

Hunt himself took it rather well, later tweeting: "They say prepare for anything before going on Today but that took the biscuit... I was laughing as much as u Jim or shld I say Dr Spooner."

Moments later, as he took over for Start the Week, Andrew Marr made exactly the same clanger.

All of which raises the question: what does Naughtie think of Hunt? Plainly he didn't mean to say it, but for the association to slip out his mouth like that, well, it would have to be on his mind. Predictably, lefties on Twitter are going spare claiming Naughtie as one of their own, his secrete socialist principles now suddenly revealed.

Being born with the wonderful name Ian Dunt is perhaps an acquired taste. This is a dangerous area for me, and I'm hoping it's not the start of a trend.

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