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BBC DJ Alex Dyke suspended over breastfeeding remarks

Alex Dyke
Image caption Presenter Alex Dyke apologised for his comments during his show on Thursday

A BBC radio presenter has been suspended over "appalling" comments he made on air about breastfeeding.

DJ Alex Dyke said breastfeeding was "unnatural" and "has to be stopped" in public during his phone-in show on BBC Radio Solent on Wednesday.

His remarks led to an online petition, which has so far attracted more than 6,000 supporters, calling for him to be taken off air.

The broadcaster, who has apologised, will not present his show on Friday.

The BBC has not yet said how long the suspension will last.

Dyke apologised on air for "any offence caused" during his show on Thursday.

He had asked callers to ring in about the "taboo subject" of breastfeeding in public during the programme, which is broadcast to parts of Hampshire and Dorset.

'Mums with moustaches'

During the phone-in, Dyke said: "Couldn't mums just stay at home and do it? I'm not offended by it, I'm just made to feel uncomfortable about it.

"You wouldn't get 'yummy mummies'... breastfeeding in public. Those kind of women wouldn't do it because they're very image-conscious and they know it's not a great look."

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Image caption The presenter's remarks about breastfeeding were labelled "outdated" and "disgusting"

He added: "I blame the Earth mothers, you know the ones I mean, the ones with the moustaches, the ones who work in libraries, the ones who wear hessian, the ones they're always on Radio 4 on Women's Hour, they are always pushing the boundaries and making us feel uncomfortable.

"Breastfeeding is unnatural. It's the kind of thing that should be done in a quiet, private nursery.

"It was OK in the Stone Age when we knew no better, when people didn't have their own teeth... but now I just think a public area is not the place for it and fellas don't like it."

Dyke's remarks led to a backlash on social media and online forums and led to the petition.

Lisa Mills, from Stapleton, Bristol, wrote: "What an idiot. Why are we still defending our rights to feed our children in this day [and] age?"

Alex Dodd, from Scholes, West Yorkshire, added: "His opinions are outdated, unwanted and ill thought through.

"My wife went through incredible pain with breastfeeding in order to give our son the best possible start in life."

Emily Greenwood, from Bournemouth, said: "To say breastfeeding is unnatural is just disgusting. He has no clue."

Image caption Users of social media expressed anger at Dyke's on-air remarks

The BBC said it had made it clear his comments were "unacceptable".

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