BBC issues statement after receiving complaints about Dan Stevens’ Boris Johnson joke on The One Show

Presenters on The One Show were stunned into silence a week ago as guest star Dan Stevens made a savage dig at Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Alex Jones and Jermaine Jenas were reeling after his scathing remarks about the PM just a day after the Tory leader was fined £50 for breaking lockdown rules by attending a party to celebrate his birthday while the country was in lockdown.

The Downton Abbey actor, who plays Matthew Crawley in the period drama, was on the sofa to discuss his latest drama based on the Watergate scandal which involved the administration of US president Richard Nixon which led to his resignation in 1974. And Dan didn’t hold back as he made an attack on Mr Johnson.

Jaws dropped as he said: “What you’ve got is a criminal for a leader who is wrapped up in a messy war, embroiled in a stupid scandal and surrounded by ambitious idiots and really should resign… I’m sorry that’s the intro to Boris Johnson, I’ve just said the intro to Boris Johnson.”

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Presenter Alex gasped out loud at the swipe while co-host Jermaine looked away while stifling a laugh. Jane Rackham said on Twitter: “Doubt Dan will be invited back on BBC – even though he’s saying what the majority of the nation are thinking.”

Nick Rochford said: “It’s funny and true. But what’s shocking is that how shockingly rebellious and outre this is. We should be a democracy and have free speech. Rather than it being embarrassingly covered up or apologised for.” And @SamwiseG1 tweeted: “Oh my. I don’t think the One Show were expecting THAT little nugget of delight.”

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There were gasps in the studio

It has since been revealed that Dan’s comments sparked complaints from viewers. And the broadcaster has now issued a statement responding to the complaints saying the comments were ‘taken in jest’ and the hosts had ‘moved the conversation on.’

The BBC’s official website says: “We received complaints from viewers who were unhappy about comments made by the actor Dan Stevens.” And in a statement addressing the complaints the BBC responded: “The One Show is a live topical entertainment program where the hosts are joined by a variety of guests to discuss a broad range of subjects.

“Actor Dan Stevens was a guest on Wednesday 13 April and made comments about Boris Johnson in response to a question from the hosts about his new TV project before going on to talk about the series. These comments were taken in jest and the hosts moved the conversation on to the focus of the interview.”

Mr Johnson has faced the House of Commons this week following his fine for breaking lockdown rules. Alongside his wife of him Carrie Johnson and the Chancellor Rishi Sunak, the Prime Minister was issued a fixed penalty notice by the Metropolitan Police for attending a surprise birthday party thrown in his honor of him in the Cabinet room in June 2020 while coronavirus restrictions were in place.

Yesterday (Tuesday April 19) the Prime Minister issued a ‘wholehearted apology’ to MPs over his partygate fine. But he insisted he did not know he was breaking his own coronavirus rules. He also confirmed that he had paid the FPN charge immediately.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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