Top of the Pops viewers (those that are left) were deprived of what little quality music they could have expected to see on Sunday when Richard Bacon introduced Londonist favourites The Magic Numbers by making a joke about their weight.
According to the BBC News report:
In rehearsals, Richard Bacon said the band had been put in a "fat melting pot of talent" - and they left in protest at the "derogatory, unfunny remarks".
A statement on the band's website read:
IT WAS AN IMPORTANT DAY FOR US AND SHOULD HAVE BEEN SPECIAL. WE DIDN'T
TAKE THIS DECISION LIGHTLY BUT WE STAND BY IT.
(Upper case is as per website statement.)
Predictably, the BBC is back-pedalling furiously, claiming that:
Bacon used the word "fat" as a "figure of speech referring to the band's status".
The phrase "Chinny reck-on, Jimmy Hill" springs to mind, especially after reading The Sun's version of the story:
Richard introduced them saying: “What do you get when you put two brothers and two sisters in a band? A big fat melting pot.”
The affair has predictably riled fans of the band, with one messageboard thread urging fans to let Richard Bacon how they feel about his turn of phrase. Fantastically, at the time of writing, the tone remains reasonable. Less happily, the trolls have come out in force, and the heretofore invisible Administrator of the board has finally come out to delete numerous abusive threads.
We think Bacon's a terrible (and unfunny) broadcaster, although we accept he's a marmite kind of presenter, but we've not been averse to making quips about Michelle McManus ourselves. So while we applaud The Magic Numbers for taking a stand against the ridiculous size-ism that pervades the media, we stop short of utterly condemning Richard Bacon. A slap on the wrists and contrite apology should suffice.
Googling the phrase fat melting pot returns just four different websites.