David Davis And John Humphrys Share 'Joke' About Man Punching His Wife

Domestic violence incident at World Tango Championship mocked on flagship BBC Radio 4 show.
<strong>John Humphrys, left, and David Davis</strong>
John Humphrys, left, and David Davis

David Davis and John Humphrys have been criticised after sharing a “joke” about a man assaulting his wife before a tango contest.

The two men, aged 70 and 76, were live on Radio 4 this morning and appeared to be mocking the alleged domestic violence incident at the World Tango Championships, in Buenos Aires, when a Russian man - part of a husband and wife duo - was disqualified for punching his partner.

Ex-Brexit secretary Davis was about to be interviewed on BBC Radio 4′s flagship Today programme when he turned to Humphrys, the show’s presenter, and said “I guess this is our last tango”.

Humphrys, whose conduct as the show’s host has been frequently criticised in recent years, replied: ″It is indeed, but I promise not to punch you if you don’t punch me.”

Davis and Humphrys even returned to the joke at the conclusion of the interview with the host chuckling as Davis said: “Our last tango was very pleasant and neither of us punched each other.”

According to Reuters, the dance contest organisers did not name the couple in order “to preserve the identity of the victim who declined to file a complaint.”

The woman “was not disqualified but could not continue competing because she had no partner,” a source told the agency.

Labour MP Chris Bryant was among those who tweeted about Davis and Humphrys, suggesting it was time for the host to resign: “How on earth can it be right for John Humphrys to JOKE about a man punching his tango partner?,” he said.

Sky News’ Kay Burley also weighed in, tweeting: “I really, really like John Humphrys. I really, really don’t like him making jokes about a woman being punched by her dance partner.”

Here are excerpts from the BBC interview:

Before the interview started ...

Davis: “Good morning. I guess this is our last tango.”

Humphrys: ″It is indeed, but I promise not to punch you if you don’t punch me.”

Davis: “Ah very good.”

Humphrys: “Deal?”

Davis: “Deal.”

At the end ...

Davis: “Our last tango was very pleasant and neither of us punched each other.”

Humphrys: “Ha ha ha. Thank you very much.”

Davis: “Thank you.”

The BBC declined to comment on the incident.