ENTERTAINMENT

Reggie Yates Stands Down From 'Top Of The Pops' Christmas Specials Over Anti-Semitic Comments

He was due to host the festive episodes with Fearne Cotton.

05/12/2017 08:39 GMT

Reggie Yates has resigned as the co-host of the ‘Top Of The Pops’ Christmas specials over anti-Semitic comments he made on a podcast.

Last month, the presenter issued an apology to the Jewish community, after used the phrase “fat Jewish guy” during a conversation about grime artists on an episode of Halfcast Podcast.

BBC
Reggie Yates and Fearne Cotton host 'Top Of The Pops'

Speaking to DJ Chuckie Lothian, Reggie was heard saying: “They’re independent, they’re not managed by some random fat Jewish guy from north west London, they’re managed by their brethren.”

Following the controversy, Reggie has now announced he has taken the decision to step down from this year’s festive editions of ‘Top Of The Pops’, which he usually fronts with pal Fearne Cotton

“On a recent podcast, during a discussion about grime artists, I made some ill-considered remarks which have hurt many people,” he posted on Twitter. 

“I can see clearly that the words I used reinforced offensive stereotypes, and that there is no context that would justify such remarks. 

“My comments are no reflection on how I truly feel, and I would like to apologise unreservedly to the Jewish community, people in the music industry and anyone else I have offended.

“This has been, and continues to be a huge learning experience for me, and on reflection I have taken the decision to step down from hosting Top Of The Pops this year.”

A BBC spokesperson added: “We take these issues very seriously and Reggie is in no doubt about the BBC’s view of his comments.”

Reggie, who also fronts documentary series ‘The Insider’ for BBC Three, previously issued a statement about his remarks when they first came to light, saying: “I’m hugely apologetic for this flippant comment.

“It was not my intention to offend or reinforce stereotypes, but I’m aware that this could have been interpreted that way and for that I am also deeply sorry.

“What I was actually trying to say was how proud I am of the new generation of artists making their success independently on their own terms and without giving away control or their rights to major labels.”

This year’s ‘Top Of The Pops’ Christmas and New Year specials are set to feature performances from Olly Murs, Skepta, Zara Larsson, James Arthur, Craig David and Louisa Johnson.