Kate Smurthwaite // 6 May 2008
Talksport DJ James Whale has been sacked from his job for telling his listeners to vote for Boris Johnson. Apparently this constitutes a breach of the impartiality laws, who knew!?
Now I had the joy of working with Mr Whale a couple of years ago on a rather low budget panel show called Where In The World? which is still occasionally shown on SkyTV’s Overseas Property channel. Two things I remember:
1) He asked a male comic who had been a panelist to come and be a guest on his radio show. He also invited me to do so – but only if I sat in the studio naked. I declined the offer.
2) During a break in filming someone brought out a tray of pastries and I grabbed donut and promptly spilled half the jam on the floor. When everyone realised what I’d done, I looked round and jokingly said to the other guests “sorry, does anyone have a tampon?” whereupon Whale launched in to a dramatic and extended rant about why-o-why do female comics always have to go on-and-on about their periods. This was the only remark I had made all day on the subject and – if he’s bothered to come see it he’d know – my normal stage routine doesn’t mention periods, period(!). And so what if it did – there are enough male acts out there talking about their dicks, about masturbating and defecating and urinating and all kinds of bodily functions – including for instance the rather poor masturbation joke that TalkSport use as an advertising slogan on the London taxis they sponsor (pictured). And what’s so disgusting and unbearable about the totally natural process of menstruation? Unless of course you’re a big misogynist.
I just hope that this move turns out to be a genuine death knell for his career, that he’s not hired next week by an even bigger radio station.
Photo by James Cridland, shared under a creative commons license.