Alan Partridge would be proud: BBC Radio Norfolk host sparks rape outrage by claiming women should ‘keep their knickers on’ during debate on footballer Ched Evans
- Nick Conrad made comments in live discussion on BBC Radio Norfolk
- Said some women should ‘keep their knickers on and not get into bed’
- Married father-of-one was told off by bosses and has now apologised
- Evans jailed in April 2012 for raping woman, 19, in hotel room in Rhyl
- Mr Conrad is compared to fictional Norfolk presenter Alan Partridge
- Ofcom has received complaints and is deciding whether to investigate
A BBC Radio Norfolk presenter was today compared to Alan Partridge after saying in a debate on Ched Evans that women were responsible for men’s actions if they ‘give out the wrong signals’.
Nick Conrad, a talk show host, has apologised following the live discussion about the future of rapist Evans – a former Sheffield United footballer, who was freed from jail last month.
Married father-of-one Mr Conrad, 29, said on his phone-in show that if women ‘don’t wish to give out the wrong signals, it’s best probably to keep your knickers on and not get into bed’ with a man.
Scroll down for audio and video
Provoked fury: Nick Conrad (left) – a BBC Radio Norfolk talk show host – has apologised following the live discussion about the future of former Sheffield United striker Ched Evans (right) who has been freed from jail
Comparison: Mr Conrad’s comments on his BBC Radio Norfolk show have been compared to the sort made by fictional Norfolk radio presenter Alan Partridge, played by Steve Coogan (pictured)
He also said: ‘It’s the old adage about if you yank a dog’s tail don’t be surprised when it bites you.’
In response to the comments, former government worker Stefan Plebovich said on Twitter: ‘Nick Conrad, Alan Partridge’s evil twin? Neanderthal man is alive and kicking at BBC Radio Norfolk.’
And Simon Jenkin said: ‘Nick Conrad is like Alan Partridge if he was played by Dapper Laughs’. He was referring to the comedian who told a woman at a live show that she was ‘gagging for a rape’.
Partridge is a fictional Norfolk radio presenter played by actor Steve Coogan, who is prone to making politically incorrect comments – and appeared in a feature-length film last year.
Evans was jailed in April 2012 for raping a 19-year-old woman in a hotel room in Rhyl, north Wales. He denied rape, saying the sex was consensual, but was found guilty at Caernarfon Crown Court.
He was released from prison last month after serving half of the five-year sentence. Campaigners against sexual violence have already criticised United’s decision to allow Evans to train with them.
Mr Conrad, whose daily programme is billed on the BBC website as one ‘which gets the county talking’, told listeners to the show: ‘I think women need to be more aware of a man’s sexual desire.’
The presenter, who has a toddler daughter named Erin, added: ‘When you’re in that position that you are about to engage in sexual activity, there’s a huge amount of energy in the male body.
Staying together: Evans and his fiancée Natasha Massey are pictured together out in Cheshire last week
‘There’s a huge amount of will and intent, and it’s very difficult for many men to say “no” when they are whipped up into a bit of a storm.’
His remarks outraged anti-rape campaigners including Katie Russell, a spokesman for the Rape Crisis England and Wales charity.
WHAT DID NICK CONRAD SAY?
‘I think women need to be more aware of a man’s sexual desire that when you’re in that position that you are about to engage in sexual activity there’s a huge amount of energy in the male body, there’s a huge amount of will and intent and it’s very difficult for many men to say no when they are whipped up into a bit of a storm.
‘And it’s the old adage about if you yank a dog’s tail don’t be surprised when it bites you.
‘Or you can’t keep snakes in the garden and think they’ll only bite your neighbours.
‘One wonders if women need to be a little bit more mindful of that and the feminists who have hijacked… Hijacked maybe a bit of a strong word…jump on these arguments and appear to be quite anti-men.
‘They neglect that very important part of the argument even though it’s a reduced part of the argument and the onus has to be on the men and the men must be condemned if a woman says no and they persist then that’s absolutely abhorrent.
‘But they then (feminists) in their fury against men and masculinity they actually forget to stop and say if you tease, if you jump into bed naked with a man if you give him all the signals and then he acts upon them then you are partially responsible and of course it is a grey area and there will be cases where you wanted to go certain distance and not go any further and the man is absolutely wrong but if you are… how do I say this?
‘I’ve got to be so careful of what I say because I don’t want this to be explosive, I’m trying, I’m just trying to talk around it…
‘But what I’m trying to say is that women also have to understand that when a man’s given certain signals he’ll wish to act upon them and if you don’t wish to give out the wrong signals it’s best probably to keep your knickers on and not get into bed with him.’
She told MailOnline today: ‘This episode is yet another example of how the current debate around convicted rapist Ched Evans’s potential return to professional football has highlighted a range of much broader, problematic issues.
‘It makes clear that there are still a number of pervasive and harmful myths around sexual violence in our society.’
She added: ‘The idea that men’s sexual desires render them incapable of taking responsibility for their actions or respecting another person’s right to choose what happens to their body is unfounded, outdated and offensive to men.
‘The idea that women should take responsibility for men’s sexuality is equally insulting to both men and women and, in this context, fails to put responsibility for sexual violence squarely where it belongs – that is solely and entirely with its perpetrator.’
Also angered was Toni Lawton, project manager at Norwich-based Sweet Arts, which works with domestic and sexual abuse victims.
She branded the comments about Evans, who also played for Norwich City, ‘naive, laddish and insulting to all those men who do take responsibility for their behaviour’.
She said: ‘He seems to forget that rape is a crime perpetrated against men and women and that “no” is “no”, regardless of scenario.’
