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06th Jun 2024

BBC issue apology and pull D-Day programme over offensive comment

Charlie Herbert

bbc d-day programme

The corporation has apologised for the ‘inappropriate comment’

The BBC has apologised after an offensive comment was overhead off-camera during a special programme to commemorate the 80th anniversary of D-Day.

Today (June 6) marks the 80 years since D-Day, when 160,000 Allied forces troops launched an assault on the northern beaches of Nazi-occupied France.

As part of the commemorations, the BBC aired a special programme called ‘D-Day at 80: Tribute to the Fallen’.

The programme was broadcast from from Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery in Bayeaux and anchored by Kirsty Young.

As the broadcast got underway, Young introduced a military band for viewers at home. But when the camera cut to the band, a man off-camera could be heard saying “French a*******s”.

The clip was widely shared on social media, including by TV critic Scott Bryan. He wrote on X: “Not sure what exactly happened here during the BBC’s D-Day coverage.”

Someone else commented: “Someone’s getting fired @BBCNews, didn’t cut the cameras fast enough on the D-Day 80th to save the guy who said ‘a*******s’ on camera.”

A third wrote: “Did anyone hear anything slightly unexpected when the camera wobbled on the BBC’s D-Day 80 tribute just now? Have listened to it back and it sounds pretty clear to me…”

The BBC has since apologised for the incident and confirmed that the programme is “temporarily unavailable” whilst it is being edited to remove the comment.

In a statement to the Mirror, the broadcaster said: “We sincerely apologise for an inappropriate comment that was captured during live coverage of the D-Day at 80 events in Bayeux. The programme is being edited and is temporarily unavailable on BBC iPlayer.” 

The Normandy landings took place on June 6, 1944, and were the largest seaborne invasion in military history. The invasion was given the codename Operation Overlord and proved to be the crucial turning point of World War Two, starting the liberation of France, and ultimately Europe, from the Nazis.

Related links:

D-Day veteran, 98, refuses to glorify war and says ‘war is a waste of time’

WW2 hero dies on way to D-Day 80th anniversary event in Normandy