Simon Amstell apologises for Mandela comment on Radio 1

Simon Amstell

Simon Amstell has apologised for a comment he made in reference to Nelson Mandela on Radio 1's Breakfast Show.

The comedian suggested there was racial segregation between Radio 1 and sister station BBC Radio 1Xtra.

He said: "Mandela would not approve of the situation at the BBC." Amstell tweeted an apology after the show.

The comments on Friday morning came less than 24 hours after it was announced that the former South African president had died.

"It may have been unclear this morning, as things often are but what came out of this mouth today was silly," his tweet said. "Apologies to everyone involved."

His comments came during a link on the show.

Amstell said: "What is going on? We're next to 1Xtra, it's so white in here. Mandela would not approve of the situation at the BBC."

When Nick Grimshaw asked why, the guest replied: "Look at all these people in here." Grimshaw answered: "There's a lot of people."

The comedian then said: "Yeah, but look at the segregation that's happened."

Nick Grimshaw
Nick Grimshaw has presented Radio 1's Breakfast Show since September 2012

He then laughed when the producer of the Breakfast Show, Matt Fincham, said: "I don't think that's the right thing to be saying right now."

Amstell added: "Well, someone had to say it. Mandela would say it if he was here."

At the end of the link Nick Grimshaw said: "Apologies if you were offended by anything that was said earlier." Amstell replied: "Nothing I said was offensive though."

The comedian was on the show to promote his latest live stand-up DVD, which was recorded at the BBC.

The 34-year-old presented BBC music quiz show Never Mind The Buzzcocks between 2006 and 2008.

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