MOTORMOUTH Radio Sheffield presenter Toby Foster has been ordered to button his lip by his bosses – after offending over four million people in a single broadcast.
The 42-year-old stand up vented his spleen about New Zealand on air, saying it had ‘sod all’ apart from earthquakes.
But when approached by The Star for an explanation, Toby explained he’d been given a ‘three line whip’ not to discuss the affair further.
Instead BBC bosses have issued a statement in which he ‘apologised unreservedly’ for causing any offence. It adds: “Toby has nothing against New Zealand and his comments were made in jest in response to an article in the morning newspapers. His comments were not intended to be taken seriously.”
The rant was sparked by an item about ‘New Zealand girl’ Erin Langworthy – who is actually Australian – plunging into a crocodile-infested river in Zambia when her rope snapped during a bungee jump.
Toby said that if you chose to bungee jump, ‘you are insane in the membrane’ because it is the ‘daftest thing ever’.
He continued: “Of course New Zealand people do a lot of bungee jumping and we’re told it’s because they’ve got such wonderful scenery.
“But it’s not. What New Zealand has got is sod all... Nothing there, there’s nothing there. The best thing about New Zealand was Christchurch – and even that had an earthquake.
“And so this New Zealander, she’s gone off to Africa in the hope she will be eaten by a hippo or something because at least there will be something happening in her boring New Zealander life.”
One day soon, he said, there would be a new sport where people used nail guns to nail their hands to trees.
“And people will say, ‘Did a New Zealander think of that?’ and you’ll say ‘Yeah, it’s because they’ve got nothing else there’.”
Toby came in for a blasting from a couple of New Zealanders who fired off letters to The Star.
One said: “I thought that with the internet people were better informed, obviously not BBC radio hosts. Mr Foster’s comments are those of a very ignorant person.”
n Read the letters: See Page 25.