Norfolk Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Jenny McKibben said the idea of ‘uncontrollable male desire’ was ‘outdated and demeaning to the vast majority of right-thinking men’.
And a spokesman for domestic violence charity Leeway, also based in Norwich, said she was ‘saddened’ by Mr Conrad’s comments.
Jessica Asato, Labour’s prospective parliamentary candidate for Norwich North, said on Twitter: ‘Comments by BBC Norfolk presenter are demeaning and crass towards women. He should apologise on air.’
In a statement, the BBC said Mr Conrad had been told his remarks during a three-hour phone-in over whether Evans should be able to resume his football career were ‘very ill-judged’.
A BBC Radio Norfolk spokesman said: ‘As part of a wide-ranging discussion where Nick invited the listeners to talk frankly about the Ched Evans case, he made it clear that rape is an abhorrent act.
‘BBC management has made it clear to Nick that some of his comments were very ill-judged and he has apologised for any offence that may have been caused.’
The BBC spokesman said no formal complaints had been made about Mr Conrad’s comments on the show, which also featured a representative from the End Violence Against Women Coalition.
Unimpressed: In response to the comments, former government worker Stefan Plebovich said on Twitter: ‘Nick Conrad, Alan Partridge’s evil twin? Neanderthal man is alive and kicking at BBC Radio Norfolk’
Twitter reaction: Simon Jenkin said Nick Conrad was ‘like Alan Partridge if he was played by Dapper Laughs’
Apology: A spokesman for BBC Radio Norfolk, based at these studios in Norwich (above), said BBC management had ‘made it clear to Nick that some of his comments were very ill-judged’
Footballer: Evans, 25, is pictured playing for Sheffield United (left) and outside court (right) in 2012
But an Ofcom spokesman told MailOnline today: We have received three complaints citing the Nick Conrad show on November 17. We’re currently assessing these and will make a decision as to whether to open an investigation in due course.’
But Clive Lewis, Labour’s prospective parliamentary candidate for Norwich South, told the Eastern Daily Press: ‘Listening to Nick Conrad’s comments it’s all too clear he’s got this badly wrong.
There’s a huge amount of will and intent, and it’s very difficult for many men to say “no” when they are whipped up into a bit of a storm
Nick Conrad, BBC Radio Norfolk
‘To suggest men are little better than animals with no self-control is quite frankly offensive. Unlike Mr Conrad I think most men understand the concept of “no means no”. It’s not a difficult concept to master.’
After the show on Monday morning, Mr Conrad posted on his Facebook page that it was a ‘very interesting discussion’.
Evans’s attempts to resume his career have been met by protests, with musician Paul Heaton resigning yesterday as a patron of United’s Community Foundation over the decision to allow him to train with the club.
TV presenter Charlie Webster, Sixties pop star Dave Berry and Sheffield businesswoman Lindsay Graham have all resigned as patrons of the South Yorkshire club, known as the Blades.
Controversy: Olympic athlete Jessica Ennis-Hill asked for her name to be removed from a stand at Sheffield United’s 33,000-capacity ground Bramall Lane (pictured) if Evans returns to play for the team
Row: Musician Paul Heaton (left) has resigned as a patron of United’s Community Foundation over Evans being allowed Evans to train, while TV presenter Charlie Webster (right) has also quit as a patron of the club
And Olympic athlete Jessica Ennis-Hill asked for her name to be removed from a stand at United’s 33,000-capacity ground Bramall Lane if Evans, 25, returns to play for the team.
PRESENTER PROFILE: NICK CONRAD
Nick Conrad, 29, who is from Sheringham, Norfolk, studied history, sociology and media at A-Level and achieved a first-class degree in TV production at the University of Central Lancashire. He began his career aged 14 as a junior sports reporter – making him Britain’s youngest radio professional at the time.
As well as his daily phone-in show for BBC Radio Norfolk, Mr Conrad also presents shows on LBC 97.3. He has worked on programmes for BBC News, ITV, Channel 5, CNN, CBS, Sky News and five other BBC radio stations, including Radio 2, Radio 3 and Radio 5 Live.
The team on his Radio Norfolk show – which is on from 9am to 12pm – won Radio Current Affairs Programme of the year at the 2010 EDF Energy East of England Media Awards.
He married his wife Emma Pank at an Elizabethan barn in Norfolk in June 2013, and their daughter Erin was born earlier this year.
His interests outside work are history, food, politics, classical music and foreign travel.
Meanwhile, a lawyer who suggested Evans could be innocent defended his views yesterday – after they were removed from the website on which they were first published.
The Professional Footballers’ Association of Ireland’s (PFAI) solicitor Stuart Gilhooly, who also said the footballer deserves a second chance even if he is guilty, detailed his views in an article posted on the association’s website.
Mr Gilhooly’s comments were removed – and while he insisted he had no problem with the decision, he stood by the views.
He said: ‘It was not taken down at my behest, but was removed with my consent and I have no difficulty with the PFA Ireland’s decision to do so.
‘The article reflected my opinion of the situation and did not seek to represent the views of the PFA Ireland or its members. I stand over its contents.’
Stephen McGuinness, PFAI general secretary, confirmed that it had been the association’s decision to remove the article from the website.
An appeal against Evans’s conviction was rejected by three judges at the Court of Appeal in 2012. His case is due to be looked at by the Criminal Case Review Commission.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2840560/BBC-host-sparks-storm-saying-female-rape-victims-wrong-signals-debate-rapist-footballer-Ched-Evans.html#ixzz3JYL7MTqJ
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook