There have been a number of LBC presenters sacked over the years for various reasons. Similar to many broadcasting companies, the LBC has had to let some of its biggest names go, following periods of controversy surrounding these individuals, or things they may have said.
LBC, (London Broadcasting Company), is one of the better-known British radio stations, known for its phone-in segments inviting the general public to take part in heated topics of discussion. The radio station is operated and owned by the “Global” radio company.
Headquartered in London, the LBC was officially the UK’s first licensed commercial radio station, launching its first broadcast in 1973, only a week before Capital Radio.
The London Broadcasting Corporation is one of the most popular radio stations in the UK, and a significant name in the talk show industry.
Over the years, LBC has had a number of controversies associated with it, including issues linked with the appearance of Tony Blair, and the Jeni Barnett controversy, linked to the MMR vaccine.
There are a number of current presenters on the channel, ranging from James O’Brien to Andrew Pierce, and Andrew Marr.
Notably, in this list of sacked LBC presenters, we’re not looking at people who simply chose to leave the LBC of their own accord. For instance, though some people were concerned Ian Collins may have been removed from the LBC before deciding to return to the BBC, he announced this was not the case.
Here are some of the LBC presenters sacked over the years.
1. Katie Hopkins
Katie Hopkins, a presenter who rose to prominence following her appearance on “The Apprentice” in 2007, joined the LBC with her own dedicated talk show. Katie became a source of heated debate for a lot of listeners almost immediately, thanks to her controversial opinions.
In 2017, the London Broadcasting Company called for Katie to leave the channel “immediately”.
Though a number of Hopkins’ controversial opinions over the years may have been enough to prompt her dismissal, she was asked to leave after a particularly problematic tweet. Hopkins called for a “final solution” in dealing with terrorists, following the horrific Manchester terror attack.
Many followers questioned her phrasing, but Hopkins later corrected the tweet to ask for a “true solution”, labelling the earlier version as a mis-type. However, some Twitter uses pulled the comments to the attention of the police, claiming the tweet could incite religious or racial hate.
LBC presenter, James O’Brien claimed to be ashamed of sharing the air with her, naming Hopkins a “monstrous” individual. Interestingly, there were also “cheers in the news room” from other people throughout the LBC when Hopkins announced her departure.
Since leaving the LBC, Hopkins has still made endless attempts to have her voice heard, often over social media. Many people commended the decision to remove Hopkins from the LBC show, however some questioned why she wasn’t asked to leave earlier.
2. Maajid Nawaz
LBC presenter Maajid Nawaz officially “left” the LBC in January of 2022, after controversy emerged around his tweets regarding Covid-19 vaccinations. Nawaz joined the LBC station in 2016, and typically presented on both Saturdays and Sundays between 1pm and 4pm.
According to Maajid, it wasn’t his decision to leave the station, but the radio claimed the contract he had with the LBC was “ending” very shortly, and they had chosen not to renew his employment. Nawaz tweeted he refused to “go quietly” after being dismissed.
The news of Nawaz’ departure was announced shortly after he posted a tweet linking to a report of mandatory vaccinations for people over 50 in Italy. The tweet condemned the action as an attempt to suspend human rights.
This was only one comment in a long list of statements Maajid has made regarding the vaccine in recent years.
Nawaz has been criticised by many for sharing “fake news” and inciting fear about the vaccine. He has constantly argued against the efficacy of the vaccine and subsequent boosters, in a manner described as “dangerously irresponsible” by colleague, Iain Dale.
When commenting on the somewhat slow decision to remove Nawaz from the company, a former LBC staff member said the company tends to keep “shock jockeys” around until they’re forced to remove them.
3. Nigel Farage
A figure of significant controversy throughout the UK regardless of his position on the radio, Nigel Farage has become a significant talking point over the years. In June of 2020, LBC announced Farage would have to leave the station with “immediate” effect.
The Brexit Party leader was given a weekday evening show on the talk station, wherein he hosted a number of controversial conversations. The programme hosted by Nigel regularly hit the headlines, similar in style to a US right-wing show.
LBC announced in 2020 that Farage’s contract with the station was coming to an end, and after “discussions” it was agreed he would be stepping down.
LBC thanked Nigel for the “enormous contributions” made to the station. However, co-worker James O’Brien tweeted about finally getting the station “back” after Farage was asked to leave.
Employees at Global Media (the owner of LBC), raised concerns about Farage’s approach to many complex topics, including the Black Lives Matter movement.
Despite a number of angry responses from listeners, Farage’s show remained on the air for three years, giving callers the chance to chat about political topics.
As a former leader of UKIP, Farage was one of the indivduals responsible for gathering momentum for the UK’s decision to leave the EU.
He was finally asked to leave LBC after tweeting about the Black Lives Matters protesters and comparing them to “The Taliban” for demolishing statues of slave traders.
A Global spokesperson made a statement about the dismissal, saying the group is taking several steps to improve their approach to “inclusivity”.
4. Steve Allen
One of the most recent names on our list of LBC sacked presenters, Steve Allen has yet to be officially removed from the London Broadcasting Corporation. However, the outrage and anger surrounding the recent behavior of the presenter has many people assuming Allen will not be around for long.
Colleagues of Steve Allen at LBC have almost universally requested his dismissal from the station following backlash from a comment made about Tilly Ramsey. Allen referred to Ramsay as a “chubby little thing” on his morning show.
Allen has worked as a disc jockey and radio host for a number of years. His work with the London Broadcasting Company goes back to 1979, making him the stations longest-serving presenter.
However, most people agree this will not save Allen from the rage of the public.
Tilly Ramsey hit back at the LBC presenter, saying she wouldn’t tolerate people who scrutinize the appearance or weight of others. The social media personality received an outpouring of support from celebrity colleagues and fans. LBC has yet to make a response.
This is not the first time Steve has faced controversy following “fat-phobic” comments. Over the years, Allen’s colleagues have slated him for his outdated and archaic comments.
At this point, many of the presenters of the LBC believe Allen’s old-fashioned views have been allowed to continue at the station for too long.
Currently, it’s uncertain whether Steve will be asked to leave LBC entirely, or simply required to issue an apology to Tilly. Ofcom has confirmed it is assessing complaints made against Allen.
LBC and its controversial presenters
As the UK’s oldest commercial radio station and one of the most popular programs for political talk and dispute, the London Broadcasting Corporation is no stranger to controversy.
Though not all the presenters associated with LBC have been connected to issues of hate in the past, the station has begun to gain something of a reputation.
The decision to host a number of controversial names, including both Katie Hopkins and Nigel Farage for a number of years, despite the anguish caused among listeners has prompted people to question LBC’s methods.
The station appears to avoid firing most of its presenters, even following regular complaints and issues with Ofcom.
The strategies of the LBC, and its use of more problematic presenters offers an insight into why the more argumentative “shock-jock” style presenters in the US have such as lasting effect on their audience.
Global Radio has a number of other stations, such as Heart and Galaxy, which don’t follow the same programming structure. However, despite this, the parent company has had to announce the steps its taking to perform more admirably in terms of inclusion and diversity in recent years.