How Naughtie has shown we can laugh at our own mistakes

6 Dec

I am enjoying the sniggering-schoolboy coverage of Radio 4’s James Naughtie’s live blunder on air, when he inadvertently turned Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt’s surname into a class-A swear word.

Whether it was, as Naughtie said, “an awful verbal tangle courtesy of Dr Spooner”,  or whether it was a Freudian slip, it certainly brought some humour to the Radio 4 News at 8am.

Even a media doyen can make mistakes, yet be professional and carry on: he spluttered through the headlines in an attempt to contain his laughter, passing it off as a ‘coughing fit’ to spare his (and our) blushes.

And, in spite of a few snotty emails to the BBC, it seems that most people seem to be seeing the funny side (including the Culture Secretary, who was quoted as saying that he nearly fell off his chair laughing).

The situation only became uncomfortable when Naughtie kept apologising throughout the Today programme; I’m wondering whether one apology would have been enough, given that his gaffe was pure human error. I’m also wondering if he’ll have increased his chances of winning this year’s Radio Personality of the Year award…?



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