Monday, 14 September 2009

A famous face

Zarkonnen's description of the purpose of this blog is that it is a place to practically make the world a little better. I am hoping that posting this here will help something be done about the focus of my post today, TV chef James Martin.

In an article in The Mail on Sunday motoring section he describes how endangering cyclists by "skimming" them and implies he causes them to either crash or certainly come near. I know that it can be challenging for some people to understand the appeal of cycling, but in the UK as in almost all countries cyclists have equal rights on the road and are much more vulnerable road users.

The article itself does not fall foul of the guidelines set out by the Press Complaints Commission, even though he explicitly describes breaking the law and endangering others, but for this reason I feel that complaints against this article should be sent to the BBC. As his main employer he is a representitive of the corporation on TV and in this article puts himself and the BBC into disrepute.

The letter example below is taken from the Bike Radar forums, but can be adjusted and sent to the BBC complaints department. It isn't their fault that his article was published, but I don't want a public body that I help to fund to keep such a person on their payroll.

I wish to formally complain about the comments made by the presenter James Martin in a column in the Daily Mail newspaper. Whilst I recognise that this is beyond the control of the BBC the presenter is one the public faces of the corporation and receives funding from licence payers.
James Martin specifically admits to causing cyclists distress and possible injury by his actions. The admissions, if substantiated, could well result in prosecution for Inconsiderate Driving, Driving Without Due Care And Attention or even Common Assault. The behaviour of James Martin as described in his column are not those which I have come to expect from the BBC. I would be grateful if you could explore the admissions and recontact me with the results of your findings. The article can be found below.

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