According to unconfirmed reports, star presenter Sonia Deol’s days are numbered at the BBC Asian Network over an on air blunder during her show last week. Sonia Deol, the host of BBC Asian Network’s mid-morning debate show was midst of uproar from Sikh followers and Asian media after allowing a guest say that Guru Nanak Singh, the founder of Sikhism, was Satan. The comments were made on Sonia’s show last Tuesday (11th May). A string of emails and Internet forums have already sparked a campaign to boycott the Asian Network. BBC’s Press Office continue to deny ‘rumours’ that Sonia has been axed from the show, releasing the following statement:
The BBC has made it clear that the views expressed by a guest on the Sonia Deol show on the BBC Asian Network last Thursday were deplored and condemned by the programme-makers and the management of the Asian Network. The comments were made during a live discussion on Sonia’s programme and were completely unexpected. Sonia told the guest how offensive her remarks were, and the programme-makers took immediate action to enable both Sikh and Muslim listeners to express their views on air. Vijay Sharma, Head of the BBC’s Asian Network, has met various community representatives to reassure them that the views expressed were those of the guest alone. “This was a most unfortunate incident in a live programme. The programme-makers were totally unprepared for the guest’s outburst. Sonia Deol apologised and allowed listener’s to express their outrage. We apologise for any offence which may have been caused. We will make sure that the guest in question will never again appear on the Asian Network.”
National English/Punjabi newspaper The Sikh Times has expressed its disgust at the BBC Asian Network’s show this week, leading with a front page article voicing its anger at the national BBC station.