Fiona Bruce apologises after sparking backlash over BBC Question Time comment

Fiona Bruce refers to audience member as ‘black guy’ on BBC QT

Fiona Bruce has apologised after sparking a backlash on social media for referring to a BBC Question Time audience member as the “black guy”.

The BBC host made the comment on last night’s show in Wolverhampton as she directed a microphone during a discussion on whether it is right to ban mobile phones in schools.

Ms Bruce said: “The guy there in the middle, the black guy in the middle, yes you sir.”

The audience member went on to make his point questioning why there was not more funding for schools.

But Ms Bruce’s comment prompted criticism from Twitter users including former chief prosecutor Nazir Afzal.

Mr Afzal shared a clip of the moment and said: “Let’s hear from the ‘black guy.'”

Other Twitter users pointed out that Ms Bruce had identified other audience members by their clothing.

The remark has been removed from the recording of the episode on BBC iPlayer.

Ms Bruce said today: “I totally understand why my words last night caused offence and I apologise.

“I have spoken to the audience member directly and explained that usually I can see and describe an item of clothing or otherwise to help sound engineers with a microphone find people in the audience.

“Last night that was not the case as my view was obscured. In the split second I had, the easiest thing to do would have been to ignore the audience member and move on, but I felt strongly that his voice should be heard.

“Nonetheless, I feel it was wrong to identify him as I did and that’s why it was removed from the later edited programme.”

A BBC spokesperson added: “We regret the choice of words used to identify the audience member.

“The intent was to ensure his voice was heard, however we recognise we should not have identified him in this way and apologise for any offence caused.

“As such the recorded version on iPlayer has been edited to remove this.”

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